17 April 2008

Moving Things and People About

Like anywhere else, things have to be transported in Copenhagen. By and large, a bicycle is involved. I don't know what this chap bought, but he wouldn't have been able to get it home without his bike unless he hired a taxi. But your bike is multi-functional. Not only a faithful ride, but a workhorse as well.
Duplicate this shot thousands and thousands of times and you have an idea of what a weekday afternoon looks like in Copenhagen.

And here's a bit of fun from down south. The arab world to be [not that] precise. Since he's not really riding that fast, I suppose it qualifies for Style Over Speed.


osf said...

I want to say I love the blog. I am envious of the cycling culture you have. I do have a general question for you:

You are fairly anti-lycra. Is that a reaction to some sort of cultural shift you perceive in Denmark or some guerrilla marketing campaign by the makers of lycra clothing?

I ask because I will visit denmark for the fall, and I love to ride my bike far and fast. No, I do not race, but I am a hard-core cyclotourist. I could not give a second thought to how others ride, and am happy if they do. This seems outside your credo, so I think it is worth hearing more about.

And no, this is not a critique. I am just trying to understand more.

Zakkaliciousness said...

in Denmark cycling is regarded as an everyday transport option.

you make it sound like there is some sudden anti-lycra movement! The fact is that only in North America and perhaps Australasia do people put on such gear before they get on a bike.

The rest of the world has never done so. Millions of people in Europe and tens of millions in Asia wear their normal clothes on their bikes each day.

It's something that has been done since the bicycle was invented. In North America, back in the 1970's, the sports manufacturers took over cycling and labelled it as a sport. Along with it came all the gear.

It's odd, since cycling has always been an everyday acitivity.

I doubt that riding without caring about the other riders would be popular in any country. Who would want a car speeding through traffic, swerving in and out, honking? Same thing here on a bike.

Although Denmark has 11,000 km of bike routes throughout the country so I'm sure you can find some lonely routes on which you can ride

osf said...


Big misunderstanding. I am a huge advocate of bicycles as transportation (it is my favored mode), and am actively trying to change the perception of cycling as recreation here in the US. I like your site and the Danish (global) approach.

I care about all cyclists, rather than none. I am courteous, etc. Because of our low cyclist numbers, it is feasible to say converse with all cyclists, so I do. I know that we are all in this together, especially here in the US where we do not have the collective consciousness that includes bikes. I wrote yesterday in haste, and see that what I wrote was easily misconstrued.

My question about lycra was an academic question (see, I am an academic). Your reply answered it well, thank you.

As you note, in the US, once outside the big cities of NY, San Fran, Portland, OR, and Seattle, cyclists are either the down on their luck or sport enthusiasts. In my town, I am trying to change that perception a little, but it is a hard go.

Thanks for the blog. I hope you understand my question a bit more.

Zakkaliciousness said...

thanks for that, osf. yes, we seemed to ride past each other there.

thanks for clearing it up.

what city are you in, if i may ask? in any case, we hope to see you in Denmark on a bike one day! :-)

osf said...

I am in a small Maine town called Auburn. We are doing a future plan for the town right now, and I am part of that effort. One of my big concerns is creating infrastructure to make it easier to use a bicycle as transportation. Our task is harder b/c the area is a little depressed, and we have a lot of snow in winter. But we are making some progress. Anyhow, that was the long way of explaining why I like your blog.

Thanks and Yes, I hope to see y'all out there somewhere as well.

Zakkaliciousness said...

good luck! and as for snow, you just need bike lane snowploughs like we have here, as well as all over Sweden, Norway and Finland.