30 October 2008

Lance Armstrong in Copenhagen


If anyone out there is interested, there was a short interview - about 6 minutes - with Lance Armstrong on one of our national tv channels. You can see it online here. It should be viewable wherever you are.

He spoke this evening down the road from here. 500 dollars for a front row seat. 300 dollars farther back. No criticism about that, just providing information.

Cargoliciousness


Thanks to one of our readers for the link to this cool little video for a cargo bike called the Madsen. Made in the States, but we're secretly pleased about the Danish name... :-) A cool ride, by all accounts. Here's their website.


Here's another video from Larry vs. Harry here in Copenhagen showing a bike messenger on his Bullitt. Larry vs. Harry fancied showing how stabile and well-balanced their sleek cargo bike is and the bike messenger chap exhibits this rather well by riding, and cornering, with no hands. Quite cool. And an excellent way to show off the product's qualities.

If you're in Minneapolis, keep your eyes peeled for this Bullitt gracing the streets.

Obama Bike


A little Obama advert encouraging people not to take it easy and to get out and vote. Using a bike race to drill home the point. Simple but effective. I'm just a bit shocked that the guy didn't wear a buttock helmet.

29 October 2008

Promoting Cycling as a Lifestyle - Paul Frank


Here's a groovy video/advert for Paul Frank bikes. They have quite a clear idea of their marketing throughout their range of products. They're selling a lifestyle, not a sport, and that's a good thing. Thanks to the readers who sent the link.

Their cruiser bikes are quite popular here in Copenhagen - if you're a 12-18 year old girl that is. They're all the rage among that set.
Paul Frank Bikes
Here's two just the other day outside of my son's school. An Orange Julius Cruiser and a Mod Cruiser.

Silly Silly Silly
Although one of the bikes still had this ridiculous sticker on it.

Target
All in all, though, very cool design and packaging.

28 October 2008

Just When You Thought They Understood


I was sent a link to a newish American bike brand today. Civia Cycles. I like the look of the ride. Above is their Loring model. Very cool, very European in style, lovely lines and functionality - they forgot the chain guard, but hey... First impression: cool stuff. Very cool.

On the Loring page there is even a little gallery of photos featuring photos, like the one above, of regular people on these regular bikes in an urban setting - refreshingly helmetless, too.
Lovely. First impression just got better.

And then...

Unbelievably...

I find this page on their website:

Featuring Sub-Arctic Extreme Bike Ridin' Dude-o-rama Rock and Roller! I seriously thought it was a joke. Have a look at the Clothing/Weather page here.

They're crafting fine bicycles for relaxing urban use and then they have a whole page with this crap. And this text:

"And lastly, we state the obvious: these are only suggestions. You must ultimately use your own best judgment when dressing for a ride. So remember, when it's cold, skin does freeze, and when it's hot, heat stroke can kill."

And lightning DOES strike during storms and tsunamis CAN hit your coastline after distant earthquakes and mixing beer and wine CAN cause hangovers...

It's just ridiculous. They should really have a little corporate powwow and figure out what it is they want to sell. I just don't understand. Or have a long read of the promoting cycling tag here on the blog.

What's more, they offer up 13 photos of 'dressing' for every weather condition from Dry 100º to Dry -20º and Wet 30º to Wet 100º but they haven't bothered with, for example, Wet -20º - which is what we call SNOW.

Not even in northern Sweden, in cities with 25% bike usage in the dead of winter do you see people dressed like the Rambo guy on the website. Sheesh. Not to mention the fact that Rambo would look so bloody stupid on one of their lovely bikes with the cool wooden box at the front.

And with the harsh winters over the past two years in Northern Europe, people still just ride - infrastructure or not - in the clothes in their closet. Instead of 'following the money' to the products so eagerly sold by the sports industry. Useless, pointless overcomplication of urban cycling that risks alienating newcomers to urban cycling by telling them they need fancy, geeky winter 'gear'.

This is NOT how to sell urban cycling to the masses. This is sub-cultural marketing.

Regarding cold weather, here are some pickings from the Copenhagen Cycle Chic archives. Featuring cyclists that would actually look great on their Loring bikes above.

UPDATE: Here are some photos of snowstorm citizen cyclists who HAVEN'T been sucked into buying "winter cycling clothes" who who just wear the same clothes as when walking around the city.

Wind Chill -15º
Wind Chill -15

Wind Chill -20º
Wind Chill -20

Wind Chill -25º
Traffic in Snowstorm

Wind Chill -20º
Snowstorm 01

Brochure for Adult Education Classes
Snowstorm Brochure

Hej Cyklist!


I've been spending a great deal of time thinking about how we can promote cycling positively instead of attempting to scare people. I was extremely pleased to see these posters all over Copenhagen a couple of weeks ago.

This "Hej Cyklist" campaign [Hi, cyclist!] was an idea we came up with at Copenhagenize Consulting a couple of months ago.
Take a Load Off
Hej Cyklist features on the city's bicycle railings/footrests.

The idea was quite simple. A behavioural campaign and a communications template with which Copenhagen's Bicycle Office coulc communicate with the cycling citizens. The average Copenhagener who rides to work or school each day doesn't really pay much attention to bicycle infrastructure or even bicycles. They just ride.

We all have a sense of pride about the city in which we live. Here in Copenhagen we love to hear that we've been voted the world's most liveable city and things like that. I figured that our cycling citizens should be made aware of all the positive aspects of our bike culture, in order to stimulate that inherent civic pride in relation to our cycling life.

For example, very few know that at many intersections the bikes get a green light a few seconds before the cars. Or that at what used to be Denmark's most dangerous intersection, this 'pre-green light' system has reduced serious cyclist injuries from 15 a year to just one.

Most people know that there are a hell of a lot of cyclists on the main routes but they are surprised when they hear the numbers - 10,000 here, 25,000 there, 35,000 on Nørrebrogade, etc.

I figured that if we let Copenhageners know about the safety features and the positive statistics about cycling, people will respond more positively. Especially in light of the fear campaigns from Dansk Cycklist Forbund and the Danish Road Safety Council.

We pitched the idea to the City of Copenhagen's Bicycle Office and they, too, were positive about it. It is now integrated into their campaigns.

The tone of the Hej Cyklist campaign works well in Danish. It has two angles. The title - Hi, cyclist! - has a retro feel to it. Like something you'd hear back in the 1950's or 1960's. A kind of corny, cheerful tone. It is designed to appeal to both the older generation and younger at the same time.

The modern font - which is part of the Design Guide for the City - helps make it modern. The messages that will follow are designed to be positive and cheerful. Condescending behavourial campaigns rarely work. Nobody wants publics orgs looking down their nose at them.

The poster above, which was plastered all over town, reads:

"Hi cyclist! Copenhagen was voted Cycle City 2008 by Danish Cyclists Federation. You are one of the main reasons. CONGRATULATIONS! and thanks for cycling in Copenhagen."

There are many other texts in the works and there are plans to use the Hej Cyklist angle on stickers stuck on the bike lanes, like this one:
City Stickers
There are so many opportunities to make our citizens proud about cycling as well as sending out common sense safety messages without the wagging finger of a nanny state. Like the head of the Norwegian Cyclists' Federation once said, "Why don't we ever see headlines like '50 cyclists saved their lives this week BECAUSE they rode their bike to work'..."

It's exciting to see A. my idea in action and B. positive branding of cycling in Copenhagen. Kudos to the Bicycle Office for their passion for cycling in Copenhagen.

25 October 2008

Bike Action with Google


A short little video as a supplement to a project proposal sent in to Google's Project 10 to the 100th competition.

It's a competition involving ideas that can help the most people. My friend Joel - Mr Sustainability - and I have sent in an project we call Bike Action aimed at getting more people to ride their bicycles around the world. The application allowed a short 30 second video, as above.


This is the film from Google about the project.

The gig is like this: Out of all the submissions, 100 will be chosen and the public can vote for 20 semi-finalists. I read that over 100,000 entries were recieved.

The 100 projects will be revealed at the end of January.

24 October 2008

Freedom to Move

Segregation
Generally we highlight the bicycle infrastructure in the city proper but I figured that it was high time to mention that all of our main arteries are equipped with bike lanes, too.

The street above is a good example. A wide, segregated bike lane running parallel to the busy road.
Bridge Shot
On both sides of the road, I might add.

Aabuen
These photos were taken from the new cycle/pedestrian bridge over said busy road.

Even farther out of the city, on the motorways leading into Copenhagen, there is ample opportunity to cycle.

Photo: Jens Dresling/Politiken

I used to cycle each day along this motorway, the #16 to the north of the city, on my way to work out of town and it was always splendid passing the traffic jam heading towards the city centre. The entire traffic jam.

23 October 2008

Guardian Environment Network and Digression


The always excellent Guardian newspaper has an interesting Environment Network wherein there is content from many different sources regarding environmental issues. A good batch of environmental this and sustainable that.

The Guardian Environment Network. There's not a lot of bike related content at first glance, bless their cotton socks, but here's hoping they work on it.

There is an interview with NY Times' Thomas Freidman on his new book: Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution — and How It Can Renew America.

"— what it would be like to have a president who on inauguration day gives his inaugural speech and then hops on a bicycle, and bikes to the White House.

And that's what I'm going to propose, if this guy wins. You and Michelle ride your bike from the Capitol steps to the White House. Do you know what happens the next day? A hundred thousand bicycles are sold in America."


Okay, completely off topic but I've never really understood this uniquely American style of titling books over the past 10-15 years. What is up with book titles that are longer than an average sentence and invariably include hyphens and colons?

Are American writers crap at titles [unlikely] or are their publishers so paranoid that a book won't sell unless the title resembles a tagline of the entire contents of the tome [most likely]?

A hurriedly gathered list from the NY Times:
- Traffic - Why We Drive the Way We Do - and what it says about us.
- The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism
- The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality
- The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington
- The Bicycle Equipment Profit Party: The Long and Profitiable Journey of Brainwashing the Population into Thinking Cycling is only a Sport

What's wrong with gripping, short titles?

But I digress.

On the environmental front another website that has come to my cyber-attention is World Changing.

That's all for now from Copenhagenize: Blogposts from the Danish Capital Weakly Described as Journalism and Mostly [but not always] About Bicycle Culture.

Potato Masher Bike Rack

potato masher bike rack
How to promote cycling and... potatoes... all in one go. Potato Masher bike rack, as seen [not by me] next to an art gallery in Palisade, Colorado.

22 October 2008

Promoting Cycling in Style


Speak of the cycle devil. Thanks to the readers who fired off this excellent advert for the French tyre company Hutchinson - making tyres since 1890!

This is a splendid advert with all the right moves. Great portraits of two different styles of cyclist. A little flirty flirty going on - although really... the guy would probably have better luck with a punked out chica on her own fixie while the girl would aim for a dapper chappie. But hey... it's fiction.

All in all, it is exactly the direction in which we need to head if we're to promote cycling as a positive, sexy transport option. Bravo, Hutchinson.

In a moment of cheekiness we whipped up a Copenhagen Cycle Chic remix of the advert...

Hutchinson Tires Urban Video - Copenhagen Cycle Chic Remix from Colville Andersen on Vimeo.

21 October 2008

What If We Marketed Cycling Like We Market Cars?

Had a conversation with a friend, Joel, about what would happen if we marketed cycling like we market cars. Sure, many car adverts show the vehicle driving crazy in rough terrain, making you feel like the Marlboro Man with a driving licence, but many appeal to regular people and portray the car like a desirable part of your life.


The now-famous series of Renault Clio adverts from the 1990's featuring 'Nicole' and 'Papa' - one of them is featured above - portray the Clio as perfect for a handsome dad AND an attractive young woman. It's a lifestyle accessory used for transport.

You could easily put Nicole on a gorgeous Batavus or Velorbis instead, portraying cycling as a normal part of everyday life.


In Renault's more recent campaign for the Clio the car could also easily be replaced with upmarket bike brands. It doesn't take a lot of imagination to see it. And it wouldn't be unappropriate to use the inherent flirting undertones since cycling, in European cities anyway, is sexy.

It would be so refreshing to see adverts like this for selling bikes or bike culture. I am sure the effect would be immediate and positive. We highlighted a Hungarian advert that is quite cool, but imagine what could be done if we ditched the sporty, 'weekend cyclist in all the gear' angle and actually targeted the millions of regular people who can make a difference if they rode normal bikes in their cities. Just focusing on the bike and the lifestyle. Not telling people that in order to ride they need all manner of outfits in man-made fibres, space-agey equipment and testosterone injections. Just average city-dwellers going about their daily life on a bicycle.


Using a bit more imagination, it would be a great advert if these guys - with certain script changes - were talking about a bicycle.

And this could certainly apply to bicycles. There are thousands of these on every Danish beach all summer long and they arrived, more often than not, by bicycle.

In order to move on from decades of branding cycling as a sport or recreation for a small group of enthusiasts, cycling and bicycles need to be marketed better if we are serious about getting more people onto bikes in urban centres and returning the bicycle to it's rightful place as a feasible transport form in modern cities.

Sure, the main hindrance is that car manufacturers have massive bank accounts to chuck into advertising whereas many bike brands are more limited. Why not set up some marketing collaborations? The French girl/English guy Clio advert could work if it was a Dutch guy on a Batavus teasing and flirting with a Danish girl on a Velorbis. Taking the piss out of Amsterdam and Copenhagen. For example.

As we've written before, somewhere on this blog or copenhagencyclechic.com, cycling is already marketed as a normal activity for getting around.
This is a screendump for Raleigh's Danish website:

And this is the screendump for Raleigh USA:

I know hundreds of people who resemble the girl on the Danish site but I don't know any who resemble the guy on the US site. If you're in the US, it's probably opposite - if you even know any cyclists at all. Just look at the Batavus website for the US. They make competitive bikes and ATB's but they are clearly selling the lifestyle first. Good move. There are far more customers among average people than there are among weekend enthusiasts. Basic marketing.

The millions of potential cyclists out there will be more inspired to ride each day if they saw regular people on bikes instead of sub-cultural images of hard-core cyclists. As ever, a disclaimer is necessary. I love anybody who loves cycling. I just want to see more people choosing the bicycle and therefore I focus on how to reach regular people who harbour no desires to zip down mountains but are just looking for a cheaper, more enjoyable way to get to work or school.

17 October 2008

Personalise

Kazi Kazi
I love seeing how people personalise their bikes. There is no limit to their fantasy. It's just a bike, not some fancy-ass NASA spaceship, so why not spice it up a bit.
Kazi Kazi Bike

A Ride For A Star
And this is cool, too. A Ride for A Star. That's you, by the way. This isn't personalised, this is the slogan from the bikemaker.

Sounds so much nicer than "Turbo Hardcore X6000 Graphite-Kevlar-Space-Age-Materials-Hybrid Lighweight Machine."

Just 'a ride for a star'.

16 October 2008

Bad Branding, Good Branding and Imminent Winter


How not to brand cycling. Ooh, dangerous. Owner's manual?! I was at my local bike shop - one of the 25 within one km of my flat - and asked if he had owner's manuals since I'd never seen one or recieved one when buying a bike before. He just laughed.

I don't care if it's one of those fixie things. I'll consider riding it.


A Danish reader, Anne, sent this in. The Bicicle, she calls it, and rightly so. Careful where you park your bike in the winter. Beware of leaky eavestroughs.

15 October 2008

Portlanders on Tour

Visitors From Portland, USA
Last week I had the pleasure of hosting 13 visitors from Portland, Oregan, USA. Foreign visitors are always lovely but this group were far from tourists.

All of them were here for a single purpose: to survey and study our bike culture with the aim of gaining knowledge and inspiration for Portland. It wasn't just any ragtag group of Portlanders. It was an impressive army of dedicated and eager Portlanders.
A city councilor.
The Director of Portland Parks and Recreation.
A county commissioner.
A senior advisor to the President of the Portland Metro Council.
A doctor.
A professor in urban planning.
The executive director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance - an advocacy group.
Portland's City Traffic Engineer.
An architect.
A bicycle advocate.
A manager of the planning, parks and trails development division.
A corporate giving manager for a sportswear company.
The owner of Portland's largest chain of bike shops.

Visitors From Portland, USA Visitors From Portland, USA
I find it amazing and impressive that such a group made the trip to Europe in order to exchange ideas and to find inspiration. Portlanders should be proud that they have such dedicated citizens working for a better bicycle future.

The group visited Amsterdam for a few days and spent a few days in Copenhagen. Both cities are inspiring to visit when studying bike culture and infrastructure. I have always felt, however, that Copenhagen can provide much more detailed inspiration in that the city's layout is more similar to American cities. In addition, the traffic culture here is more North American in its mindset. There is order on the bike lanes and little traffic anarchy and it has always struck me as a mentality that is more recognisable to North Americans or the Brits.

While in Copenhagen the group met with the city's Bicycle Department, the Transport Ministry and the Danish Cyclists' Federation. But not before we all went for an introductory bike ride just after they arrived. We rented bikes at Baisikeli, of course, where everyone got to choose they own style of bike. We did a huge tour of the major points of interest - regarding bike infrastructure - and while it's tricky leading 13 people on a bike ride, it was cosy and brilliant.

On the last full day of their visit I took them on another long ride to visit the outlying suburbs and to take the train with our bikes. I rode my Yahoo Purple Pedals bike this time and it took photos the whole way. You can see a slideshow of the ride from the bike's Flickr photostream here.

It was inspiring for me to meet such a great group of passionate individuals and to share experiences and knowledge with them.

12 October 2008

Bike Theft: La Prueba de la bicicletta


An Argentine artist, Mariano Pasik, has embarked on a fascinating project mixing video art and bicycle theft. He leaves cheap, unlocked bicycles in various neighbourhoods and films them with a hidden camera. He wants to see how long the bicycle can stand there until it is stolen. The film above is about the project.

He emphasises that he doesn't do it to reveal bicycle thieves - he blurs their faces - but rather to gain an idea of how safe the different neighbourhoods are. His hypothesis is - the longer the bicycle remains untouched, the safer the neighbourhood.

He's aiming to make a "bike theft index", inspired by The Economist's 'Big Mac Index'. He puts the video footage, complete with lovely music, of the bike thefts on his website La Prueba de la bicicleta - The Bicycle Trial.

"You can tell from the videos that these aren't professional thieves. These aren't people who left home with intention to steal. It is people who succomb to a temptation and decide to commit a crime. They become thieves first at that moment they steal the bike", says Mariano Pasik.

8 minutes before it's nicked. And by another cyclist.

The results are varied in the videos. Sometimes it takes a couple of minutes before the bike is nicked, sometimes over an hour. So far all the thieves are men. If the bike remains untouched for an hour the neighbourhood 'passes the bike theft test'.

All in all it's fascinating psychology in action.

11 October 2008

Building Separated Bike Lanes

Bike Lane Soon
A street around the corner from me in Frederiksberg is being converted from painted bike lanes to separated bike lanes, with a kerb/curb. I ride on this stretch almost every day and I've never felt like the stretch needed a physically separated lane, but I'm certainly pleased it is soon finished.
Bike Lane Soon
You can see in the photos how they place a kerb towards the street - we use long blocks of stone - and then the gap is filled in with asphalt to complete the safe, separated cyclo-deliciousness.

Construction of Bike Lanes
This is a sign straddle the bike lane at the top of the street reading "The building of cycle lanes will be completed November 2008."

Rain Lane
In the new suburb of Ørestad - as with all new development - building bike lanes is a requirement. There are also separated lanes along the main road through the suburb, but here you also get a quieter route if you wish to use it.

09 October 2008

Hutchy - Gas Prices


A bit of bikealicious funkness from Hutchy about Gas Prices. Cool bikes, cool vibes. Nuff said.

In completely unrelated news...

My niece in Westside, BC, Canada [next to Kelowna] sent me this piece of local news.

"The District of Westside is trying to address what it calls a 'lack of cycling-friendly infrastructure.'

The municipality is in the process of developing a cycling network master plan and hope to get public input in shaping the plan.

"Residents wishing to cycle to work, school or local shops have very little more than paved shoulders along roads with fast-moving cars, noise pollution and carbon emissions. Visitors wishing to tour the area on bikes are greeted with the same environment," claims the municipality in announcing the development of the master plan.

"An improved cycling network, including cyclist-friendly bike lanes and off-road bike baths for commuting would be a further step in defining Westside as a community conducive to healthy and active living."

A public consultation workshop will be held Wednesday, October 8 beginning at 6 p.m. in the Mount Boucherie Community Centre.

The aim of the workshop is to bring cyclists, cycling groups, members of the general public, politicians, First Nations representatives and business people together."


It's quite a holiday area, being semi-arid, orchard-rich terrain - Canada's fruit basket - but it's still fantastic that small communities in the middle of North America are working towards Copenhagenizing their communities.

Tuomo - The Helsinki Bullitt


A little bit of cargo bike deliciousness from a Nordic neighbour in Helsinki. Tuomo runs a bike messenger company in the Finnish capital and he is pictured above on his new Bullit cargo bike from Larry vs. Harry.

Hi guys!
I'm a bike messenger who started a tiny cargo bike messenger operation last year here in Helsinki, Finland. Our idea is to demonstrate the functionality and environmental benefits of cargo bikes - not just to make profit. Helsinki is quite bike hostile city, winters are crap and planning for bike lanes etc. is erratic at best - but we try to make a difference.

I´ve been reading your blog for some time now - and really, really like the way you do things over in Copenhagen. I just bought a modern Bullit-type cargo bike from Larry vs. Harry - our other bikes are of Dutch/German Filibus-type.

Check out our website!


Great to hear from Helsinki, Tuomo. Thanks for sending us the photo.

There is a boom in European bike messengers choosing two-wheeled cargo bikes at the moment, especially the Bullitt from Larry vs. Harry. Not only here in Copenhagen, but in Berlin, Paris and other cities.
Bike Messenger
There are already messengers on three wheels in Copenhagen but the two-wheeled movement is growing and Larry vs. Harry is leading the way since their inaugural appearence at the Eurobike Bike Fair a couple of months ago.

Rumour has it that there will be a cargo bike category at the next bike messenger world championships in Berlin. Coooool.

THIS JUST IN:
Article from the New York Times on bike messengers on cargo bikes.

The Holbech Bike Pit Bike Rack

Holbech Bike Pit
After all the talk of the New York bike rack competition, this product falls into my inbox. A Danish design company has developed a bike rack that just may be perfect for the urban landscape in cities. True to the unwritten principles of Danish Design it is simple, elegant and practical.

It's called the Bike Pit. [No relation to Brad Pit]

Holbech Design, in Denmark's second cycle city Odense, developed this standalone rack. It is a fantastic new twist on providing secure, theftproof storage of bikes in public spaces. It is functional and flexible and made out of glass-blown, rust-free steel that has a lovely finish.

Like many Danish companies, Holbech Design is committed to the environment and all the materials are Danish which, apart from reducing unecessary C02 through transport, ensures that the company enjoys complete quality control of the components and the overall product. That is... until cities all over the world start ordering them and having them shipped all over the place but hey... :-)


Here's how it works... you slide your bike into the rails and then slide the metal seat cover firmly down onto your seat. The attached wire is run through the bike frame and through the slot on the post. Using your own lock, you secure the bike.

You can't nick it and you can't even steal the wheels. Quite brilliant. This is something I could see on the streets of North American cities.


Holbech Design has various suggestions as to placement of the racks on the streets. Above is a 10 bike solution. See the other ones on their website.

So... what does the esteemed Copenhagenize panel - even the whiny, pessimistic ones :-) - think of this puppy? Would it work on the streets where you live? Do you like it? Does it live up to the requirements of a bike culture in your town? Should I order a few hundred for you and send the bill to your city hall?

New Bike Racks
Meanwhile, back in Copenhagen, the new Concert House at Danish Broadcasting is getting ready to open and the bike racks have arrived. They just need to install them and then the show can go on. A lovely sight... hundreds and hundreds of bike racks, just waiting for bikes.

08 October 2008

Surfing the Green Wave in Copenhagen


I've written about the Green Wave but I've never actually tried it. So yesterday I rode a long section of it and filmed from my bike. I didn't go all the way to the city centre, choosing instead to stop and film the morning bicycle rush hour.

You can see that for long stretches the number of cars is minimal. This was bumper to bumper traffic only a couple of weeks ago. You will also see the amazing flow of cyclists in the morning light.

When starting the ride it was about 08:15. When I stopped and filmed, the flow increased. 08:30-09:00 seems to be peak hours, although the flow never really stops.

Thank you, Mayor Bondam.

The music is Danish. The first track is a group called Ibens. The song is "Jeg savner min blå cykel" or I miss my blue, blue bicycle. An ode to the bicycle of childhood/youth. The second track is Tue West with "Sæt dig bag på min cykel" or Get up on the back of my bike... and enjoy it.

07 October 2008

FlexZone on Nørrebrogade

Nørrebrogade
In the continuing tale of Nørrebrogade here in Copenhagen - the street that turned its back on cars - here's an example of reclaiming the streets.

We've covered the bus zones and the loading zones. This is a Flexzone. You can see in the photo that the bike lane was reclaimed for bike racks here but elsewhere up and down the street it is to be used for tables and chairs for cafés or for shops to display their goods, etc. The bike lane is now on the street, where a car lane used to be. At the moment it is a painted lane, but when the trial period is over and the project is made permanent a proper bike lane will be put into place.

It's nice to see a car-free street in the background.

06 October 2008

Load On, Load Off

Laes Paa
'Load On, Load Off' sounds like something Mr Miyagi would instruct Daniel to do in The Karate Kid. In this case it is the new loading areas along the street Nørrebrogade. The one that is now in the process of being transformed to a more liveable space, closed off to cars and with bus zones and wider bike lanes. We posted about the bus zones with their cool, graphic red dots.

Since there is no stopping for vehicles along certain stretches, there are loading areas established on side streets for trucks who are delivering goods to shops. Again, cool and untraditional graphic design is in play.
Læs af, Læs på
The signage is so new you can still see the chalk marks. I think it looks smashing.

Thank you, Mr Bondam.

The Green Wave Spreads

The Green Wave
We have previously written about The Green Wave for cyclists that started on Nørrebrogade street last year. The idea, in summary, is that if you cycle 20 km/h you'll hit green lights the whole way into the city centre.

The 35,000 cyclists on Nørrebrogade have taken the wave to heart. The average speed on the stretch - and in Copenhagen in general - was 15.5 km/h. It is now 20.3 km/h where the Green Wave carries the cycling crowds.

There are safety advantages in play, as well as general convenience. Cyclists who raced along the route at higher speeds have lowered their pace in order to catch all the lights. Good for safety.

The Green Wave has proved to be such a massive success that it has now been extended to two other main stretches leading to the city centre.

The Green Wave will carry 18,000 cyclists a day on Østerbrogade and 17,000 on Amagerbrogade.

The traffic lights are coordinated during the morning rush hour between 06:00 - 10:00/12:00 [depending on the route] and then the wave reverses so the lights are coordinated in the opposite direction between 12:00/15:00 - 18:00 for the trip home.

The concept has now been adopted in Amsterdam.

Promoting Cycling in the Netherlands - Earn Money!

www.fietsfilevrij.nl
Project Peak Hour for Cyclists

Anyone cycling to work from Zaandam or Amsterdam Noord, in the Netherlands, in the last week of September, could earn €5.00 a day. This was a special campaign week to draw attention to cycling as an alternative to commuting by car as well as to stimulate people to actually use their bicycles.

Participants could register by means of a website. After registration they would receive a barcode by mail. When cycling to work in the morning between 06.45 and 9.30, people could earn €5.00 a day by having the barcode scanned on the ferries across the IJ.

The bicycle route from Zaandam to the parts of Amsterdam across the IJ is one of the five routes to be tackled and promoted as part of the ‘Fiets filevrij!’ (Cycle without traffic-jams) project.

Plans to reward cyclists exist elsewhere, too. In Nijmegen local authorities intend to provide cyclists with transmitters in order to collect data on the use of the local bridges. Participants may save up for presents. And in Delft there are plans to promote a new high-speed cycle route by offering rewards to cyclists.

A comparable approach is already being used in the Trappers (Pedal) project whereby companies encourage commuting by bicycle. Each commute by bicycle earns an employee of the participating companies a certain number of pedals. This ranges from a set number of pedals a day to a certain number of pedals for each kilometre. An extra bonus, for instance, for cycling in the winter months is also one of the possibilities. Participants in this programme have a special transmitter on their bicycle. The company is provided with a device recording whether employees actually travelled by bicycle. The pedals entitle participants to gifts.

Via: Fietsberaad

03 October 2008

Street Scenes

Dont Steal This Bike
Denmark is one of the most technologically advanced nations on earth. As illustrated by this hi-tech bicycle seen in Copenhagen.
Clockwise from left:
"Fingerprint scanner" - on the wheel lock.
"Theftproof"
"GPS Monitoring"
"Neighbourhood Watch"

Adverts in a Bike Culture
The bike racks near Nørreport Station had been visited by eager advertisers. Brochures for a travel agency on every back rack.

Good News From Edmonton
The new Edmonton in Canada, not the old one in England...
Our friend and guest photographer Manfred let us in on some local news from the Alberta capital:

"Let's watch what happens in pioneering Montreal, and consider a bike-sharing system for Edmonton. For all the wind about evironmental sustainability generated by the turbine of the human persuasion, any real progress must also begin at home.[...]

For the past few years, some 100 cities - including the likes of Paris, Barcelona and Washington, DC - have hosted bicycle sharing programs. [...] Paris' Velib program has been a massive success, for example, where over 20,000 bikes have been used on 27 million rides.[...]

Montreal is road-testing its own bike-sharing system that could serve as a template for other Canadian cities, including Edmonton.[...] with Montreal leading the way, Edmonton will have an appropriate model to study. The hope is City Hall will be doing just that over the coming year. Bike-sharing could well make sense here, at once improving the city's environment, along with the health of Edmontonians."


Thanks for letting us know, Manfred. Good to see some bike-positive news from Canada.