30 November 2008

The Solidarity Strike Bike


Das Strike Bike
Annie, one of the owners of Christiania Bikes, just visited a bike factory in Nordhausen, Germany and sent me a mail about it. I had heard about the striking bicycle workers, but that was ages ago. Turns out they are still at it.

135 colleagues in the Bike Systems GmbH factory, faced with a factory closure, decided to protest and try to save their jobs. This was back in July 2007! As I understand it, the union rules in Germany dictate that only a union can call a strike, and not the workers themselves. Their union wasn't game so the workers decided to hold a "professional meeting" to discuss the situation. They are allowed to do so. There are, however, no rules dicatating how long that meeting can last. So their meeting went on and on and on. Brilliant move.

In order to prevent the factory being dismantled they kept it occupied in three shifts. Eventually an idea was formed. Self-management of the factory and production. A product was needed and they came up with the Strike Bike, pictured above.

They recieved a wave of pre-orders for this solidarity bicycle and began production of it.

18 months later, they're still at it.

The Strike Bike 2.0 or Volksrad [Peoples Bike]in both gentleman and ladies models are in production.

Good luck to them.

The Simple Joys

The Simple Joy of a Box of Twenty Bicycle Bells
The Simple Joy of a Box of Bicycle Bells.
As seen at Baisikeli.

28 November 2008

An American in Sweden

Stortorg
Cyclist in Malmö, Sweden. Couldn't swing a photo from Göteborg, so this will suffice.
I found this the other day. Cracking good read. An American chap working in Göteborg [Gothenburg], Sweden and writing a diary of his experiences cycling each day.

First and foremost: bicycling in Sweden is not about a bunch of environmentally aware yuppies working hard at being pleased with themselves. Bikes in Sweden are not conveyances for spandex-coated fashion plates wearing color-coordinated jerseys and (maybe) helmets. Bicycles are real transportation for real people. Everyone rides. They're going somewhere and doing something. The idea of using a bike to make a spectacle of oneself, the life goal of most riders in LA, seems inconcievable here.

Bicycles in Sweden are real transportation, not a sporty toy. Bicycling is not a "fashion sport," to use a term from the LA Times. People bicycle to work because it is the most sensible form of transportation: door-to-door, cheap, and easy to park.

Because bikes are genuinely tools for transportation, not toys, people don't treat them like toys. Gone with the spandex crowd are the expensive, show-off bikes so common in the US. (Have you noticed that these pricey toys are usually ridden by people whose tails are so bloated that they probably need to call the fire department to extract their bike-seats from their asses? These characters like to brag that their bikes are eight ounces lighter than mine, but most of them could easily afford to reduce their own weight by about 800 ounces.) Most bikes in Göteborg are, frankly, in pretty bad shape. And no wonder: they are subjected to heavy use, parking in the rain, and more time spent riding them than playing with them in the garage.


This was written in 1997. I wonder if he ever returned to his home country. Perhaps he is still happily cycling around the Swedish city.

Whatever the case, he sure doesn't pack any punches.

Read the whole entry here.

Danish Dikes Do N' Orleans


No cycling here, but we do cover environmental issues involving Copenhagen or Denmark on occasion. Whatever the case, I just thoroughly enjoyed writing that title.

The Danish company COWI, through its subsiduary in the States, will be a part of building the new dike that will protect New Orleans. Yes, Danes do dikes. We'll do them anywhere, but we like doing them on the west coast of the country, facing the North Sea.

If you have a thing for dikes, COWI have an illustrated flash feature about their project.

27 November 2008

Catch The Cyclist...


There's a behavourial campaign at the moment with car doors placed around town and the message "Catch the cyclist with your eyes, not your door".

Pretty straightforward campaign. No real fear-mongering at play. Just a good reminder for both motorists and cyclists alike. Nevermind the fact that I have never heard of anybody getting smacked by a car door. Most of the bike lanes are wide enough to avoid this. But hey. At least the campaign helps motorists [most of whom are cyclists, too] remember the bicycles.

Thanks to Kristoffer for the photo.

Promoting Cycling - BBC and UK


Here's a funky little 'ident' for BBC 1. An 'ident' is tv industry jargon for station identification. The little logo bits that show up in between programmes. Quite a nice advert for the channel. Colourful, slow bicycle riding in the rain from the Beeb. A soggy critical mess :-). I quite like it.

Thanks to William for sending the link. He's Chairman of the Colchester Cycling Campaign. Colchester is one of the designated cities in the UK who have recieved national funding in order to copenhagenize themselves.

Here's a photo of the launch presentation of Colchester Cycling Town. John Grimshaw of Cycling England (purple jacket) is handing a glass plaque to Norman Hume, transport chief of Essex County Council. All very nice, but lo' and behold... second from right... a Copenhagenize T-shirt! On William, no less! Well chuffed, I am. Well chuffed! Good luck to Colchester.

26 November 2008

28 Reasons to Ride Your Bicycle

Here's an interesting list of 28 reasons to ride your bicycle, as compiled by the University of Central Florida. It is based on Orlando but the sources are broad and thorough. There is a link at the bottom of the page to the sources of their research. Or just click here.

In addition, I just watched this interesting PBS show about commuting and petrol prices. I couldn't embed it, so click on through to see it.

28 Reasons To Ride your Bicycle
1. Increase in local property values.
2. Correlation with Overall Wealth.
The notion that more cars equals more wealth is really more myth than reality. In fact, some new research shows that high and increasing levels of car dependence actually harms an economy. In a report to the World Bank, researchers from the Institute for Science and Technology Policy (ISTP) in Perth, Australia showed that there are "diseconomies" associated with car use. Auto dependence can drain an economy of its wealth….

It found that, among cities in the developed world, regional wealth (as measured by per capita gross regional product - or GRP) actually goes down as car use go up. In other words, the more we drive, the poorer we get....

The global comparison is ... illuminating. Cities such as Zurich,
Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Tokyo and Paris all have a much higher use of public transport than any American, Canadian or Australian city. Yet they build fewer roads and own fewer cars. They have much higher bike use. They have roughly half the transportation deaths. They spend less on getting to work. They emit a fraction of the CO2.

And, oh yes, they're richer.

Europe's 11 principal cities average 390 cars per 1000 people and have an average GRP of US$32,000 per capita. Meanwhile, the USA's 10 principal cities average 600 cars per 1000 people with a GRP of only $27,000. Tokyo's average car ownership is a paltry 225 while its GRP soars at $37,000.

More spending on cars does not create wealth. It just transfers money
elsewhere. Often that elsewhere is outside your local economy. Last time I checked, my home town didn't have an oil or car industry. And buying Ford and GM seems isn't making Detroit, MotorCity USA, any richer. Excessive spending on cars and their infrastructure merely means less money in your pocket and your economy that can be used for productive things.
3. Less Public Money Is Needed To Create a High Quality Transportation System.
4. High-Tech Business Is Attracted by a Perceived Better Quality of Life
5. Improved Personal Finances
6. Better Physical Health
7. Better Mental and Emotional Health
8. Fewer Overweight and Obese Citizens
9. More Free Time
10. More Beauty
11. Greater Mobility
12. Inclusion of Senior Citizens
13. More Equitable Living for Low Income Earners
14. Increased Sense of Community
15. Individual Opportunities for Safer Travel
16. Less Congested Roads
17. Safer, Quieter Neighborhoods
18. More Resources for Public Use
19. Enhanced and More Credible Metropolitan Image
20. Better Air Quality
21. Visually More Appealing Metropolitan Area
22. Cleaner Surface and Ground Water
23. Quieter City
24. Slowed Pace of Global Warming
25. More Sustainable Lifestyle
Paths will help not only by reducing the need for the vast infrastructure needed to support automobile travel and by reducing emissions, but also by saving on the manufacture and disposal of autos. The Environment and Forecasting Institute in Heidelburg, Germany lists the following environmental costs of one car:

Extracting raw material:
26.5 tons of waste
922 million cubic meters of polluted air

Transporting raw material:
12 liters of crude oil in the ocean for each car
425 million cubic meters of polluted air

Producing the car:
1.5 tons of waste
75 million cubic meters of polluted air

Driving the car:
18.4 kilos of abrasive waste
1000 cubic meters of polluted air

Disposing of the car:
102 cubic meters of polluted air
26. Recognition for Leadership in Sound Environmental Policy
27. Readiness for Other Environmental Initiatives
28. Enhanced Quality of Life for Women

25 November 2008

Bicycle Music Video from 'Headlights'

Headlights - TV

Here's another entry in the ongoing Bicycles in Music series. A group called Headlights offer up this single 'TV' from their debut album 'Kill Them With Kindness'.

Cycling as a sociable, effortless activity. And a cool bike, too. Wonderful stuff.

24 November 2008

MIT and the City of Copenhagen

I've had a few links about this sent to me, but I haven't figured out how to blog about it. So I'll just chuck up a link and summarise... :-)

Here's an article about it called A Quantum Leap in Bike Mechanics.

MIT is teaming up with the City of Copenhagen to develop The Smart Biking Project, based out of the SENSEable City Laboratory, an MIT research group focused on technology and cities, part of MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

Using a Facebook application called "I Crossed Your Path," cyclists will be able to make connections with each other by exchanging information - online or through a smartphone - about which routes they took that day. The program, which formally gets underway in 2009, will work through a smart tag that functions a lot like RFID (radio frequency identification) technology. The tag, which they expect to be the size of a USB flash drive, can be installed under a bike seat, inside the frame, or on a headlight.

"MIT's smart tags will have low power consumption, low bandwidth, and will be affordable at under $30 per tag," said Christine Outram, project leader and a graduate student in the Master of Science in Architecture Studies program.

"If I ride past a particular point, and a friend from Facebook or another social networking site rides past, I can get a little ping on my bike, or a text message on my cellphone, or a message that will appear on my social networking site," Outram said.

Promoting Cycling in Brasil


Thanks to Joao in Brasil for sending us these two films that promote cycling. the first one, above, is an advert for an insurance company. Heaps of Cycle Chic and gorgeous scenery. My man Joao emailed me a rundown of the dialogue:

You can turn, turn, turn, (as in strolling around) but you will never find a place like to Rio. On one side we have the ocean. On the other, the forest. Take a look at this landscape, there's nothing like it anywhere. No one spends so much time outside as people from Rio. No one pratices so much sport.

This is Rio's mood. With that in mind, SulAmerica Auto Insurance is paying for new parking facilities along Rio's bikepaths. As well as maintaining the existing ones. Rio has the biggest cycling network in Brazil - 140 km. Everyday 300.000 people pass through here. The more people cycling, the better for Rio, for health and even traffic. Who would expect an Auto Insurance Company telling you to bike more often.

SulAmerica Auto Insurance. The best Auto Insurance, promoting the best alternative to cars.



This film is an advert by a state-run programme to encourage the donations of bicycles to needy children. Beautiful animation and a great message.

With a bicycle, a child goes far. Donate a bicycle and help a child to get to school.

A big Copenhagenize nod to both films for promoting cycling postively.

Christiania [Bikes]

Loooooooong John
Looooooooong John in Christiania
I had a little photo assignment out at Christiania the other day. Christiania is quite a famous place in Copenhagen. Back in 1971 a group of squatters took over an abandoned military area and established a Free Town. Being the 1970's, the authorities took it lightly and the community was allowed to grow and thrive.
Demonstration
A demonstration with a cyclist holding the flag of Christiania.
It has been called Europe's Greatest Social Experiment and the free town is well-established in Danish culture and society, despite the fact that they choose to run their own show in good collective fashion. There are kindergartens, cafés, shops, concert venues and many handbuilt houses along the old bastions of Copenhagen.

The current government wants to 'normalise' the free town and there is doubt as to it's future. I took some photos and and then went for a bike ride through the area for the first time in years. This being a bicycle blog, it is worth mentioning that bicycles are alive and well. It's unbelievable the selection of work bikes you can find, like the super long john up top.

Vintage Long John Christiania Long John
Or these two long johns. Good thing I don't really give a toss about bikes apart from on an aesthetic level because if I were a vintage bike freaky person I would have peed myself.

Instead I got all poetic n' shit, dood.

Christiania Bikesmith
I paid a visit to the Christiania Bikes workshop where Christiania Bikes were born. The Mother of all modern cargo bikes. They started out making trailers and then in 1984, they started making cargo bikes. This being the Spiritual Home of Cargo Bikes, it was obvious to use a time-tested design and modernise it. The no-nonsense form and function are still popular today. For many years, 'christiania bike' was a generic term for cargo bike.

Photo from Christianiabikes.dk of one of the first models in 1984.

Production of the bikes moved to the Danish island of Bornholm a while back, but there is still a workshop/shop on the premises in Christiania, in the old blacksmith building. Wonderful to see so many bikes lined up waiting to be picked up.
Christiania Bike Workshop in Christiania Christiania Bike Workshop in Christiania

Christiania Bike Workshop in Christiania
It was also cool to see these cool two-wheeler cargo bikes that are newest branch on the Christiania Bike family tree. The guys in the shop just called them long johns, since they haven't been given a name yet. All these two-wheelers are just new generations of the old long john. This new Christiania model looks classy and smart. You'll have to wait until next year for them to hit the market and continue Christiania Bikes' proud legacy.

As a Copenhagener you can get all sentimental upon seeing one. I saw one in Berlin once and got homesick for Copenhagen. Seeing photos of Patrick's trike in Portland gets me all warm and fuzzy.

The Christiania bike is such an integral part of Copenhagen culture that you can't imagine the bike lanes without it.

Here's a link to Christiania Bikes website in Danish, with some English and here's the link to their international site.

I just discovered that I have an alarming number of photos of Christiania bikes on Flickr, which you can see here in a gallery.

And here's a link to a set with many other photos of Christiania - both the town and the bikes.

The Christiania bike is one of the brands that enjoys a healthy export market. You can get them in Australia , in London and around Europe.

23 November 2008

Cycle Café in London


This is a long-distance review of a café in London. Never been there, but a friend of mine, Klaus, 'seemed to recall a cafë near the canals or something', which led me to the Lock 7 Cycle Café. Or rather, their website.

Looks like a nice place and with me being Sunday Evening Peckish, I quite fancy their scrambled eggs on toast for three quid.

It says on their website that the place was inspired by a visit to Copenhagen. This being the single most-important factor in elevating them from Google search result to blog post on Copenhagenize... :-)

If anyone in London has been there, do let us know. It would make this review much more respectable.

Anyway, it's a café in which to hang out and a place to get your bike fixed while you hang out but you don't need to have a bike - broken or otherwise - in order to hang out. They also sell second-hand bikes if you're in the market for one.

It's worth mentioning that while the place may be inspired by a trip to Copenhagen, we don't have any "cycle cafés" for "cyclists" to hang out in. Or rather, every café is a cycle café, since people cycle to them. Sure, the bike messengers have a few benches they hang out on and the fixie fad-ists do some hangin', but other than that, nah.

Any other cyclist cafés out there in Readerland that you know of and like? Chuck 'em into the comments. Oh, and tell us why on earth you can't just go to any ordinary café... :-)

Beer & Bikes Again Again


This month's issue of Beer Advocate Magazine, thanks to Mark. Brilliant cover. I've posted several beer adverts featuring the bicycle under the Promoting Cycling tag, like Miller, New Belgium Beer and Guinness, so this is an extension of the theme.
Important Issues Facing Copenhageners Beer
I now also get to [re]post these beer/bike shots!

My Kind of Mayor



"I have long held the view that a cyclised city is a civilised city, but if we are to get more Londoners on to two wheels rather than four we need to provide the facilities to help them do so,
" says Boris Johnson. Lord Mayor of London.

21 November 2008

Operatic

Street Music
Stopping to listen to some street musicians on a bustling Saturday afternoon on the pedestrian streets in the heart of the city. Perfect with a Christiania Bike.

Opera Bike Racks
The new Opera on the harbour is lined with bike racks along either side. Every on a Sunday afternoon, they're filled.
Opera Transport
A family of three arrives at the new Opera. Click goes the wheel lock and off they go.
Velorbis Opera
Oh, here's the Opera in the background, with my bike in the foreground.
Nihola Boat
A Nihola cargo trike on a ship along one of the canals.

20 November 2008

Danish Bicycle Design in New York?


A Copenhagen design company, Goodmorning Technology, are developing a design for a new City Bike for New York City, in the style of the Vélib' Bike Share Programme in Paris.

The drawing above is from an article in the Danish paper Politiken, showing a rough idea of the design. Ida Marie Nissen and Mads Kjøller Damkjær, from Goodmorning Technology, are working on a total solution, not just a bike design, which they'll be delivering to NYC's Parks Commissioner Adrien Benepe before Christmas.

They are focusing on designing a bike made of sustainable materials as well as working out the entire implementation of the scheme. This is where it gets tricky, according to Ida Marie Nissen.

"The mere fact that the sidewalks aren't owned by the city, but rather are private property, makes it quite a challenge when you have to find space for bike racks. There are so many barriers and hurdles that we don't experience here at home, but that we have to take into consideration when doing the strategic planning", said Nissen to Politiken.

It's worth noting that in Paris, they use by and large street space, not sidewalk space.

"We don't know if the project will be green-lighted but we can only hope that the city bike ends up resembling our original design", adds Mads Damkjær. They've designed a robust bicycle with lights, reflectors and a lock mechanism. The enclosed wheels are 'prime advertisment surfaces', as Damkjær calls them. [Thank god the style-savvy Parisians have so far avoided unattractive ads on their Vélib's].

The design also includes a helmet, which is quite odd considering the fact that no-one is going to wear a helmet worn by many other people. This is the main hindrance to bike share programmes in helmet-oriented places.

It's a major problem in Australia, with their helmet laws. The Age has this little article and there is an analysis of the problem here.

Here's a fun article about what lovely diseases you can get if you share a helmet - and other sports gear. Barf-o-rama.

Apart from that strange glitch in the design, the bike looks great and practical and I, for one, would love to see a Copenhagen-designed city bike in Det Store Æble.

The Police and The Bicycle


Back in 2007 The Police - feat. Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers - were inducted into the Order of Arts and Letters. The French culture ministry announced that the members of The Police are from now on knights of the Order of Arts and Letters.

And the photo op was on bicycles from the Vélib' bike share programme in Paris.

Guitar Bike Hero


Here's an advert for the video game Guitar Hero World Tour, one of a series, but this one features a bicycle. I don't know this particular game, so I have absolutely no idea what the hell is going on, but hey. It's a bicycle.

One of the other adverts in the series features Heidi Klum doing a rip off of Tom Cruise's dance in Risky Business. Nothing to do with bikes but hey... it's a supermodel in brassiere and knickers.

Golden Boy

Here's another youthful bike related film. A Japanese animated piece about a race between a bicycle and a motorbike. Completely unrealistic but good fun.



And one more... half live-action, half animation. A little bicycle filmy thing.

18 November 2008

More New York Bike Lanes



I had a visit a while back from a New York writer, Eric Marcus, and we went for a bike ride. Eric lives in Chelsea, in New York, and has become a bicycle advocate in that cool neighbourhood. Nevermind the fact that he doesn't own a bike or that the bike he rode when we met up on City Hall Square was borrowed from a Danish friend and was the first one he had ridden in 20 years. He just thinks that bike lanes in his 'hood and in New York City are a brilliant idea.

He is pleased with the new bike lanes on 9th Ave in NYC. When the local community board, among others, started complaining about plans for a bike lane on 8th Ave, Eric didn't quite get it. On this trip to Copenhagen he decided to research 'bike culture'. Besides meeting up with me, he interviewed Jan Gehl, the legendary urban planner and architect.

8th Ave is known as the Gay Boulevard and I was suprised, and amused, to hear that local protests included calling the Mayor of New York 'anti-gay' because... get this... 'bike lanes will kill off businesses'. As though it was his master plan.

From Eric's article:
I asked Jan Gehl how he responds to complaints from retailers that bike lanes will harm their businesses. Gehl, an imposing man in his early 70s, leaned across the conference table and in perfect English spat out a good-natured “Bullshit!”

Eric wrote this great article for his local paper Chelsea Now. Have a read about his Copenhagen experiences and his local battle for bike lanes on 8th Ave.

All this talk about Chelsea makes me miss Hotel Chelsea something rotten. It was my favourite hotel in New York for years.

Ah, 1998. Back in the day.

17 November 2008

The Fixie Cargo Bike by Larry vs Harry

The World's First Fixie Cargo Bike
UPDATE JANUARY 2013:
The Coolville Bullitt was promptly bought by Andreas, a bike messenger in Stockholm, after I wrote about it back in 2008. It is still grinding up the streets of the Swedish capital. Lettering on the frame intact. Nice.

A little world premiere here on Copenhagenize.com. The world's first cool fixed gear cargo bike hit the streets today in Copenhagen. Larry vs. Harry, the Danish bikemaker, is growing from strength to strength on the cargo bike scene and their Bullitts are flying around the world.

You're seeing more and more on the streets here but it is the bike messenger crowd that seem to have embraced the innovative Larry vs. Harry bikes. The fixed gear fad still buzzes at the moment - keep an eye out for the wobbly ones at the lights. But why not cater to those who fancy a fixed gear experience [and can actually ride them] AND who have things they need to move around? It's 'logic for chickens' as we say in Danish.
The World's First Fixie Cargo Bike
The very best thing about this new fixie cargo bike is that it's called the Bullitt Coolville and Larry vs. Harry named it after me. One of my last names is Colville, which has become Coolville over the years. I thought Hans was joking when he said he'd make a Coolville but today I was thrilled to see the puppy. And not a little surprised to see that it was a fixie. THAT is irony if you follow this blog.

So, I already have a cocktail named after me and now a bicycle. I'm going for a street next. By the way: A Coolville cocktail is 5 parts champagne, 1 part grand marnier, 1 part vodka and a big slice of orange.
The World's First Fixie Cargo Bike
I'll be making one or many for Larry vs Harry at my earliest convenience. The Bullitt Coolville is a limited edition, of course. It's off to the National Museum quicksmart. Larry vs. Harry, however, will produce a fixie cargo bike on request.
The World's First Fixie Cargo Bike
Hans, from Larry vs. Harry. He's Harry.
The bike is amazingly light. Only 18.9 kg. And like the other Bullitt family members it is a treat to ride. There is nothing like it on the market. Fast and furious. Smooth and cheeky. The steering was exceptional, too.
The World's First Fixie Cargo Bike
We went down to The Lakes to take some photos of it and I went for a quick ride - I had to pick up my kids shortly - and I was loving it.

Here's a video by a bike messenger in the Netherlands, featuring the Bullitt in action. And here are Bullitts over Vienna, featuring some happy customers from Bikekitchen.net. Sure, sure, I like plugging my mates at Larry vs. Harry and Velorbis. But the only reason is that the guys behind these two companies are lovely, sweet people. I'll be honest and say that I prefer my Scrap Deluxe and my Long John - it's a personal style issue - but I love what Larry vs. Harry are doing, too. Both companies are cool, dynamic and marketing their products in bold, unique ways.

Since wandering into this bicycle world with these blogs, I've discovered that the bicycle industry can really be a whiny place, filled with bitching and complaining. It's like this a little bit in Denmark, but it's a small country so you can't really step on each others toes and in many ways it isn't a part of the Danish mentality. Once you go international, on the other hand, you see some really nasty tactics.

It's the exception, not the rule, but it really is quite childish sometimes. Not to mention fascinating from a psychological point of view. You can easily see car companies with all that bravado and macho attitude bitching at each other, but it's really strange to see it in the bike industry. Sometimes I'm pleased I'm just an observer on the sidelines.

So I like the people behind Larry vs. Harry and Velorbis for the same reasons I'd probably like the guys behind the Metrofiets or Haley Trikes, among many others, if I ever met them. Good karma, a love of craftmanship and a firm belief in their products. That's all you need.

Which is really what selling cycling is all about, as well as bikes.

Blah, blah, blah... I have a bike named after me!!!! Cooltastic!

16 November 2008

Bicycle Chair Design

Chair by Mads Hvidkjær Binderup
Furniture made out of bicycles. Hmm. Many of the examples I've seen look like they fit in well on the porch of a hippie collective - perfect to relax in while surveying your organic beet root fields while scratching your scruffy beard. With your husband by your side.

With a sigh of relief I read today about a chap named Mads Hvidkjær Binderup who just completed his graduation project from the Architect School in Aarhus - Denmark's second city. He decided to create a couple of chairs using discarded bicycles. He read one day that 40-50 bicycles are fished out of the Aarhus River each week. This fact triggered him to embark on designing the chairs "Re-cycle One + Two - a cultural and societal comment" for his grad project.

Chair by Mads Hvidkjær Binderup
Bindrup was keen to design something under the 'Discarded. Recovered. Re-purposed' banner, making a cultural statement about our 'disposable, consumer mentality' and our eagerness to just throw things away. He recieved 16 muddy and rusty bicycles from the city and spent six months designing the chairs.

He used four identical - or almost identical - frames for each chair and by coincedence the frames are from the Danish Centurion brand - one of the major bicycle brands you see on the streets here in Denmark.
Chair by Mads Hvidkjær Binderup
"You can't see right away that bicycle frames were used, but if you look carefully you recognise all the parts", says Binderup.

That's what I like about the chairs. Subtle, elegant and following in the long tradition of Danish design.

Chair by Mads Hvidkjær Binderup
Bindrrup doubts that the chairs will make it to mass-production due to the fact that so many man-hours are required in making them. But he is pleased to have been able to make a statement about the environment.

Via: 'House' & Arkitektskolen Aarhus.

Danish Design Wins in New York City


We posted a while back about the bike rack design competition in New York City. As it happens, the winners were announced and the design duo from Copenhagen won the contest.

Ian Mahaffy and Maarten De Greeve’s design reflects a modern simplicity that will greatly enhance the City’s streetscape. The rack is round with a horizontal crossbar, evoking an abstracted bicycle tire. Constructed of cast-metal, the design is elegant yet sturdy enough to withstand the harshest street environments.


Congratulations. According to plan these racks will be the official bike racks of NYC and will be set up around the city.

There were also indoor bike parking designs in competition. Have a look here to see the winners.

Thanks to our reader Sean for the heads up.

15 November 2008

High Season For Bike Culture Advertising

Big Arse
What with the rain and wind of autumn it is high season for free bike seat covers in Copenhagen. You'll often find your bike seat covered with an advertisment when you return to it at the bike racks in the city centre. Usually in areas with a high concentration of parked bikes.

The cover above reads, "Hey! Does my ass look big on this?" It's an advert for a cream cheesy kind of product in a new 'light' version.

Uni
Here's an older cover with an advert for Aalborg University.
Organic
A new advert for an organic soft drink.
Advertising in a Bike Culture
Outside a university building the seats were covered with adverts for a job and career fair.
City Hall Bikes
Outside the city hall there was a I Bike CPH seat cover. And an advert on a politician's bike for the Budget 2009 negotiations.
Bike Seat Cover
You can wait until you get a free bike seat cover or you can just pop out and buy one, like this polar bear head.

12 November 2008

Copendam Amsterhagen

Marc Flash
It had to happen sometime, didn't it. Marc from Amsterdamize.com visited Copenhagen last weekend and we spent some great times together.

Most refreshing was that I didn't have to ramble on and on about our bike culture like I do with other foreign guests [which I enjoy doing, it's worth noting] but being from A'Dam, Marc had seen much of it before.
Copendam Amsterhagen
So we concentrated on taking the piss out of each other, riding around in the rain and shooting photos and video.

The First Copenhagen Invitational Slow Bicycle Race was a highlight and we're working on editing the video in concerto, as well as other fun clips.
Marc - Casamia
Marc is quicker [or has less to do] and posted this on his blog:

CPH Cycle Chic Peek from Amsterdamize on Vimeo.

Stay tuned for more Copendam/Amsterhagen bike fellowship.