27 May 2009

The Bicycles of Madrid


My good friend Cristina was in Madrid for a weekend break last month and she heard a strange sound outside her hotel. Bell ringing. Ding ding.

She was quite surprised to look out the window and see a Madrid version of the critical mass rides. It took 20 minutes to pass by. They rode at a nice, casual tempo but there were many of them. Anybody know the number of participants?

The pictures speak for themselves. But here's me wondering why these kinds of rides are so popular in large European cities that have yet to re-embrace the bicycle. There is none of that agressive, sub-cultural attitude that one usually associates with the North American versions. There is more of a festival mood.

My friend Hynek in Czech Republic [I'll get around to blogging about it, Hynek...:-)] says that in their version, they even changed the name from 'critical mass' to something more festival'y so as not to be associated with the negative vibes from 'over there'.

I have been critical of 'critical mass' in the past but mostly the sub-cultural versions of the 'movement'. When you get this many people having a cosy bike ride together, it's a whole different ball game.

Interesting. Are Europeans better at protesting/demonstrating because it's more of a tradtion over here and the authorities respect it more than in North America? Just wondering. Discuss.

My Bike Loves Me


Forgot to blog this last week. At the Velocity 2009, the Brussels Mobilité org gave out free heart-shaped bicycle bells and condoms. Velove is a play on 'vélo love' or 'bike love'. Personally, I can't bring myself to love a tool/transport option/metal machine, but hey, I get their point.
Cool marketing.
Check out their website in French or Flemish at www.velove.be.

In other Copenhagenize.com news, Jan Gehl, the legendary urban planner, is coming to Toronto.

Public Spaces & Public Life for the 21st century
A Discussion with Danish Architect Jan Gehl
Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Time: 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: Design Exchange
234 Bay Street, Toronto
Free admission to all

Read more over at spacing.ca
.

Nagoya Bike Racks


It's no secret that Japan is one of the world's great bicycle cultures. The bicycle is a main feature on the urban, suburban and rural landscape. They've reached their 'tipping point' ages ago. Outside train stations all over the nation there is a sea of bicycles in various forms of parking.

These photos are from Nagoya, a couple hundred kilometres south of Tokyo, outside the central train station. A simple dual solution to the question of bicycle parking. An orderly way to keep the bicycles in rows and a locking system that is user-friendly. At the stand on the left you select your numbered spot - the little green light indicates that it is in good working order - and pay a whopping 100 yen for 18 hours. That's a bit over $1.00. :-)

Most things are cheap in Japan, but this parking price takes the cake. Brilliant.

Two tongs click out to prevent your bike from being removed. Most bikes have wheel locks, too, or a simple wire lock.

This may only be a solution that works in countries that have already reached their tipping point, since I'm sure that someone could nick the bicycle if they wanted to. I wouldn't mind seeing something like this back home in Copenhagen near the train stations.

21 May 2009

Motoring Helmets for REAL High-Risk Transport

Helmet for motorists
Cool, light and comfortable.
Let's just get one thing straight right off the bat. This is a real product, produced in Australia in the 1980's by a company called Davies, Craig.

And I'm so pleased to know it exists. Chris from the CTC - Cycle Touring Club - which is Great Britain's cyclist advocacy group with 130ish years behind it, has this helmet in their offices and my mate Chris was kind enough to send me photos of it.

I can't describe the calm that has now settled over my soul now that I know true safety exists.

The box reads:
"You have made a sound decision to purchase your Davies, Craig Motoring Helmet. Wear it and don’t feel self-conscious. Driving even for the most proficient is dangerous.

Ultimately, motoring helmets will be commonplace, but in the meantime, you will be a leader whilst those who may consider your good sense misplaced, will follow."



Finally, with the quality Motoring Helmet, we can now begin active advocating of helmet use for motorists. Not only do those poor souls suffer higher levels of pollution inside their cars - compared to cycling next to them - but they also have a higher risk of head injury than safer activities like... um... oh i don't know... cycling. Just to pick a safe activity off the top of my head. Completely random. Honest.

Here's Chris trying it out in a car. Not his car, just a car. He doesn't even have a driving licence.
From the instruction manual we can learn these important tips:
"Davies, Craig recommends you wear your Motoring Helmet at all times when motoring but particularly at the following, documented high-risk times:

- After consuming any alcohol.
- When other drivers are likely to have consumed alcohol especially 4:00PM to 2:00AM Fridays and Saturdays.
- After dark and during twilight.
- In rain or when the roads are wet.
- During long trips when you may become tired.
- Within five kilometres of your home or destination.
- Christmas, Easter and long weekends.
- If you are aged under 25 or over 60."


What's even better, you can buy a Motoring Helmet just like this one on Ebay Australia! Hurry, hurry! Be the first!

20 May 2009

Copenhagenize at Velo-City 2009


I spent four days at the Velo-city 2009 conference in Brussels last week, as a guest of the City of Copenhagen. It was a wonderful time spent at the world's largest conference dedicated to bicycle culture. 700 delegates from all over the world. Right off the bat, I'll say that I dubbed Brussels Velo-Shitty. What a crap city to cycle in. Dismal. I've rarely seen a Northern[ish] European city so overrun by cars. But they know it, I guess. As the Brussels Mobility Minister Pascal Smet said,

”The organisation of Velo-city is an ideal trigger for the host city. In the case of Brussels, this stimulus was exactly what was needed – the city is now seen as up and coming in terms of implementing cycling plans. Velo-city has acted as a major accelerator for decisions and plans that were pending. People who were working on these projects are highly motivated to succeed in transforming Brussels into a cycling-friendly city.”

He makes it sound so effortless but my god they have work to do.

I hung out for the most part at the City of Copenhagen stand. I had the opportunity to meet scores of great people - most who knew this blog and copenhagencyclechic.com - and to put faces to alot of names. The mood was wonderful throughout the week and the City of Copenhagen stand was a busy spot. Apart from me, the City invited Henrik from Baisikeli [used Danish bikes for Africa] and Ole with his Coffee Bike. In addition there were 8 people from the Copenhagen Bicycle Office and the traffic department.

We were busy at the Copenhagen stand because, well, we're Copenhagen but also because the city is hosting the Velo-City Global conference next year where the whole world will come. Free coffee from Ole's coffee bike was also a magnet.

There were many stands around the exhibition area, mostly European. Some bike brands but also cities and towns and NGOs. I found myself speaking non-stop in three languages at the stand and when I needed a break I'd head out to a Belgian NGO Cyclo who had a little cycle ring where you could ride their bikes. It was interesting to see how so many European bicycle advocates are not gearheads. Just regular people with a love of bicycles and bicycle culture.


The City of Brussels has bike lanes but most of them lack logic. You're separated from the traffic and then chucked back in. And repeat. But these lanes, above, were freshly painted - as though in a hurry because of the VeloCity conference - but at least they show there is some political will.

I don't know about this bike rack though. Maybe a truck went around in the dead of night, chucking them out before the conference started.


Here's a more civilised separated lane. For 100 metres at least.

The city just started their own bike share programme Villo, as you can see on the poster. On our last day there was a transport strike. Usually prime time for bicycles to be pulled out of the garage. Instead, traffic jams.


The Deputy Mayor of Copenhagen, Klaus Bondam, came on Friday and spoke at the European Parliament, after which he showed my little music video about Copenhagen's bike culture. Here he is talking bicycles with Niels Tørslev, head of the Copenhagen Traffic Department and Ole with the coffee bike.

MARKETING THE BICYCLE AND MAKING A 'HERO BRAND'

There were loads of lectures about all manner of bicycle subjects. One of them was interesting, not least because we've been banging on about it for ages here on Copenhagenize.com. Marketing the bicycle.

Can you make a 'hero brand' out of urban cycling? A Belgian marketing guy, Guillaume Van der Stighelen, co-founder of the marketing company Duval Guillaume spoke about how if you want to get people to ride, you have to forget about telling them about safety, about how healthy it is and all that. Just make it stylish and cool. The president of the European Cyclists Federation asked Guillaume a question on his blog and you can read the answer here.

"There is no reason for this strange behaviour. Some will say you can’t ride a bike in your office suit. Nonsense. You don’t need lycra to ride. You don’t have to race that bike. I rarely go faster than twenty kilometers an hour. Doesn’t make me sweat."

"That’s where your fight is, Dr. Ensink. Nothing to do with saving the planet or shaping your body. It is status. Your industry has to think how they can giev status to bikes in the city. Don’t think it is impossible. I’ll give you an example. The hotel where I stay in New York offer free bikes for guests since last year. They are cool shoppers, shiny red with the logo of The Bowery Hotel. At night, when I’m meeting some friends in the very fashionable venue for fancy advertising people The Odeon, I get more looks than anyone who would arrive in a stretched limousine. There is a large terrace, and you can tell from the ladies’ faces, this guy is cool, he’s healthy, his success is big enough not to depend on car brands. Wow. That is where you want to be, Dr. Ensink. And most of the communication I see from bike brands, city bike organisations and biker’s federations won’t get you there."


Indeed. We need to stick our fingers in our ears and shout "lalala" when the safety freaks and sub-culture geeks talk about cycling. The average person won't listen. Making a hero brand of urban cycling requires a whole different approach.


Thought you were going to get off without a mention of helmets, didn't you? Wrong. The European Cyclists Federation, the umbrella org that represents most of Europe and who hosts the VeloCity Conferences produced this button, attached to my badge, along with a brochure. Not some little NGO, the ECF itself. They printed 500 of them, thinking they could use them throughout the year but they were all gone after day 3. A real hit. Nice to know that there are so many people out there in Europe who would rather be bicycle advocates instead of helmet advocates.

I had great, positive conversations with like-minded bicycle advocates from Britain's CTC, the Dutch Fietserbond, including their traffic consultent Theo Zeegers, as well as advocates from Poland, Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, Catalunya, Italy. All wearing these buttons proudly.

THE CHARTER OF BRUSSELS FOR EUROPE
The conference wrapped up at the European Parliament with the signing of the ambitious Charter of Brussels for Europe.

EU Vice President, Siim Kallas presented how the European institutions are promoting cycling to work and the European Commissioner for Transport, Antonio Tajani opened the conference on Tuesday 12 May by explaining the key role the bicycle has to play in the action plan of the Green Urban Transport Paper.

The European Parliamentary debate saw the constitution of a parliamentary intergroup for cycling in the European parliament being discussed as well as appointing a European Bicycle officer within the European Commission.

The goal in the Charter is that the EU has a 15% modal share for bicycles by 2020. For a change, I feel that is actually a feasible political goal.

19 May 2009

Trouble in Paradise

Traffic Jam Cleaning
Not all is perfect in paradise.
There you are, perfecly happy on the bike lane and suddenly you roll up behind one of the City's bike lane street sweepers and into a mini traffic jam. Bloody hell. What to do, what to do. You can either hop up onto the pavement and overtake or you can do what most people do, just roll along behind until he pulls over to let the cyclists past before continuing. Which he does regularly.
Bike Battle
There you are, ready with your instruments to perform on the square for the passersby and a pesky 12 year old rolls up with his mum's Christiania bike and starts selling bottles of water. Although after a quick discussion, said 12 year old rolls 10 metres away and everyone is happy.

18 May 2009

Velocity Cycle Chic


While I'm trying to sort through my photos from Velocity 2009 and get back to a normal life - for four days before heading to Japan - here's a little film I made with some friends at the conference.

17 May 2009

Velo Life


There's an exhibition here in Copenhagen called "Velo Liv - Cyklen som brugskunst" or translated, Velo Life - The Bicycle as Handicraft.

It runs from the 18-25 May 2009 at the address on the poster. If you're in town, check it out.

Edinburgh Bicycling Facilities... Not.


Now there are heaps of "See our crap bike lanes" blogs out there and that's great. Anthony from .citycycling.co.uk is posting his top 10 crap bike lanes in Edinburgh. Here's number 10.

Giggle.

50 Cars or 1 Coach?


Interesting video about marketing more sustainable transport forms. No bikes involved, but since I bang on about positive marketing, it fits into the box.

Finally home from Velocity 2009. Blogging about it shortly.

11 May 2009

New Urbanism


Super cool video. My only beef is that they didn't mention bicycles.

Winner of The Congress for New Urbanism CNU 17 video contest. This short film explores the connection between New Urbanism and environmental issues.

10 May 2009

Enjoy Your Invisible Shit-ass Bikes


I was put onto this brilliant urban sticker campaign by a reader in Ireland. It's a couple of months old now, but brilliant none the less. JC Decaux won the contract for providing Dublin with Vélib' style city bikes, in return for fancy advertising panels around the city.

As I understand it, the lucrative advertising panels went up pretty quick but the bikes were no where to be seen. So a series of stickers started appearing around the city. I'm guessing they weren't put up by JC Decaux - that's how clever I am. Nor were they sponsored by the City of Dublin, who nevertheless got their logo on the top right.

The text above reads "JC Decaux - Give us planning permission or the kittens die."

JC Decaux - We own your fucking town.


JC Decaux - We stole your fucking bikes.

This is now the property of JC Decaux.

JC Decaux - Enjoy your invisible shit-ass bikes.

I picked up these photos in an Irish forum about the issue right here.

If any of our readers can fill us in on the subject and any developments (or lack thereof), add a comment.

08 May 2009

Aerial

Street. Couple. Roof.
Pedestrians in the urban landscape.
Crossing
Ditto. I have a thing for zebra crossings. So much so that I published a photo book about them.
Intersection
It's all so much more easier to understand when you're on the ground. Although pedestrians and bicycles seem to have it more spelled out than the cars.

Rooftop
Outside the entrance to this 5 star hotel - SAS Royal - there are three clear bike symbols for the tourists.

07 May 2009

Bicycle Lanes

Bicycle Path by Night
Night lights on a section of the Green Path - the new bicycle motorway.

Separated Bicycle Lane
Over at Copenhagen Cycle Chic I commented that no matter where you are in Copenhagen, or what you're doing, there's some nearby on a bicycle.

The same applies, in a way, to building bicycle infrastructure. There are streets without separated lanes but there is alway construction somewhere. This is from Roskilde, a small city 30 km from Copenhagen, where a painted lane is now being replaced with a curb-separated lane. Parking was removed and the car lane was narrowed in the process.

Copenhagenize & Cycle Chic Travel Schedule 2011

Departure
It's getting busy for Copenhagenize.com and CopenhagenCycleChic.com. There's a flurry of activity on the horizon involving Cycle Chic events and Copenhagenize.com lectures at seminars. If anyone is in any of these places and want to hook up, do let me know.

2011 Speaking Venues Include (so far)
Berlin - March. VeloBerlin
Copenhagen School of Media and Technology - April.
Montreal - June.
Barcelona - June.

2010 Venues Included:
Rome - Keynote at Mobility Conference. October.
Helsinki - Keynote speech at the Megapolis 2025 Festival on Sept. 25. Theme: Rhythms of the City.
Melbourne - Keynote at State of Design Festival with Four Goals to Promote Urban Cycling presentation.
Dublin - Cycle Chic party at City Hall. 16 June 2010.
Copenhagen - Keynote at Velo-City 2010 Bicycle Conference
Mexico City - Lecture at Architecture Faculty of UNAM. Dreams on Wheels Exhibition. Launch of Mexico Cycle Chic. 03-07 March 2010.
Brno, Czech Republic - 7 April 2010. Four Goals for Promoting Urban Cycling lecture.
Lleida, Catalonia - 3rd Bicycle Congress in Lleida, Catalonia. Keynote speaker - Bicycle Superhighways. 14-17 April 2010.
Prague, Czech Republic. Keynote at National Cycling Conference hosted by the Ministry of Transport. April 22, 2010. Four Goals for Promoting Urban Cycling lecture. Link to website.

2009 EVENTS
Copenhagen - 24 October 2009. International Sport & Culture Association's MOVE2009 conference. Lecture.
USA West Coast- 28-30 October 2009. Lecture tour.
-Seattle - 28 October 2009
-Portland - 29 October 2009
-San Francisco - 30 October 2009
Pardubice & Prague, Czech Republic - 16-17 September. Exhibition and lecture.
Budapest
- 20-23 September. Conference on bicycle culture hosted by Danish Embassy. Participation in Critical Mass ride.
USA East Coast- 27-30 September. Lecture tour.
-New York City - 28 September 2009
-Columbia University, Urban Planning, 29 September 2009
-Baltimore / Climate Ride: 29 September 2009
-Washington, DC. 30 September 2009
La Rochelle, France- 7-9 October. Keynote and Guest of honour at France's largest conference on bicycle culture. Villes Cyclables. Lecture and workshops.
London - Two day trip and photo assignment to London.
Brussels - 12-15 May - Velocity 2009 Bicycle Conference
Amsterdam - 15-16 May
Tokyo, Japan - 22-27 May
Tokyo - Gaien Mae - 23 May - Taking part in the Danish Embassy cycle tour of Japan
Anjo, Japan - 24 May - Taking part in the Danish Embassy cycle tour of Japan.
Fukushima, Japan - 25 May - Taking part in the Danish Embassy cycle tour of Japan
Tokyo - 26-27 May - Copenhagen Cycle Chic photo shoots.
Moscow, Russia - 29 May - Conference hosted by the Danish Embassy and the Danish Cultural Institute in association with the opening of the Dreams on Wheels Exhibition in Moscow. "Using Bicycling Culture to Fight the Problems of Dense Urban Expansion"
29 May - Evening - Copenhagen Cycle Chic event.
Riga, Latvia - Keynote at Conference.

Safety in Numbers in Britain


The Guardian has an article today about the study trip made by Members of Parliament and Lords of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group to the Netherlands, as we reported about recently.

The article covers the Safety in Numbers angle of cycling. The Cycle Touring Club [CTC] which has been Britian's cycling union for 130 years, champions everyday cycling and, most importantly, marketing cycling as positive. They give towns and cities a cycling safety rating.

"While this is a useful guide, we're also very keen to stress that even the apparently less safe areas aren't actually unsafe, and that it's still much better for your health to cycle than not to cycle, wherever you live," said Chris Peck, the CTC's policy coordinator. "It's important that people are not put off cycling."

The phenomenon of safety in numbers – the name given to a new CTC campaign – can be seen throughout Europe. Other figures compiled by the organisation show that in Denmark, top of the continental league for cycling, the average person rides over 10 times further than his British peer every year but runs only 20% of the risk of being killed.

Struck by the Dutch success, a group of British MPs has just returned from a fact-finding trip to the country. There, along with reams of information about bike lanes and secure parking, they were let in to a less well-known secret for spurring a national cycling culture: throw out the Lycra and the helmets.

The experts, who took the all-party cycling group on a tour of the unparalleled Dutch cycling infrastructure, argued that the best way to tempt people on to bikes is to portray cycling as an everyday activity, not just the preserve of young men with an assertive attitude and a wardrobe full of skin-tight DayGlo jerseys.

"If you really want to have a lot of people cycling, one thing that people need is to feel safe cycling. It is the perceived safety that is so important," said Hans Voerknecht from Holland's Fiets Beraad, or bicycle council.

"It shouldn't be a fringe sub-culture, just for the cyclists you could call the urban guerrillas. You'll never have ordinary people cycling if that's the image they see."

Voerknecht points out that only a tiny minority of Dutch cyclists wear helmets, and while a few enthusiasts take to the roads in full Tour de France gear they are overwhelmingly outnumbered by people pedalling to work, school or the shops in everyday clothes, even formal business suits.

The CTC's Peck, who accompanied the MPs to the Netherlands, agrees that the image of cycling in Britain needs an overhaul.

"Helmets and things like that do give this impression that cycling is inherently dangerous, and this whole urban warrior image is not very helpful," he said. "But of course, a lot of the aggression is also about having to compete for space and priority with cars."


Here's the full article on The Guardian's website.

The CTC's website is right here.

06 May 2009

Dreams on Wheels - Danish Cycling Culture


The 'Dreams on Wheels - Danish Cycling Culture for Urban Sustainability' exhibition rolls on. And now there is a website for the exhibition, in English.

www.dreamsonwheels.dk

Here you can read about the exhibition, see which cities it'll be coming to and what have you.

Next up is Tokyo and a series of other Japanese cities from 15.05.2009-02.06.2009 and Moscow from 20.05.2009-15.06.2009.

I'll thrilled to report that I'll be speaking at conferences in both Moscow and Japan between 21 - 31 May, 2009.


When I lectured in Riga last month, I finally got to see the exhibition live. In addition to the Dreams on Wheels show, there were various local bikes, including these two 'freak bikes' as the guys who make them call them:


In Danish a nickname for the bicycle is 'garden gate', which is given a new meaning when seeing the one above.


There was also a cool old Soviet bike with a crocheted skirtguard. A lovely touch.

Copenhagenize Injury Alert!


A reader here in Denmark sent me this clipping from a newspaper. Please, sit down before you keep reading. It's shocking stuff.

It turns out the that the American Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report [try putting THAT publication under 'employer' on your dating website profile and see how many emails you DON'T get...] has analyzed a report that shows pet cats and dogs are to blame for a whoppingly shocking 87,000 fall injuries each year in America alone.

87,000 people have shown up at emergency rooms in the course of one year around the country because they tripped over their cat or dog or the dog pulled them on the leash.

87,000. Eighty-seven thousand. And another 87,000 next year. And the year after. And on and on unless we do something.

Where, in the name of Odin, are the safety freaks on this important issue?! Where are the helmet and safety gear manufacturers?! There are people out there to be bullied! There is safety gear to be sold! Millions to be made!

I want action. Let's mobilize! Here's what we do...

We don safety gear - helmets, wrist/elbow/knee protection and we walk up to strangers on the street with a dog and accost them rudely, telling them that they're stupid for not wearing appropriate saftey equipment.

We sneer at them saying that we're not going to pay for them when they're hospitalised. We'll lobby insurance companies to raise the premium for pet owners and to refuse payouts for injured pet owners who weren't wearing safety gear when they fell.

Cat owners require more intense action since they rarely walk their cats outdoors. Bastards. They think we don't see them but we do. We'll have to go door-to-door. If they don't open for you, climb through a window. We have self-righteousness on our side and we know what's best for everyone else.

We'll get the police involved, too. They can stand on the street and hug pet owners and hand out helmets and safety gear. Or they can tackle unprotected pet owners on the street, pepper spray them and arrest them. That'll teach 'em.

After a period of intense bullying feebly disguised as promotion we can lobby our politicians and push for mandatory helmet and safety gear laws for pet owners of all ages. Even if you don't have a pet, there's probably one near one just waiting for the opportunity to strike you down in your prime so support your LSES [local safety equipment shop] and get protection now, before it's too late.

And these 87,000 people are only in America. Think how many people are out there owning pets around the world. Living happily in ignorance and not even caring that we are trying to help them.

This madness has got to stop. Who's with me!? I SAID... WHO'S WITH ME!!??

05 May 2009

Saturday Morning Ride to IKEA on the Cargo Bike

Cycling to IKEA in Copenhagen
One of life's necessary evils is a trip to Cheaptown - aka IKEA. Like everywhere else on the planet, IKEAs in Copenhagen are located in big box areas outside of the city. There are two within 10 km of our flat and I headed out to one of them to buy some boxes for my son's room. He has 15 kg of LEGO and when we redid his room we figured some stackable shoe boxes on the wall would be great for the LEGO.

If we need some bigger things from IKEA, we will usually grab a car from our car share programme. But on a Saturday morning I hopped on the Bullitt cargo bike and headed off to get the boy his boxes.

As you've probably gathered by now, there are separated bike lanes basically anywhere you want to go in Copenhagen. Even places you DON'T want to go, like IKEA. Here's a little photo series of my Tour de IKEA 2009.

In the above photo an onramp leads to one of the main motorways into/out of Copenhagen. The bike lane I'm on continues down under the ramp, while the cars go up.

Cycling to IKEA in Copenhagen Cycling to IKEA in Copenhagen
Photo Left: These are signs for the regional bike route network, informing you that route 50 leads into Copenhagen. The bike lane on this stretch of motorway runs alongside the three lanes for cars. Separated, of course. It's a busy stretch for all traffic and in the morning rush hour bikes roll happily past the kilometres long traffic jam.

Photo Right: I turn left to get onto the northbound bike lane running parallel to the #19 Motorway. The classic Copenhagen Blue colour guides the way.

Cycling to IKEA in Copenhagen Cycling to IKEA in Copenhagen
Photo Left: It's a bus stop. Many busstops in Copenhagen are designed like this. The bus passengers disembark onto a little 'island' where they must wait for a hole in the the bicycle traffic on the bike lanes before crossing to the sidewalk. Even out here in the suburbs. At busstops that don't feature an 'island', the bicycles are made to stop for the passengers.

Photo Right: I'm riding along the motorway now and another onramp for cars is coming up. I just keep riding straight.

Cycling to IKEA in Copenhagen Cycling to IKEA in Copenhagen
Photo Left: Pity the motorists in a bicyle culture. All that bicycle infrastructure... it's hard to tell what's up and what's down. So it's nice that they get little car pictograms painted on the asphalt to help them identify parking.

Photo Right: I'm off the bike lane parallel to the motorway and here's a roundabout - traffic circle - near IKEA. The bicycle lane is clearly marked and hey, there's even a hobby cyclist in lycra out for a lovely Saturday morning ride! So THIS is where they are!

Cycling to IKEA in Copenhagen Cycling to IKEA in Copenhagen
Photo Left: Here's the other side of the roundabout. The bike lane on the circle hooks up with the main bike lane on this stretch of street. The principle is the same for all traffic. Whoever is in the roundabout has the right of way.

Photo Right: Arrival. Needless to say, IKEA has a ramp up from the street for bikes and prams.

Cycling to IKEA in Copenhagen
Photo Left: It's a tiny detail, but I like it. There's a sign on this emergency exit asking you to park your bicycle in the bike rack. But there's no red circle around the bike, with a red line through it. Just a nice pictogram of a bicycle and a polite text.


So here's me ready to go home. My Bullitt is loaded up and the boxes are tied firmly, but really badly, onto the cargo box. Typically for a visit to IKEA, I bought stuff I didn't plan on and probably don't need. A parasol for the kids in the front yard is sticking out.

In the background you can see fine Velorbis Churchills with trailers. IKEA loans out out these free bicycles and trailers to customers so they can transport their stuff home, just like the free car trailers they have. 20% of IKEAs customers in Denmark arrive by bicycle or public transport. Here's the full story about IKEA Denmark's bicycle loan programme.

Cycling to IKEA in Copenhagen Cycling to IKEA in Copenhagen
Photo Left: The quickest way out of IKEA is down the ramp for cars. The bike lane parallel to the motorway is just at the end. Ready to transport me safely back to the city.

Photo Right: Heading home.

Cycling to IKEA in Copenhagen
Arrival. Now all I need to do is find Felix so he can help me carry the boxes up to the flat.


Photo: Jens Dresling/Politiken
Here's another motorway, the #16. I used to cycle each day along this motorway 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.