24 October 2009

'Tis The Season to Be Scary

It's autumn and that usually means that various organisations who pride themselves on ignoring the sacred bull are probably gearing up for campaigns that serve to scare people off of bicycles here in Denmark.

Let's see what our favourite car salesmen and women - The Danish Road Safety Council - Rådet for Større Færdselssikkerhed has up their sleeves this year, as well as their partner in fear, Trygfonden [an insurance company] and let's see if the Danish Cyclists' Federation once again just shrug and go along with it.

A classic example is previous campaigns for bike lights. While we're waiting for this year's crop of negative bicycle promotion, in this blog post from last year you can compare the Dutch approach with the Danish: Promoting Bike Lights Positively.

I spoke last Friday at a conference in Copenhagen hosted by The International Sport and Culture Association called Move2009. The European Cyclists' Federation was present, with Dr. Randy Rzewnicki and the ECF's Secretary General Dr. Bernhard Ensink speaking wonderfully about promoting cycling positively, backed up with a wealth of science by Dr Lars Bo Andersen from the University of Southern Denmark who has put firm and astounding numbers on just how healthy urban cycling is for society. I also had a quick but inspiring chat with Gil Penalosa from Walk and Bike for Life.

It was refreshing to be a part of this panel of positivists given the current climate of fear gripping Denmark.