07 January 2010

Copenhagen January Bicycles


Another little winter film from the streets and bike lanes of Copenhagen. Snow and sub-zero temperatures and the bicycles roll on. There's even TWO bike lane snowploughs in the film for the Bicycle Infrastructure Fetishists :-).

In both instances you can see how the bicycle lane snowploughs push the snow away from the sidewalk, instead over onto the parked cars. Best illustrated in the second bit with a snowplough.

Worth mentioning - because I've been asked the question a few times of late - that we don't used studded tires or any other gadgest or gizmos or extra gear in the snow. Just the same squeaky, wobbly and half-flat tires as the rest of the year.

People just slow down. Simple as that. Riding straight in snow is hardly a challenge unless you're on super skinny racy tires - which you're not in the snow, duh - and on corners you just take it easy.

The number of bicycles is fewer when it snows, but there are easily still a couple of hundred thousand people riding their bicycles in Greater Copenhagen in this weather. I posted about it a couple of days ago and now here's some moving images.


I'm loving this winter so far. The lakes are frozen for skating, the landscape is white with snow, the air is bracing. Just like normal winters used to be - like the archive photo from 1947.

9 comments:

Mark said...

Oh, to be in Copenhagen right now! The blog gives a taste, but it's nothing like the real thing. My first and only visit lacked just one experience: cycling. Hope to correct that in the near future.

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy to see other people riding their bikes in the snow. I live in the Rocky Mountains in Canada and ride my bike to work every day, even in -40C, 30cm fresh snow, or beautiful sunshine. Out here sometimes I feel like the only one riding year round.
Good work Copenhagen!

Anonymous said...

I ride my roadie (w/ skinny race tires) in the snow. It is a bit difficult to start the bike because of lack of traction and turning is a good exercise of balance. But then, my winter currently is in Noord-Holland, so maybe we do not have as much snow as in Cop right now. There is a lot of ice on the road, though.

Theodore said...

Could you please sent some cold and snow to the south? Here in Athens we had a 20 degrees Christmas and right now is about 18 degrees. Athens feels ugliest and dirtiest than ever, and then i read your blog and i want to drop everything and head to the airport...

Superteemu said...

Dry, flat and hard snow surface is almost as good for biking as tarmac, and so is clean tarmac with few cm of snow, too. I lived and cycled daily in northern Finland for 20 years. Snow and sub-zero temperature (even -35c) for five months every year, and I never needed studded tyres.

Then I moved to southern Finland, where temperature fluctuates above and below zero much more. Thus, much less snow, and much more ice. Skidding and falling every couple of weeks, I finally got myself pair of studded tyres, and it's been so easy since.

You need very few things to cycle on wintry conditions (such as proper lubrication, so your hub doesn't get stuck and freeze on freewheel like I had today...). But, often, it's so much more comfortable and fun and safe with all those "gadgets and gizmos and extra gear".

Kevin Love said...

I liked the moederfiets at 2:00. Just because its January out doesn't mean the children stay home.

Which reminds me, I don't see all that many children cycling in your videos. If children are (to pull a number from thin air) 20% of the population, I would expect 20% of the people on bikes to be children. I'm not seeing it.

Anonymous said...

And one should not forget the fantastic feeling, of being the first one to make track-marks in the fresh snow. Especially when going home late at night, when nobody else is up, the streets are empty, and you are feeling a little light-headed
- a Copenhagen cyclist

Mikael said...

children cycle here in copenhagen. i just haven't taken many photos/footage of it.

our route to my son's school is busy with kids and parents and parking bicycles outside the school is a challenging task because of the sheer numbers.

Louie said...

Lovely video and thanks for the inspiration. I live in San Antonio,TX, and we are having an unseasonably cold winter (low twenties farenheit, I'm sure it's laughable to you :)so it's hard to get my biking friends out and about. We have an informal biking group, SALSA (Slow And Low San Antonio, find us on facebook) I will foward this video to them and my other biking buddies, maybe get em off thier asses...