05 July 2010

Americans in Copenhagen

For Copenhagenize the Velo-City conference in Copenhagen was a whirlwhind of meeting wonderful people/colleagues from all over the planet. 'Networking' is far too dull a word for it and doesn't do it justice. The League of American Bicyclists collaborated with Copenhagenize Consulting on a series of bicycle tours before and during the conference. Bike rides around the city to see the infrastructure highlights in the Danish capital.

We, in turn, enlisted the help of Biomega and Baisikeli to provide the bikes. One of the tours was with New York's Dept of Tranport Commissioner Janette Sadikh-Khan and her crew. I was impressed to hear that the New Yorkers all took time out of their annual holiday leave to come to Copenhagen for the conference. What commitment.

VIP Bike Tour
Another tour with the League and Copenhagenize was a ride to show John Burke, the president of American bike company Trek, around the city, along with some other Americans. Andrew, City Councillor from Dublin and Ciaran, Dublin's Cycling Officer came along as well, as an extension of our conversations in Dublin the week before.

As it was explained to me, John Burke is one of the most important bicycle advocates in the States. He's also a lovely, down to earth guy.
Bo and Chaka Khan
After their keynote speeches, the mayor in charge of the Technical & Environmental Adminstration, Bo Asmus Kjeldgaard, posed for a photo op with Janette Sadikh-Khan outside the Velo-City venue.

The Danes, when speaking amongst themselves, affectionately referred to her as Chaka Khan. I suppose the name was tricky to remember, but she also rocked the stage in her keynote speech. If it was Sadikhansen, perhaps it would be eaiser to remember. Here they are on the mayor's offical bicycle, complete with his name, from Biomega and Chaka Khan on my shiny, new and very red Bullitt cargo bike.

AmerCanadian Delegation League Ride
On the morning before the conference started, The League and I took a large group of American delegates on a two-hour tour of the city. We met up on the City Hall Square bright and early.
Espresso man Ole served up coffee from his coffee bike for the jetlagged before departure. I was fearing a logistical nightmare of riding through the city in the rush-hour with 40 guests in tow but to my amazement it went smoothly and we arrived at the conference on time.
Niels Hoé Mr Parking
I enlisted the help of Niels, from the city's Bicycle Office, to help out with answering questions and highlighting the Bicycle Office's work.
American Ambassador to Denmark
We all stopped at the American Embassy to meet the American Ambassador, Laurie S. Fulton, who came out to greet her countrymen and women and to wish them luck with their advocacy work.

What a brilliant


l' homme au velo said...

I hope the Americans learned something about the overuse of those Plastic Hats and Fear Mongering. The Trek People always have stuff about always wear your Helmet Plastered all over their Bikes and also the Manual.

I got a Trek Bike over a Year ago and they had Stickers on the Bike and inside in the Manual telling People it is essential to Wear Plastic Hats at all times,but then they also make Plastic Hats dont they. The Manual is unbelievable for the Amount of Rubbish in it.

It has interesting Stuff once you get past all the Bumph about various bits and pieces.

I am glad Andrew Montague and Ciaron Fallon were there from DCC,I hope they will be able to take back some advice for those Councillors in Dublin who are Pro Motorist to Change Things for the better.They should be preparing for the Day when the Oil runs out or it gets so Expensive that it cannot be bought anymore and not in Ten Years when it maybe to late.

Instead of Building those Motorways they should be Concentrating on Bike Infrastructure and Public Transport in a big way and not Piecemeal.

Nice Pictures by the way.

BG said...

[cue Lee Greenwood here]

Kate S said...

Nice to see the smiling face of the Toronto Cyclists Union Executive Director Yvonne Bambrick in the second last photo of this post. :P

American said...

What do you mean with "americans"??

Anonymous said...

Trash helmets all you want but they can save your squash... a local rider was spared a serious head injury after a pack of rabbits ran in front of him and one got scared and reversed course causing him to crash. Broken clavicle and a cracked helmet.

or try hitting a deer ...


bottom line is that I will choose to wear one and teach my kids to do the same. It won't protect against every event but I have save myself a head injury back in 04.

Esmo said...

What a brilliant what?

Mike Shoup said...

What Esmo said...

What a brilliant... what?

It is lovely to see fellow Americans actively learning about and engaging in a thriving bicycle culture.

tedsfiles said...

I would just like to say that Janette Sadikh-Chaka Khan is a legend, and on the way to Jan-Gehl exultedness. Thank you.

miss sarah said...

So many a transportation guru has told me about Janette. A lady friend of mine said that I would definitely have an immediate girl-crush, had I ever heard Janette speak or got to meet her.


I really wish more municipalities were just willing to hire somebody good like her and let go. Leave it in the hands of experts to transform your city from disgusting SUVs and the fatties operating them, to bustling public spaces with active, smiling people.

I know this stuff only happens in pockets at first. But it's got to start somewhere...

Sam Goater said...

Great to see JSCK and representatives from our bike league there. I can also confirm that Mr Burke is a great guy/bike advocate, it was great to have some heavy weight industry support during the bike conference in DC, and he bought me a bunch of beers....cheers John!

@miss sarah, could there be a better pocket than NYC?

It is a good time to be in the states, with LaHood, a whole bunch of forward thinking mayors, and 'bike friendly communities' popping up all over the place. We have to do what we can now before Palin takes over...!