30 November 2010

Messages Getting Around

Copenhagen postman, doin' his thang. Rain or shine. Snow or sleet. The packages, letters and messages get out.

Just spent a brilliant day at the Copenhagen version of the TED.com talks - TEDx Copenhagen. What a wonderful experience. Great speakers and an information overload - in the positive sense. I was privileged to be invited to speak and I tackled the subject of The Culture of Fear relating to fear campaigns and helmet promotion.

Thanks to TED x Copenhagen for an enriching, fruitful day.

28 November 2010

Bike Share Battlin' - Dublin v Melbourne

Mike Rubbo get's stuck into the bike share issue once again. This time comparing Dublin's amazingly sucessful Dublin Bikes with Melbourne's suffering Melbourne Bike Share.

27 November 2010

The Bicycles Roll On

Problems for Cars and Public Transport But Not Bikes
With snow dumping down over Copenhagen, it's a joy to see the cars driving slower [see below] and you can bet your bottom snowflake we'll be sledding in the 20+ cm of the stuff later on today.

I loved reading the above article, warning about the snow. It can cause "problems for cars and public transport." No mention of bicycles. They're rolling past the window as I write this. It really is the quickest way to get around, even in the snow.

And here's a film from last winter showing how civilised the motorised traffic is when it's forced to drive slow.

26 November 2010

Sevilla - Velo-City 2011

I recieved the First Announcment for Velo-City 2011 in Sevilla today. I particularly like the statistics they highlight so proudly - and rightly so.

The organization of Velo-city 2011 have the great pleasure in sending the first announcement of this year's edition, which will take place in Seville, Spain. Seville has been chosen to host Velo-City 2011 on the grounds of the recent success of the development of the Director Plan for Bicycles in the City, as shown below:

2006 - 12   KM - 6000 BICYCLE USERS
2010 - 120 KM - 60,000 BICYCLE USERS

Therefore, Seville has become an example to those cities worldwide that did not have an established "bike as a means of transportation" culture, proving that a rapid and efficient transformation is feasible.

We are looking forward to welcoming you in Seville. You can check the first announcement by clicking on the following link.


This is Pure Garbage

Interiors: Work Station Redux
My office.

This is madness. The city in which I live - Frederiksberg - has sent a bill for 1635 kroner [€219] to me. I have a company and companies must now pay a so-called Business Garbage Fee [Erhvervsaffaldgebyr].

Firstly, it is rather simple to start companies in Denmark, which is a good-thing. Anyone can start a one-person company free of charge and it only takes a day or so. Many freelancers have a company and many people have a company in addition to being a wage-earner.

Most of these small companies are run from home, including mine. Meetings are held at cafés or at other peoples offices. When I work with other people, our companies bill each other for services rendered. In my case, if I am on a photo shoot or making a film, I am out on location. When I am at home, in my 'office' [pictured above], things are pretty much 'garbage-free'.

I simply don't generate any garbage in my company. Totally and purely environmentally-friendly.

I applied for dispensation to be excused from the fee. To my amazement, my application was rejected in an email recieved today:

Vi har gennemgået jeres ansøgning om fritagelse af erhvervsaffaldsgebyret.

Virksomheden opfylder IKKE kriterierne for fritagelse. Ansøgningen om fritagelse afvises derfor.

Frederiksberg Kommune skal i hver enkelt sag vurdere, om der er grundlag for fritagelse efter Affaldsbekendtgørelsens § 60, stk. 5 (ingen egentlig affaldsproduktion). Frederiksberg Kommune betragter som udgangspunkt alle aktive virksomheder som affaldsproducerende, idet det normalt ikke vil være muligt at drive virksomhed helt uden restprodukter eller kasserede produkter, som fx papir, plast, pap, glas, metal, madrester, tømte malerbøtter, sprayflasker, elektronisk udstyr, batterier eller træ. Det er derfor yderst få virksomheder, hvor kommunen vurderer, at der kan være grundlag for en fritagelse efter § 60, stk. 5, fx virksomheder lukket inden gebyropkrævningen i 2010.

Din virksomhed vil modtage girokort til opkrævning af erhvervsaffaldsgebyr i december 2010.

Denne afgørelse kan ikke påklages til anden administrativ myndighed, jf. affaldsbekendtgørelsens § 101. Hvis man mener, at kommunen ikke overholder gældende lovgivning, kan sagen indbringes for statsforvaltningen i den region, hvori kommunen er beliggende. Statsforvaltningen beslutter selv, om der er tilstrækkeligt grundlag for at rejse en tilsynssag, jf. § 48 a i den kommunale styrelseslov. Man kan også gå til domstolene med sin sag.

On the website it says that you can apply for exclusion if your company:
- Made less than 50,000 kroner in 2008.
- You can document that you handle your own garbage disposal.
- You don't generate garbage in your company.

But then in the rejection email it basically says that the City of Frederiksberg doesn't believe it's possible for a company NOT to generate garbage. Which makes the whole application process a joke. They are convinced that ALL companies generate garbage like paper, plastic, cardboard, glass, metal, foodstuffs, empty paint cans, spraycans, electronics, batteries or wood.

The email also says that you cannot appeal the decision. Madness.

I don't produce garbage. I have a printer with refillable cartridges so I don't dispose of those. I am environmentally aware enough to only print documents that I need and I don't throw them out. My entire business is internet-based or involves public speaking in locations outside my home. Again, no garbage produced by me there.

I don't produce any electronic waste, wood, spray cans, cardboard, plastic, metal, foodstuffs, empty paint cans or batteries. I don't own a car and use a bicycle to get around.

You know what I am?

I'm grade A, Mr. Fucking Environmentally-Friendly Company. Kissing the planet with the tongue, using a condom AND remembering to call her the next day.

And I can prove it.

I'm all for environmentally-minded fees but inflexible ones like this that slap the small businesses in the face are just ridiculous.

I called Hans from Larry vs Harry and suggested I move my business to his address in Copenhagen, and share his office, to escape from this madness. He said that it was the same in Copenhagen. And added that he learned that 70% [SEVENTY PERCENT] of the fee goes to administration. Christ.

Anybody in Copenhagen know of a county nearby that doesn't have these fees? I'd like to move my company there. Have bicycle, will travel.

Here's the Kafka-esque website from the City of Frederiksberg, in Danish.

Cyclists? "Run Them Down"

Well now this is good fun. ESPN's Tony Kornheiser on Cyclists: "RUN THEM DOWN"

Suck it up, buttercup.

23 November 2010

Budapest Bike Counter 100,000th Cyclist

Just got a mail from János László, president of the Hungarian Cyclist's Federation about a milestone reached yesterday in Budapest.

Five months ago they installed a bike counter on one of the streets. Yesterday, they reached the 100,000th cyclist. In the rain, too! Wonderful.

Here's a film of the moment. Our Hungarian friends are, understandably, very excited about this. And well they should be. Congratulations! Aron from Hungary Cycle Chic made the film.

Budapest is an inspiration to other cities just starting down the road to reestablising the bicycle on the urban landscape. Out of nowhere they now have about 5% modal share and they have an amazing group of people working hard at branding the bicycle as transport for Citizen Cyclists.

Check this tag for more inspiration from Budapest.

22 November 2010

Copenhagen Cycling in the Snow

Here's one of five short films we produced for the City of Copenhagen about a cycling life in Copenhagen. This one is about cycling in the winter. They're all short and sweet so City employees can show them at conferences or whatnot.

We've had this season's first snowfall and there's more forecast for this week so why not kickstart the season with some fine how-to films from the Danish capital.

Here's a film we made back in January - more of a music video length - which hammers home the fact that the bicycles keep on rolling through sleet and snow in Copenhagen.

80% of Copenhageners continue to ride through the winter.
Nørrebrogade Afternoon

21 November 2010

104 Years of Separated Bicycle Infrastructure

Fantastic film about the history of Dutch bicycle infrastructure. These people will hate it like the plague, but that doesn't really matter, does it?

19 November 2010

The Stevenage Dream

Update - March 03, 2013: Brilliant resumé about the history of Stevenage's cycle network and the visionary who planned over at Roads Were Not Built for Cars.

I found this in a book at the library a couple of years ago - can't remember the book - about Danish/Dutch style bicycle network in... Stevenage.

Yes. Stevenage.

Anyway, I believe the book was from the 60's or early 70's. From the photo, it looks promising. I haven't been to Stevenage recently so I was wondering if any of our British readers could tell us tales of promise from this hidden bicycle culture pearl.

What's it like in Stevenage these days? Is this intersection still around?

18 November 2010

Copenhagenize Goes to Rome

Multi-tasking Biker in Rome
I'm heading to Rome next week to speak at a conference hosted by the Royal Danish Embassy and the City of Rome.

If any of our Italian readers are in the neighbourhood, here are the details about the conference and how to register if you want to attend. It's in Italian. Here's the Danish version.

It would be great to see readers at the gig.

The conference is in association with the long-running exhibition; Dreams on Wheels - Danish Cycling Culture for Urban Sustainability.

Fredrik Clement - Photographer

I've known the work of Danish photographer Fredrik Clement for some time. I've been looking forward to chatting with him and yesterday I had the chance. He has an office next to Larry vs Harry's workshop and we talked about our mutual interest in photographing people on bicycles - whether cycle chic or racing cyclists. The whole aesthetic experience.

As you damn well know, you will rarely see lycra around this neck of the internet, but Fredrik's photographs are beautiful and brilliant. Above is Fabian Cancellara on a photo shoot Frederik did for racing team Saxo Bank in the Canary Islands.

Here's some other Saxo Bank cyclists from the same shoot.

Here's a photo from a series shot in Japan at a velodrome. I'm looking forward to reading the story of this shoot on Fredrik's blog.

On both the website and the blog there are great photos of all manner of sports, from American football to sumo.


17 November 2010

Berlin Onto Bicycles


Good news from Berlin, it seems. The Berlin Senate published the City Transport Development Plan [Stadtentwicklungsplan Verkehr] last Friday and, by 2025, it aims to:
- Increase cycling's modal split from 13% to 18%
- Increase public transport's share from 27% to 29%
- Decrease car traffic from 32% to 25%

Parking fees will rise drastically but public transport ticket prices will rise only modestly, in order to encourage people to leave the cars at home.

To promote more cycling the plan will involve rebuilding roads to provide more infrastructure for bicycles. There is also talk of a bike share programme to compete with the Deutsche Bahn's Call-a-Bike system.

It seems that the demotorization of western societies continues. The number of 18-24 year olds who own a car has fallen to 16% from 24%. This may because of unemployment, but it mirrors a tendency in other countries like Japan and the States.

Here's the article from Der Tagesspiegel.

Girls on Bikes - Berlin Interlude

Pedalling Peadiatricians

The European Academy of Paedeatric Societies had a big conference in Copenhagen last month. A bunch of the paedeatricians went for a bike ride, which was filmed. Here it is. Yes, it's a slow news day on Copenhagenize... :-)

"Go Bicycle Before It's Too Late" Poster Exhibition in Copenhagen

This Friday, Sanitov Studios is opening their "Go Bicycle Before It's Too Late" exhibition here in Copenhagen, featuring artwork from a variety of artists and designers who designed posters based on a single theme. I have a poster in the exhibition, too.

Sanitov Studio and Sons of Studio are happy to invite you to attend the Sanitov Studios exhibition, “Go Bicycle Before It’s Too Late”. The exhibition will present art and design related to sustainable urban movement.

The subject of sustainable living has received much attention over the last couple of years, and rightly so. Unfortunately, the issue is often presented exclusively in quantitative terms, with quotas, percentages and pie charts taking centre stage. Sustainability, however, is an aesthetic issue just as much as a statistical issue. To demonstrate this, Sanitov Studio has invited artists from Copenhagen, Barcelona, Tokyo, Montreal and London to interpret two of the main components of modern living – the urban landscape and human movement – from an aesthetical perspective. The exhibition will exhibit the artists’ interpretations and the audience is invited to take home replica-posters.

Sanitov Studio is a think-tank developing theories and designs related to urban living and sustainability. It is currently developing design concepts for bicycles, accessories and houseboats, which can accommodate the needs of urban dwellers. The exhibition will provide the first sneak-peak of the Sanitov Cargo-cycle 1. 0, a modern bicycle developed from a traditional Chinese cargo bicycle. Sanitov Studio exclusively develops theories and artifacts, which contribute to improving our urban environment both aesthetically and in terms of performance. As such, a big part of Sanitov’s repertoire is centered around collaborations with artists, designers and theoreticians.

Here's Copenhagenize/Mikael Colville-Andersen's version of the poster.

What: Go Bicycle Before It’s Too Late
When: 19-21 November
Opening: 19.11.2010 at 5.30 PM.
Where: Sons of Studio, Kødboderne 14

15 November 2010

World's Most Liveable Cities 2010

Upside Down Harbour
I was perusing Monocle Magazine's list of the World's Most Liveable Cities. Here's the top 20 for 2010.

01 Munich
02 Copenhagen
03 Zurich
04 Tokyo
05 Helsinki
06 Stockholm
07 Paris
08 Vienna
09 Melbourne
10 Madrid
11 Berlin
12 Sydney
13 Honolulu
14 Fukuoka
15 Geneva
16 Vancouver
17 Barcelona
18 Oslo
19 Montreal
20 Auckland

We'll always say that the bicycle is the most important and effective tool in our liveable toolbox. It's interesting to consider that all the cities in blue have respectable levels of Citizen Cyclists gracing their streets and cycle tracks.

The cities marked in orange are working at increasing levels of bicycle traffic. At the very least we hear a lot about them in internet buzz. The three remaining are probably thinking about it, considering it, working a bit at it, but we don't feel the vibrations too often on the bicycle culture Richter scale.

Point? Bicycles feature prominently on the urban landscape of liveable cities. They are an integral part of the fabric of many of these cities.

13 November 2010

Bresson's Velodrome Photos

Bresson Velodrome 02
I was revisiting Henri Cartier-Bresson in some photo books of his work and found these brilliant velodrome photographs from the late 1960's. Looks like classic Six Day Race stuff.
Bresson Velodrome 01
And for some Henri Cartier-Bresson/May 1968 Demonstration Cycle Chic, check this beautiful shot out...

12 November 2010

Bike Auction Cycle Chic

Recieved a great email from Healthy Transport Hobart, in Tasmania, this morning.

They held a bike auction to raise funds for their Bike Kitchen and did so with an air of Cycle Chic and tongue-in-cheek. They had some models show off the bikes to the crowd. Always great to see people trying to make bicycles look less geeky and sub-cultural and trying to improve the image of urban cycling.

Here's a fun video about the Bike Kitchen and the auction for inspiration.

Back to Prosperity

Back to Prosperity
Here's a cartoon from the US in the 1930's. Encouraging people to buy bicycles was seen as a way of kickstarting the economy in a time of economic crisis.

Will history repeat itself?

We've blogged previously about how the then Finance Minister in Denmark encouraged people to buy bicycles for the same reasons as in the cartoon.

11 November 2010

Danish Police Ignorance About Cycling

Found this mad little clip over at the On Our Own Two Wheels blog. Classic Danish satire from a kids programme on TV2 Zulu. "Crime Riders". Livin' life on the edge. They poke fun at over-regulation, cycling sub-cultures, Culture of Fear and about 42 other things. It's in Danish and English.


Last week I attended the National Cycling Conference in Fredericia. To my surprise, I discovered that the town was in Jutland, the Danish mainland. I thought it was on the island of Funen. So I got a geography lesson, too. I was invited by the Road Directorate and the Danish Cyclists Federation to take part in a debate with sociologist Anette Jerup Jørgensen and Mogens Knudsen, police officer and Superintendent in Copenhagen's Police Traffic Unit. Journalist Adam Hannestad from the newspaper Politiken was the moderator.

Anette started by discussing some her findings regarding the behavour of cycling citizens. In the blue corner, Mogens was representing the police's tradtionally staunch conservative line that cyclists should just obey every single rule. Period. I have since learned that this is perhaps more Mogens' personal line rather than the entire Danish police.

In the red corner, yours truly. I was on the other side of the scales, saying that traffic laws should be adjusted according to the needs and behaviour of our Citizen Cyclists. It was Fight Night in Fredericia! Although it was a light-hearted affair. I started my bit by revealing that in the week up to the debate I had recorded every traffic violation I had committed.

I had turned right at red lights 15 times. I rolled past the stop line at red lights 19 times. I started rolling before the light turned green 9 times. I forgot my lights twice. I rode down one-way streets 8 times. All in all the police missed out on fines totalling 26,500 kroner [€3530]. All these infractions were done at low speeds and without bothering any other cyclists or pedestrians and at no danger to myself. I'm a Crime Rider! Crazy!

Anette had some results showing that cyclists responded in a survey thus: 51.6% said they always obeyed the traffic laws. 46% said that they did most of the time 2.3% said that they never do.

This was a different picture to the one that the police (and media) like to paint. One that would give you the impression that cyclists are lawless rogues. I'll admit that it was a tough crowd for Mogens. A room filled with participants at the national cycling conference. But he took it with good humour.

I argued that in order to understand cyclists, it's important to look at pedestrians and their behaviour. To understand the human desire to get from A to B on the route with least resistance. Like on busy pedestrian streets. I highlighted that if cyclists and pedestrians bend the rules it is probably because they are merely reacting to an environment that isn't designed properly for them or their needs.

Mogens admitted that the Danish police never go on any study trips to other cities to speak with colleagues about their experience. They don't do any research and have little experience with keeping up to speed with traffic safety developments.

This entire discussion, I pointed out, was really a bit silly. It's a discussion that has taken place for 125 years. I drew their attention to the satirical piece written in 1934 by Robert Storm Petersen which mocks the perception of cyclists as lawless rogues and, ironically, mirrors the current climate if reading comments on newspaper articles is any indication.

Basically, if "clamping down on cyclists" hasn't worked for the past 125 years, it's quite silly to think that it's going to change.

There was no knockout on Fight Night in Fredericia, but the discussion and many points made by the crowd were hopefully beneficial in changing if not police behaviour then police perceptions about cyclists.

The Danish police are extraordinally influential regarding traffic laws. Even just lowering speed limits in cities is near impossible because the police will invariably reject most applications or proposals.

A more bicycle-friendly attitude from the Danish police would do wonders for improving the image of cycling and promoting the bicycle as transport.

Why Cycling (sometimes) Beats Public Transport

Bus Advert
I love public transport. The idea of it. I will take a train or a metro happily but personally I'm not fond of busses. It's just me. Fortunately the nature of bus advertising in Copenhagen is such that I prefer to be on a bicycle behind or alongside the bus...
No. They Don't.
Perhaps bus companies should put these kinds of ads inside the busses in order to attract customers.
Danish Advert

New Breasts, New Price
Text: 'new breasts. new price'
Contemplating Soup
And reserve the space for adverts outside the busses for... peas and stuff.

10 November 2010

Danes Doing Everything on Bicycles

The newspaper MetroXpress had an article today about a group of foreign students studying in Denmark who drew drawings about their impressions of Copenhagen and Denmark. A kind of cartoon response to the Muhammed cartoon saga.

Winnon Brunson Jr, above, is an American student at the University of Copenhagen. He explains the idea behind his drawing:

"The drawing shows the Danes' effectivness and ability to multi-task.

The man on the bicycle isn't just cycling - he's sitting on the toilet and taking a shower with the run-off water from the umbrella at the same time.

On the back of the bike is his child who is providing a bit of green energy from a windmill.

Danes can manage many different things with very little time and space - that's what the drawing hopes to express.

But Copenhagen is also a very environmentally-friendly city where the citizens take part in sustainability. That has really amazed me.

The thinking is very progressive and very unique in a global perspective. Otherwise the Danes, in the course of my two months here, have proved to be very straightforward and open people..."

Not a bad spot of branding of this city.

The group of students have been chosen as youth ambassadors for Denmark and are participating in a talent programme with Youth GWA.

09 November 2010

The Evil Deity

After about a month of studying cases, I put to my first term torts students a couple of hypothetical questions. The first concerns an ‘evil deity.’ ‘Suppose,’ I ask my students, ‘such a deity were to appear to you, as president of this country or as controller of our legal system, and offer a gift, a boon, which would make life more pleasant, more enjoyable than it is today. The gift can be anything you want — be as idealistic, or as obscene, or as greedy as you wish — except that it cannot save lives.’ Later I will drop even that requirement. ‘The evil deity suggests that he can deliver this gift in exchange for one thing … the lives of one thousand young men and women picked by him at random who will each year die horrible deaths.’

When I ask, ‘Would you accept?’ my students almost uniformly answer, ‘No.’ Indeed, they are shocked that one could even ask the question. I then ask, quietly, what the difference is between this gift and the automobile, which takes some fifty-five thousand lives each year.

– Guido Calabresi, Ideals, Beliefs, Attitudes, and the Law, 1985

Thanks to Alberto for this.

08 November 2010

Helsinki 1937

Helsinki Bicycle Infrastructure Network 1937
When I was in Helsinki to give a talk a couple of months ago I also had a meeting with the City's bicycle planners and urban planners at their offices. They are keen to transform the city into a more bicycle-friendly area.

There is a network of bicycle infrastructure but most of it is hopelessly out of date and not designed particularly well. There is a respectable number of cyclists using it, especially now what with the renaissance of the bicycle. But challenges lay ahead.

I was interested to hear that the city used to have a fine network of bicycle infrastructure back in the day. My colleagues at the City's bicycle office sent me these two maps, both dating from 1937. The map above shows the bicycle infrastructure marked in red. A lot of it mirroring Copenhagen's cycle tracks, like this stretch in 1955. Tracks on either side of the street along the main arteries.
Helsinki Bicycle Counts - 1937
This map shows a bicycle count done in 1937. It's not clear from looking at the map, but the City's bicycle office tells me that the thickest red lines mean 10,000 cyclists a day. Helsinki was a great deal smaller in 1937 than it is now, so those numbers are impressive.

Here's hoping we can get Helsinki back on (the cycle) track. Until then, here's some Helsinki Cycle Chic...

06 November 2010

City of Cyclists

Got sent a couple of videos from Eneko.

05 November 2010

Health Warnings on Cars - The Ball is Rolling

Driving can seriously harm you and others around you
Readers may recall Copenhagenize's call for logical campaigns - why not legislation - for health warning on cars, like the ones we see on cigarette packets.

This features in the talk I give in many cities: Four Goals for Promoting Urban Cycling. It always gets a laugh and often gets a mention in the press coverage of the talks.

You can then imagine my thrill upon recieving the following photo from our reader Marián, in the Czech Republic.
Driving Harms You and Your Environment

Look at that. What a billboard. Right there on the left, slapped bravely and boldly onto a gridlock photo is the health warning label for the new millenium. It reads, in Czech,

"Driving a car harms you and your environment"

Brilliant. Okay, it's a Czech Bicycle Industry advert at the Bike Brno 2010 Expo and not a government campaign but hey... this is a brilliant start. And much needed in the Czech Republic. Prague is a black hole on the map regarding urban cycling. Bicycles are returning to the strangest cities these days, but Prague hardly registers on the map.

It's really quite bizarre.
Health Warning for Cars
Anyway, when I was in the States last year I saw this at Office Depot - let's get producing them.

04 November 2010

Free Hugs (Sorry, not for drivers)

We posted last year and again recently about the German 'Brain on, Motor Off' that stepped confidently over the line and started to make it socially unacceptable to drive cars in our cities.

The campaign this year has wrapped up with a film in the now well-established Public Hugging genre. The sign says "Free Hugs* (*sorry, not for drivers)" and was filmed in all the cities that took part in the campaign.

As we wrote previously, the Kopf an, motor aus campaign has been a massive success in changing attitudes and behaviour.

01 November 2010


Ha.... completely forgot about this film I made a couple of years ago.

Oslo's Shitty Busses

Oh crap. Busses in Oslo are powered by human waste.

Not so Fine Metro Fine

Prices for public transport in Copenhagen are generally regarded as being extremely high. Generally as well as compared to other European cities. It's a subject that is often debated but there is rarely any action.

This post, however, is not about the fares but rather about the inflexibility of Metro conductors. Earlier this year I was in Mexico City and, upon arriving home, I dutifully purchased a Metro ticket from the machine at Copenhagen Airport.

I had hardly slept for almost 22 hours and was just looking forward to get home to the kids. A conductor came on board - they do spot checks here - and I sleepily presented him with my ticket.

He asked which station I was getting off at and I replied. He told me that my ticket was only two zones and not the required three. I apologised and explained that I must have pressed the wrong field on the touch screen at the airport after a long flight.

He didn't seem to care much and stated that he would have to give me a ticket for travelling without a ticket. This surprised me and I argued that I did have a ticket - I merely bought the wrong one by mistake. He didn't seem to see the difference.

I'm sitting there in a suit so while I probably looked tired I certainly don't think I looked like a rabblerousing fare-dodger. I suggested that I was more than happy to hop off the train at the next stop to buy a new ticket but he was not having it. I was polite.

He proceeded to write out his ticket. To my amazement. I have just recieved a letter from the Metro company - I've forgotten to pay the fine so they sent a reminder - and after having forgotten about the episode I was reminded about it.

I don't see how it is fair that a train/metro company hands out tickets for 600 kroner [€80 / $112] to a passenger who merely bought a ticket with the wrong zones and who offered politely to hop right off the train to fix the problem.

It's not exactly good marketing or customer service either. If a passenger is caught without a ticket - sure... give them a fine. If a person is rude and abusive when made aware that they have a ticket with the wrong zones - sure... give them a fine. There should, however, be a margin for human error.

And don't even get me started on the fact that all the local trains in Copenhagen now allow bicycles for FREE, but the Copenhagen Metro doesn't. I've heard from several people who have thought that the free bicycle transport extended to the Metro. Nor is there any visible campaign informing customers that Metro passengers with bicycles must buy a ticket. Even on their website you have to dig quite deep to get a clear answer. I wonder how many tickets have been handed out by Metro conductors because of this lack of communication (and willingness to promote bicycle traffic)? Maybe there is good money to be made?

Copenhagen Metro's website.

Just had a tweet from Rob who wrote:
"Harsh! Had similar things happen but pleaded innocent 'your system is so complicated' stupid English guy & it seems to work!"

Great idea! :-)

Has anyone else had unfortunate experiences with getting fined on the Copenhagen Metro? Add them to the comments.

Double Diamond

Interesting film from Scotland. Double-Diamond. A little cup of aestheticism for your Monday morning.

Working with the book Besoin de Vélo by French writer Paul Fournel, Double Diamond takes us through the physical and philosophical landscape of a cyclist using voiceover, idiosyncratic filming and cycle sound recording techniques against the backdrop of the Scottish landscape to transport us into a cycling world both familiar and unfamiliar. Filmed across Scotland from Dumfries to Sutherland the video includes passages of fact, illusion and speculation referring en route to Scotland's long association with the bicycle, from Kirkpatrick Macmillan to Robert Millar, Graham Obree and Chris Hoy.