31 March 2011

Bicycle Pump at Copenhagen Airport

There was a tweet today from a gentleman named Ben Hammersley on Twitter:
The bicycle pump in Copenhagen airport's baggage hall is an epic sign of civilization. Cheers me up every time.

So here's a photo we found of it via azubcz on Picasa. It's one of those details in Copenhagen's bicycle culture that we just haven't gotten around to featuring. So here's the perfect opportunity.

Used for bicycles, of course, but many prams have chunky tires as well and I've used it when arriving home with a pram, to top up the air for the journey home on the Metro.

It's all in the details.

Bike Sharing Conference in Prague

Barcelona 3 Friends_1
One more conference mention today. The OBIS bike share conference takes place in Prague on June 21, 2011. Optimising Bike Sharing in European Cities is the theme. Ironically, it's in Prague, that black hole of bicycle culture in Europe. But hey.

All OBIS experts will share the project results in presentations and discussions at the final conference in Prague on 21st June 2011. The central result of the project – the manual – will be presented and shared at this conference.

I'm looking forward to seeing the central result of the conference.

Bicycle Anthropology - Academically Speaking

I was kindly invited to speak at an AAA conference later this year. No... not the American Automobile Association... that would be weird and unlikely. It's the American Anthropological Association we're talking about here.

Regrettably, I am unable to attend but I find the subject for their annual conference to be fascinating. So here's the conference description and here's a link for a Call for Papers. I, for one, am certainly looking forward to hearing about some of the content from the conference in November.

Situated Mobilities: Transport, movement and risk in cross-cultural perspective

Panel Organizers: Professor Hastings Donnan and Professor Fiona Magowan, Queen’s University, Belfast

Chosen modes of transport and their relationships to place have wide-ranging ramifications for the ways in which people assess, negotiate and engage with practices and regulations of moving within and between different kinds of environments and countries.

Factors such as timing, decision-making, speed and propensities for risk-taking or risk aversion affect how road users perceive, interpret and embody the rules and practices of moving around familiar and unfamiliar locales. How road users adapt to different road conditions and vehicular technologies can create conflicting perceptions of moving between one road user and another, raising questions about how effectively people can assimilate contradictory information and process perceptions of moving between vehicular forms and contexts and between one country and another. Theories of situated learning have significantly advanced our understanding of the relationships between propositional knowledge and embodied practices that require skill, articulation, compliance and knowledge transfer (see Polanyi 1958; Lave and Wenger 1991: Wenger 1998).

Yet, learning to move in official or unofficial ways is not straighforward as country-specific regulations and expectations differ widely, invariably involving transformations of practice and experience.

This panel invites contributors to explore the relationships between risk-taking, risk avoidance and conformity within and between countries in the following ways: according to types of transport chosen; in interactions between vehicular and non-vehicular traffic; in official and unofficial texts and practices; in the differential effects of moving as learners, migrants, the elderly, those with impaired mobility or as professionals. The panel seeks to problematise the situatedness of mobility around the following questions:

- How are everyday perceptions, practices and technologies of mobility affected by cultural, social and material dimensions of place?
- What factors are key in facilitating, incentivising and directing flows of transport in everyday life? How effective are they?
- How do the practices of moving with others whether by plane, bus, rail, car generate new senses of self and other?
- How do road users perpetuate, negotiate, or contest official and unofficial discourses of movement and practice within their own or other cultures?
- How do perceptions of risk change when moving in unfamiliar places and cultures?
- What kinds of processes and practices underpin risk-taking and risk avoidance within and across different forms of mobility?
- How effective are national and international regulations in managing risk?
- Can we speak of national mobilities? What would this mean and how might their insights inform government policy?

30 March 2011

Classic Copenhagen

Father and child
This is beautiful. Sandra from the Classic Copenhagen blog uploaded this to Flickr today. A father and child holding hands (or fingers) at a red light. On a bicycle, of course.

Cargo mover
And then she posted this one. Cargo Mover. As she writes on her Flickr page, "And no one raises an eyebrow. That's Copenhagen for you."

Indeed, the only people noticing it would be checking to see how the guy tied it onto the bike - for future reference - rather than thinking "wow! how wild!"

BikeWeek in Perth

I recieved an email from the DoT in Perth, Australia this morning, which included these photos from the recent Cycle Instead Bike Week in the city. The DoT had borrowed some of my cycling films, including the City of Cyclists music video, which played in a loop all week on the screen at top right. This little PSA also ran:

The Bike Week has been running for a quarter of a century. From what I understand, Perth - like Sydney - has a more positive attitude towards bicycles and has none of the crackdowns on cyclists they have in Melbourne. Certainly not on the same scale, anyway.

And you can't have a bike week without a spot of Cycle Chicishness, now can you.

There was also a Tweed Ride. Here's a funky little film from it and there are a couple more on this website.

29 March 2011

Berlin Bicycle Traffic Lights

Berlin Bike Light
What a brilliant cycling city, Berlin. Here are some lovely bicycle traffic light shots from the city. The heart at the top is something I've seen here in Copenhagen, too. The yellow light was a star and the green was a moon.
Berlin Bicycle Traffic Light

Berlin Bicycle Traffic Light (2)

25 March 2011

Australia: The Car Industry Strikes Back

It's been awhile since we've had a good dose of The Car Industry Strikes Back. Fortunately, one of our readers, Stephen, sent us a link to this beauty on twitter. It's an advert from Australia. A company called NRMA who sell car insurance and provide roadside assistance, et al.

This is just fantastic. It says it all. All of this global focus on not only bicycles but public transport, pedestrianiam and other tools for re-building liveable cities are making these people nervous. So nervous that they made an advert trying to hard-sell urban automobile culture.

You may have noticed that this blog is rather bicycle-oriented so here's a photographic response - using photos from our archives - of how all the situations above can be solved with human-powered transport. Off we go...

Situation: The man with the table:
Wide Bike Lanes

Move It 

Situation: People in costumes at a busstop.

Nothing wrong with taking a bus, but at 0:58 of the City of Cyclists video there's a shot of kids in a cargo bike wearing costumes heading to a party.

Situation: Father and son going to rugby practice:
Football Planet in Copenhagen
I had a load of other football training gear on my bicycle, too.

Situation: High heeled shoes:
Basket Check
Red Light People
Or the Bicycle & High Heels tag over at Copenhagen Cycle Chic.

Situation: Bus passengers:
Christiania Bike Couple
Nothing wrong with public transport. But here's a photo of busses and a cargo bike.

Situation: Leaf blower:
Autumn Ride
The ad agency who developed this advert are already getting kind of desperate and they're only 14 seconds into their silly ad.

Situation: The man with the umbrella:
Well-Dressed Umbrella Cycling
Apparently the NRMA advocate high-speed driving in urban areas as well as dangerous driving like buzzing the curb. Sooo last century.

There are loads more bicycle and umbrellas with this tag over at Cycle Chic. If we're sticking to the theme, here's a video of an umbrella getting blown the wrong way.

Situation: Science project falling.
Okay, it ain't a science project, but it could be. There are loads of cargo photos in the Copenhagenize Cargo Bike set on Flickr. (Boy, is this ever an easy blogpost.)

Situation: Shopping bag breaking with a dog.
Find the Dog
Loads of shopping ... and a dog. Don't forget the "40 photographs of dogs and bicycles in 6 countries" over at Cycle Chic.

Situation: Man with the shopping cart carrying something.
Yep. Too easy. Once again, allow me to refer you to the Cargo Bike set on Flickr.

More Shopping on Bikes
Snowstorm Christmas Shopping - Winter Cycling in Copenhagen

Carry on in Copenhagen

Shop by Bicycle


Second Hand Transport

Cycling Shopaholic

23 March 2011

Berlin - Metromobile - VeloBerlin

Berlin Interlude
I'm going to Berlin tomorrow to give a keynote speech at the VeloBerlin bike fair - more specifically, the Metromobile conference on Friday.

Looking forward to returning to Berlin - a city that I've visited often and that holds a special place in my heart.

Question for Berliners... where's a good place to catch some photographs of Citizen Cyclists in the city? Mitte, Prenzlauerberg, oder?

I'm staying on Ku'damm. Any action in that area? Thanks in advance for any help.

"Bike Lift" for Citizen Cyclists

Bike Handle 001
One of the great ideas in bicycle design that has sadly, largely, disappeared. Once standard on many bicycles, this handle helped the bicycle user lift the bike up stairs, over curbs (if laden with shopping) or any number of similar situation. It appears that it was particularly popular on Swedish bicycles.

Attached to the downtube, the handle is at a perfect position for a well-balanced lift. I've tried it.
Bike Handle 002
While something like the hook on the back rack is still around, you don't see this simple, practical accessory anymore, not even on bicycles in mainstream bicycle culture. A fact that we lament.

But here it is. Let's see which bike brand is the first to reestablish the bike lift handle on newer models. The race is on.

The Bikeman The Movie

The Bikeman
We blogged about The Bikeman last year on this post right here.

Now here's The Bikeman - The Movie!

I'm nearing completion of a photobook featuring 500 photographs of Copenhagen Cargo Bike Life and all the ways the cargo bike, trailers and trikes are used in a 21st Century city.

I'll keep you posted when it's available.

19 March 2011

Bicycles and Fighter Jets

Saw this photo in a Danish newspaper, Politiken, this morning. The Danish air force sent F-16 jets to Sicily today and this photo shows one of the planes being prepared for duty. I love that there are two classic Danish short john bicycles parked next to them. The bicycle used when maintaining expensive fighter jets.

Six F-16s fly off this morning to take part in the global push to battle a dictator who is slaughtering civilians... No... not Yemen, silly! They only have sand and dead civilians! We mean Libya, of course. They have oil and dead civilians. So off we go to war.

17 March 2011

Escaping the Tsunami on Her Bicycle

83 year-old woman outraced the tsunami on her bicycle. Amazing.

Via @pickledtreats on Twitter.

16 March 2011

Rye Bread Motor

Climate Car Cards
I'm sure many readers will remember playing card games like this one, particularly if you live in Europe. There were variations on the theme but cars were the main one. You competed with a friend or friends to see who could win each round by trumping the others' cards with more horsepower or top speed or price, etc.

The City of Copenhagen (if I recall correctly) included a set of updated cars in 2009, included in a magazine and called Climate Car Cards. The theme was winning each round with the most environmentally friendly vehicle.

A Christiania Bike was featured on one of the cards. It must have the win-all card.

It reads as follows:

Type: Cargo bike for child transport
0-100 km/h: Unlikely
Horsepower: Varies
Top speed: Circa 30 km/h
Range: Depends on the motor
Recharging time: 6-7 hours sleep
Energy source: Rye bread
Motor: Rye bread motor (it's an Danish expression that a bicycle has a "rye bread motor")
Launched: 1984
Price: 11,200 kroner
C02 emissions: 0 gram/km

15 March 2011

Bicycle Freedom in Japan and Beyond

At the core of everything we do here at Copenhagenize lies a simple celebration of the bicycle in every form. Of the bicycle as a liberating transport form for broken cities. Of the bicycle as the most effective form of indepedent mobility. Of the bicycle's historical role as liberator of the working classes and of women. Of the bicycle's role in impoverished nations in Africa and beyond.

Everything we do here on the blog and, more specifically, at our company is geared towards bringing the celebratory, liberating qualities of the bicycle to societies that once knew them but that have lost touch with them.

We love the bicycle, we love the bicycle squeaking cheerfully under the asses of Citizen Cyclists everywhere and we salute the bicycle's role in the development of our societies for the past 125 odd years. We embrace it. We celebrate it.

This is a man carrying goods on a bicycle after the Americans bombed Nagasaki with an atomic bomb in 1945. As ever, the bicycle fulfills it's role as an integral tool. A workhorse. A functional and practical transport form. In the case of this man, it is assisting him in transporting what we can only guess are incredibly important goods.

By showing photos of the bicycle's role in the bleak landscape of the hardest hit regions of the proud nation of Japan in this previous article we are, in a seemingly endless hour of sorrow, placing positive focus firmly on the role of the bicycle. In the unfathomably ravaged terrain with the air filled with not only the stench of destruction and death but also the thick, heavy sensation of despair, we are proud to show how citizens of are using the bicycle. To search for loved ones. To gather the remnants of their belongings. To get home to their family in lieu of public transport or cars. The photos show the how versatile the bicycle is. How timeless it's role in society is. How it assists citizens in their darkest hour. An hour that most of us can never imagine.

A man salvages a bicycle after the tragic earthquake in Concepcion, Chile in 2010. The bicycle, apparently, is regarded as a vital item to salvage in the destroyed city.

More photos of the bicycle's role in the aftermath of the Chilean earthquake.

Three photos of the bicycle's role in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Indonesia in 2004.

A photo of a Chinese man donating money to help the victims of the Japanese catastrophe.

The bicycle's role is integral not only in areas stricken by natural catastrophe. Here are North Koreans packing a load of used bicycles at the port in Maizuru, Japan on October 13, 2006 after the Japanese government adopted trade sanctions against North Korea after the country declared it had done nuclear testing of a device on October 9, 2006.

The bicycles went off to North Korea to serve their indispensible role in a dictatorship, clearly regarded as important goods to transport back in light of the sanctions.

It's not always a celebration. This Japanese bicycle is so symbolic that a simple photo like this is worthy of a news agency's photographer's attention.

The bicycle contributes to the storytelling of these photographs, too. Not always positive. At left: a German bicycle battalion in the Great War going off to kill. Middle: the charred remains of a boy and his bicycle in Dresden, Germany after the Allied bombing. At right: More recently, a couple killed by a sniper in Sarajevo.

Who can forget the famous photograph by Annie Liebowitz of the bicycle and bloodstains of a boy killed by a sniper in Sarajevo.

Let us return, shall we, to the bicycle as a symbol of hope?

Fietser in Moerdijk, watersnoodramp - 1953
Marc from Amsterdamize has a Flickr set about the tragic 1953 floods in the Netherlands, where the bicycle - like in Japan - played an integral role.

And let us return to Japan where, as these words are being written, the bicycle once again proves its worth, assists where assistance is needed and provides citizens with transport when they need it most.

Long live the bicycle and whatever small role it can play to help the Japanese people.