Showing posts with label bike shop. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bike shop. Show all posts

14 February 2014

Malmö Opens Fantastic Bike&Ride Parking at Central Station

13 Février 2014Copenhagenize Design Company was pleased to have been invited across the Øresund to the grand opening of the City of Malmö's brand new Bike&Ride parking facility at the central station. On a sunny morning, the ceremonial ribbon - strung between two cargo bikes - was cut. Malmö is Sweden's leading bicycle city - so much so that it features in the Top 20 on The Copenhagenize Index of Bicycle Friendly Cities. It is a premier bicycle city with around 30% of the population using bicycles each day to go to work or education.

This brand-new Bike&Ride facility will host more than 1,500 bikes and there are even - be still our hearts - dedicated spaces for cargo bikes. There are loads of details; two air pumps, a bike shop, lockers, numerous screens showing train departure and arrival times, restrooms, a lounge if you have to wait for the train. There is even a single shower for the odd "cyclist" who might fancy a spandex ride. Generally, the facility is geared towards the Citizen Cyclist population of the country's third largest city.


Parking is free at Bike&Ride and there is 24/7 access. It is patrolled by station guards throughout the day. 

There is, however, a separate section for those who want some extra protection. A secure parking area for 700 bicycles based on a subscription service. It costs 80 kroner a month and you get a chip card. Although if you have a transit card, you can combine it with that.

There are numbers painted on the floor to help users remember where they parked so they don't have to wander around looking for a black bicycle in a sea of black bicycles. All of it with a fresh orange colour and cool, Nordic graphic design.

One great detail is the height of the bars in the cargo bike area. Too low for regular bikes to be leaned against them.

Our über intern Dennis, who studies at the University of Utrecht, was impressed with the second tier bike racks. Excellent ease of use, he says. There is a low bar on them to lock your bike to and they require little effort to lift up and put into place.


Access to the secure parking area is, of course, wide enough for cargo bikes, too.

One of the waiting areas, with water fountain.

The Bike&Ride is located under the bus station and connects directly with the train platforms. It's partially underground but it is lovely and bright because of excellent lighting and windows and glass doors. 

All the signs, pictograms and colours (orange and green) used make the facility attractive and user-friendly. We mustn't forget to highlight how important it is to use architecture and design to make sure facilities fit the users. 


In comparison, the Bike&Ride parking located at Hyllie Station on the outskirts of Malmö that opened in 2010 seems less appealing even if it has the same facilities. 

The upper level of bike parking is hardly used because you have to use a set of stairs with a ramp and the connection to the platforms is not at all direct. In the daily routine of a commuter, anything that makes it more inconvenient, however detailed, will not encourage them to consider changing their mode of transport. A2Bism is what we've always called it and Hyllie Station lacks that.

Let's hurry up and get back to the new facility at Malmö Central. That's the main focus here. The City has proved how serious it is about improving conditions for cycling in an already exemplary cycling city. Their new Bike&Ride should embarrass the City of Copenhagen and they should be incredibly proud of it.
Another 200 parking spaces are located outside, under a XIX century style roof. These spots are closer to the train station but, above all, they are important for the image of cycling. The City wanted to make sure that some bicycles remained outside the station. You don't want to remove them all. It's still important for everyone passing by to remember that Malmö is a bicycle city.

Malmö has a vibrant bicycle culture and, in April, the City will recieve the results of a massive survey dealing with transport habits and we will know how the modal share of cyclists has changed over the last few years. Gathering data is something the Danes and the Swedes take very seriously.
DSC_0059The bike shop called Bicycle Clinic.

The ticket machines located conveniently at the bicycle parking.

While we're dishing out love for Malmö here on Valentine's Day, we should also recall their brilliant behaviour change campaign - No Ridiculous Car Trips.

Heja Malmö! 

Here's what the parking around Malmö Central looked like until recently:
Malmö Central Station Malmö Train Station Parking
The Bicycle Island

02 November 2011

Ferrara's Vintage Bicycle Fleet

The Bicycles of Ferrara (54)
Many things amazed me about visiting Ferrara, Italy last week. It's a brilliant cycling city with 30% modal share. They don't have a congestion charge, they have a congestion BAN. You pay to get into the city centre if you have stuff to deliver and you can have a resident's permit if you live inside the old city walls. But other than that it's a no-drive zone. There are eight locations with cameras tracking number plates and if you're in there without a permit you get sent a €100 fine.

I've recently blogged about the amazing amount of elderly bicycle users in the city. Both the women as well as the gentlemen - over at Cycle Chic. I've never seen so many bicycle users over 'a certain age' in one place anywhere in the world.

Another thing that kept astounding me was the bicycles. Easily 80% of the bicycles ridden in the city are vintage. The bike racks outside the train station alone must be the greatest gathering of vintage bikes in one spot on the planet. Each and every day of the year. Seriously, if you're into vintage bicycles this is where you go to drool. I have no idea how to even angle this blogpost into any form of structure.

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Rod brakes. Everywhere. Easily 40-50% of the bicycles have them. Brilliant.
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It ain't just vintage bicycles by known brands like Bianchi. I spotted dozens of brands I've never heard of and am unable to google.

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Piaggio bicycle seat. Wider than thou.

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Retro (style) skirtguards and front/back racks and skirtguards abound in Ferrara.

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I'm quite sure I had grips like these as a kids. I'm also quite sure I miss them terribly.

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Don't even get me started on the chainguards.

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The number and style of the mini-bikes in the city would have Copenhagen fashionistas sobbing into their Gucci scarves.

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Like in any mainstream bicycle culture, personalisation is at a premium.

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Vintage head badges. Sigh.

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Anyone know what that rubber thing is? I saw them on loads of bicycles.

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I found a cool bike shop - mostly a repair shop but with vintage, restored bikes for sale in the window. A 1920 Raleigh with original components anyone? €1000.

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A Vicini ladies bicycle with toolbag - €450.

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A second world war British army bike with original leather straps for carrying the rifle. €400.

The girl who owns the bike shop was cool and we had a chat about all the bikes. I asked her - and at several other bike shops - where it was possible to buy vintage bikes like the ones on the street. Nobody knew. The girl said that it was hard to find them. "People don't sell them often", she said with a shrug. "They just like them too much." When I tried to press her a bit on the subject she shrugged again. "I don't think about bikes when I'm off work. I have other interests." Brilliant. She is a bike shop owner and mechanic who lovingly restores vintage beauties but bikes are not her whole life. I loved that comment.

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Her shop was filled with vintage parts, too. Lying around in baskets. I asked if some of them were for sale but she wasn't keen. "I need them to repair the old bikes in the city", she said rather matter of factly.

A few bits and pieces were on sale she told me.
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Wheel locks and bells.

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Dynamo motors, headlamps and head badges.

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I spotted this lifting handle on one of the vintage bicycles for sale. She said they used to be normal on Italian bikes but hard to find these days. No, it wasn't for sale. You may remember this lifting handle that used to be standard on Swedish and Danish bikes back in the day.

I did purchase a newspaper carrier for the handlebars from the shop... photos coming as soon as it is installed on my bicycle.

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And, rather appropriately given the fact I was attending a CycleLogisitics meeting, a cargo bike selling nuts.

See the whole photo set Ferrara's Vintage Bicycles on Flickr.

27 August 2010

My 40 Neighbourhood Bike Shops

View Bike Shops in My Neighbourhood in a larger map

Addendum: 23 December 2013: The original count was 27, but I've been discovering more and more bike shops. I will now put the number at 40+.

A while back I counted the number of bike shops in my neighbourhood - because somebody asked, not because I wanted to - and I came up with 22. Or around there.

I figured I'd whip up a map to show it visually. I live in the middle of that forest of placemarks. All the shops featured are under 7 minutes journey by bike from my front door.

On the map there are 27 bike shops, and while two of them are supermarkets that have a large selection of bikes and accessories, the rest are working bike shops for repairs and sales. Some are small shops that concentrate on repairs, some are larger with a bigger selection of bikes to buy.

I'm quite sure I've missed some - or even am unware of some along some of the streets leading away from the city. And this is just my neighourhood of Frederiksberg.

Most people find the shop they like the most and stick with it. It's a cuthroat business. Locals all have an opinion about their local shops. "He's too expensive..." "He's good and the service is fast.." "He's grumpy..."

This mouth-to-mouth knowledge sharing is incredibly important to Copenhageners. When you move to a new neighbourhood, you need to find supermarkets, corner shops and bike repair shops before you need to know anything else.

21 December 2009

Bike Shops Selling Fireworks

Bicycle Fireworks
Here's a quirky thing in our bicycle culture here in Denmark. It's no surprise that January and February are the slowest months for the business of selling bicycles.

What many - and I mean many - bike shops do is transform themselves into fireworks shops.

In Denmark you're only allowed to sell fireworks between December 1 - 31 each year, in the run up to New Year's Eve. Bike shops are major sellers of the gear, like this one in the photo.

Not only are January and Feburary slow months, there is also tough competition. A couple of years ago I counted 27 bike shops in my neighbourhood - with a 7 minute bike ride from my flat. That number is now 40+, as I've discovered more and more.

Most bike shops are small and earn their wage repairing bicycles, more than selling them. In January and February, even though 80% of Copenhageners cycle all winter, there are fewer people needing repairs.

An innovative, unique way to muscle up the sales figures before the January drought.

By all accounts, it's a similar story in the Netherlands and Belgium at this time of year. With all that said, me and the kids buy our fireworks at a local paint shop, who also morph themselves into a fireworks shop for the season.