On Ye’r Bike

CyclingHow Bicycles are Going to Come into Their Own

The Danish government is proud of its capital. Copenhagen is world famous for its biking culture and now officially the first Bike City in the World. Last year, it was also voted the ‘Best city for cyclists’ and the ‘World’s most liveable city’. The Danes are well known for their love of cycling and cities all around the world are now looking at ways to copy this phenomenon. It really is biking heaven for the cyclist in Copenhagen with over 390 kilometres of designated bike lanes.

Thousand of Danes go to work or school by bicycle every day. In this city, if you don’t ride a bike you are likely to feel out of place.

Message for other cities?

The Cycling Embassy of Denmark has a mission to encourage cycling all over the world.

There are simple messages here:

– Many people’s journey are relatively short enough to be cycled;
– Cycling keeps you fit
– Cycling is cheap
– Cycling avoid polluting the atmosphere.

Simple stuff.

Cycling could become more popular – even trendy – as local authorities and governments recognize the benefit. Also another factor may come into play – oil prices. As cheap oil becomes scarce, the price of driving to work will go up.

In time, when people move towards grouping together in small communities – see Transition Communities – bikes will become the main form of transport.

Cyclists in CopenhagenBike ‘nut’ Jimmy mad about bikes

Jimmy Bargisen and his girlfriend have about 15 bikes. He is a bike messenger and co-owner of a bike shop, Track Bike Shop, and she is a former bike messenger – so bikes are an inevitable part of their life, according to a story in the Cycling Embassy of Denmark.

“I cover 80-150 kilometers on my bike every day. Most of it is during my work hours – but I use my bike all the time, wherever I am going. I only go by car if the distance is very long – and someone offers me a ride,” says Jimmy.

Daily exercise is important for Jimmy. He’s addicted to it. So when he hurt his hand and could not ride a bike for some time, he did not jump on the bus – he went on his roller skates. His pregnant girlfriend shares the attitude: She plans on riding her bike during her pregnancy as much as possible.

Jimmy often travels abroad and participates in competitions for bike messengers. He likes the social element, the gathering of his colleagues from all over the world. And his results are remarkable – he has won numerous titles of championships for bike messengers around the world.

“I like my job as a messenger, and I can see myself growing old in this job. In New York, I have seen messengers in their 60s – so I know it is possible,” he says.

However, Jimmy is worried about the air that he breathes as a bike messenger in the city.
He worries about what the air pollution does to his health. Hence he says that the next time he visits his doctor, he wants a check on his lungs.

Copenhagen cycling promo

Copenhagen City of Cyclists from Copenhagen City of Cyclists on Vimeo.

Photos – Courtesy of the Cycling Embassy of Denmark

Resources to take action

Cycling to keep fit

Check out Lance Armstrong’s website, LiveStrong.com for tips on keeping fit by cycling.

Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation
Why ride a bicycle?
Bicycling Magazine
African Bicycle Network

Lucas Brunelle – For the mad cyclists who takes cycling to the limits.

Deos this help of hinder the cycling movement? You be the judge.