It has to be said that we here at Copenhagen Cycle Chic are rather overwhelmed at the response we get regarding this blog. It's amazing how many people send us emails and photos for consideration as guest photos from around the world. Thanks so very much.
It's amazing to us because we started out merely wanting to record the bredth and depth of Copenhagen bike culture. It is so ingrained on our culture - as you see here in this photo of a wall mural in Copenhagen of a girl on a bike:
Or just see this advert for Raleigh bikes in Denmark. A rather different approach to marketing. Compare it with Raleigh's US website... One features casual elegance, the other men in lycra. :-)
We merely wish to show how effortless bike commuting can be. To inspire those in countries without a firm foundation for bike culture to just get out and ride. Lycra begone. Fancy gear begone. Just get on with it.
As expected we have a large group of female fans from around the world. This demographic group often tell us how inspiring the photos are to them. We think that is great. That's the whole point. As Dave Moulton writes on his blog - Womankind - You can save mankind.
A friend of ours pointed us in the direction of some inspiring historical references to women on bikes. We're thankful that women are no longer ridiculed for riding bikes as they were in the late 1800's, back when the bike was regarded as a 'freedom machine' for women during the suffragist movement.
Indeed, this quote is inspiring and still relevant today:
"Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel...the picture of free, untrammelled womanhood." - Susan B. Anthony, American Suffragist, 1896.
Or consider Frances Willard - another legendary activist - who wrote a book in 1895 called 'How I Learned To Ride The Bicycle' wherein she praised the bike for the freedom it gave women. She often used a cycling metaphor to urge other suffragists to action:
"I would not waste my life in friction when it could be turned into momentum."
We've come a long way. Moreso in some countries than others. Dave Moulton has had some grief about his post about Womenkind - You can save mankind - he responds here. But the narrow-minded won't get us down. Those who merely slap the label of 'sexist' on this blog don't have a very basic understanding of what it's all about and they judge others based on their own cultural norms. Without respecting the fact that people in other countries think differently.
And if they think bike advocacy in high heels is sexist, I would love to see their faces if they saw this advert for a Danish bike shop Cykelkongen [Cycle King]:
We don't particularly fancy this kind of photo - it is targeted at a different demographic group - but we respect the fact that others out there do fancy it.
All in all, thanks again for your support and kind emails/comments. We shall endevour to continue bringing you inspiration from the World's Cycling Capital.
May you forever ride with a tailwind.