2 June 2008

This Could Be You

In the US, according to the Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey:
- 25 percent of all trips are made within a one and a half kilometre [1 mile] of the home.
- 40 percent of all trips are within 3 km [2 miles] of the home.
- 50 percent of the working population commutes 8 km [5 miles] or less to work.

Yet more than 82 percent of trips 8 km [5 miles] or less are made by personal motor vehicle.

The figures are not far off the European averages. Basically, as we've been waffling on about for ages, distances aren't an issue. They are quite accessible. Which is a fantastic point of departure for encouraging people to get onto bikes. Sure, we often hear people say "I live much farther than that from work... so I can't ride my bike..."

Surely there must be ways to divide up the trip. Put a bike rack on your car, find a secure place to park it within cycle striking distance of your work and ride the last leg. Or ride to a train station nearby and take the train part of the way. Get a beat up old bike that nobody wants to steal, in case you're worried about theft.
Suits Him Fine
Suits are no hindrance, even in 28 degree heat, if the distances are as reasonable as stated above. It's Style Over Speed, after all.
Bring a bottle of juice along for the ride.
Another Copenhagen Supermum in action.

And here's a stat that's interesting from the same study at the top:
60 percent of the pollution created by automobile emissions happens in the first few minutes of operation, before pollution control devices can work effectively. Since "cold starts" create high levels of emissions, shorter car trips are more polluting on a per-mile basis than longer trips.

New York Times & The Guardian
Just a little addendum. We were sent this link to T-Magazine, a supplement of the New York Times about Copenhagen. A shocking lack of bikes, but still cool.

Then there is The Guardian's 'I've Been There' feature - great for collecting readers' tips about traveling to various cities. Here's the Copenhagen intro.

Copenhagen is an aesthetic capital that is content with its laid-back, cool attitude and rather unimpressed with the delusions of grandeur suffered by other European cities. The city centre is a charming labyrinth of cosy streets peppered with trendy cafes and boutiques. The surrounding neighbourhoods are relaxed areas where the Copenhagener can be seen in its natural environment.
If "big is better" is your thing, then Copenhagen will disappoint. Upon seeing the Little Mermaid statue on her rock on the harbour generations of puzzled tourists have uttered the same remark: "But she’s so SMALL!" Upon hearing this a Copenhagener will merely shrug and remark, "She’s life-size". All with a crooked smile and a twinkle in the eye,

Which would be an ideal motto for Copenhagen. Life-size. An ego to match any other capital but an ego which is wrapped up in a Nordic coolness that makes any visit to the city a calming, groovy and aesthetically appealing experience.


Gabor SUVEG said...

please make new wallpaper. last few week may find good images ;)

Reno Rambler said...

I would say that Copenhagen is "quality of life" sized! Another great post and photos!

Anonymous said...

Where "Dreams Come True"...

Rob said...

Damn, I just missed a great bit of Cycle Chic, here in Bethesda MD yesterday, I saw a nice looking lady in a skirt waiting to cross the street with her green cruiser yesterday! If only I hadn't been hauling in my father in laws bike for repair! Ugh!

Keep up the great photo's and such!

Anonymous said...

I live in the US and I commute a little over 6 miles each way on my upright 3 speed bike. I LOVE it.

Anonymous said...

Men in suits on chic commuter bikes = HOTT!

WestfieldWanderer said...

The WW family are really keen to experience Copenhagen. Sadly it'll have to wait to next year. We'll get there, but Mikael's blogs just make us ever more impatient!

2whls3spds said...

The statistics say the American can commute to work by bike, and ride to the nearest store. However infrastructure will not always allow it. Hopefully we will see this change in the near future. My childhood home is located in a neighborhood that was built prior to WW2. It was very walkable, however, many of the stores that were there 35 years ago are now gone, most lost business to the "big box" stores and could not survive. The closest grocery store used to be 3 blocks, now it is 3 miles away on a very busy road, across a freeway :-)

Hopefully this situation will improve in the future.


Diz Rivera said...

This IS me! I work from home 3 days a week because my job is very far. When I work, I take the train, but when I'm home, I try to only bike every where. I can get three heavy bags of groceries on my bike.

Thanks for the statistics. Good fodder to convince others. As always, lovely photos, especially of the guy with the water bottle.

Anonymous said...

haha. its you!

Anonymous said...

I live in a small town in Alabam, USA ... where all of the little shops have closed because there are big-box stores (WalMart, Centrum, etc.) 17 to 25 km away. No busses. No train. Just a 17 km ride (one-way), uphill & down hill (like in Jylland), to get to some place to shop ... or work.

Bikes and the local shops will only come back when the car culture becomes too expensive ... -Freth

2whls3spds said...

That is the unfortunate story of small towns every where in America...I live near one. But you reap what you sow. Americans have long loved cheap prices, quality be damned and now it is a race to the bottom.

However I do think that we can change a lot of things, one person at a time. Change is not going to come from the government, it is going to come from the people at the grass roots level.


Stéphane Brault said...

One person at a time, Aaron says"
I go to work every days on my bike, rain or not. Only 4km. My neibourgs and my co-workers are impressed. My girlfriend work at the same place, she use a shopping bike to go there. After a year, a lot of bikes are parked in the shop. We think to build a bike parking. One of my neibourg begin to think that is stupid to use is car for only 5km to work. Only because he saw me every morning going to work on my bike.
Don't wait for changes from te government.
Keep biking!

Colville-Andersen said...

Quelle histoire! C'est vrai ca. One cyclist at a time will inspire so many others.

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