11 August 2008
Bike Baskety Goodness
Herewith we present a series of photographs as a Visual Analysis of the Bicycle Basket as a Key Part of our Bicycle Culture.
The written analysis goes like this: Slap 'em on your bike, put stuff in 'em, ride around.
Over at Charlotte's Chic Cyclist blog out of Boston she had a post called "What's in Your Bag?" wherein visitors discussed the contents of their bike bags. It's a good, fun question.
But it made be realise that, as a rule, the bags you see in Copenhagen, transported around by cyclists, are not bike bags. There is nothing bike-related in them. This goes for baskets, too. No bicycle tools or pumps or suchlike 'gear'. Save a pair of lights, perhaps. It's just people's stuff. The same stuff they have if they took the train or the bus. Stuff.
Nor when they hop off their bike do they become 'pedestrian bags' anymore than they are 'shopping bags' if the cyclist - now a pedestrian - walks into a supermarket or designer boutique.
Regarding the baskets in these shots, I love the fact that in this design mecca called Copenhagen, old wicker baskets live on. Some are new, but the design remains unchanged. Just as women 75 years ago carried their belongings in these baskets, the modern Copenhagen woman carries on the tradition. Most are detachable and are carried into shops or supermarkets. They serve a practical purpose and do so with simple, elegant and timeless style.
You do see modern baskets in Goretex-y material now and then but they are rare. A good old wicker basket - or even a wire one - or a wooden beer crate/plastic milk crate on the back rack are still around because they do the job and do it well.
Denmark and Copenhagen are doing fine lately in the global media exposure sweepstakes.
This from the NY Times about Denmark's tackling of the energy crisis. This from the Washington Post today about why the Danes are consistenly ranked as the happiest people on earth.