11 June 2009

Happy Birthday! Two Years With Cycle Chic

Back in Black
It's our birthday! Call someone and let them know!

Two years ago today, the Cycle Chic blog saw the light of day for the first time. The rest is history.

Wifealiciousness and I celebrate two special days in our relationship. The day we first kissed on a bench at 06:00 after a night out and the day we got married. It's kind of like that here on Cycle Chic.

As avid readers of this blog know, on November 14th, 2006, I took the photograph that started it all. On June 11th, 2007 I figured I'd start a blog, just to have my series of photographs gathered in one place.

Little did any of us know back then how the story would unfold. It certainly caught me by surprise, this sudden international interest in photographs of something that is completely normal for us in Copenhagen - well-dressed Copenhageners on bicycles.

In a way it's as though I started a vacuum cleaner blog because in Copenhagen our relationship to our bicycles is the same as our relationship to our vacuum cleaners. We all have them, we all use them, but we certainly don't think about them in the course of a day. Except when the bag needs to be changed/the tyre is flat. So for the sake of good order, here's my vacuum cleaner:


Before the international press got a hold the story, the first magazine to publish Cycle Chic photos was the always cool KBH Magasin. This was even before the blog started.
Copenhagen Cycle Chic in KBH Magazine
Back in the beginning of 2007 this spread was featured in a series about The Details of Copenhagen. You can see the evolution of the press coverage on the Press About The Blog page.

So what is 'Cycle Chic' apart from a useful phrase I coined to try and describe the fashionable art of riding bicycles in Copenhagen? Well, we've tried to sum it up in the Cycle Chic Manifesto, but sitting here two years on I suppose that Cycle Chic is a fantastic way to describe how bicycling used to be, how it is in many places and how it can be again elsewhere. The individual defines their own 'chic' and what is 'chic' in Copenhagen may not be 'chic' in Cork but the very simple act of riding around in your regular clothes on normal bicycles is something all of us know, all of us have tried [if only in childhood] and something that we can identify with. Cycle Chic is a mirror into which we can peer in order to see ourselves and our urban landscape in a new way. It's bicycle advocacy, sure. It's streetstyle, yeah. It's fashion on a bicycle, as opposed to bicycle fashion.

But Cycle Chic is urban planning and a way to redefine our cities and transform them in more liveable spaces.

It's about the bicycle in many ways but really, it's not only about the bicycle. The bicycle and infrastructure are merely tools for change in cities and towns.

Rereading this morning the page with testimonials from readers from the past two years is humbling and touching. Without you readers, this blog would be nothing. So thanks so much for visiting our little corner of the internet. It is also humbling to watch the list of blogs and articles inspired by Cycle Chic grow almost daily. It's on the right column, farther down, Copycats & Collaborators. Thanks to everyone involved.

Summer
You just KNEW that we couldn't have a birthday blogpost without my colleagues being involved. Lars, a film composer in real life, has been an epic contributor to Cycle Chic. He has really raised the photographic bar. He sent in a guest photo back in the day and was soon a regular contributor. Ironically, we found out that we both work in the film industry and that we have many things in common. So above is a birthday photo from Lars.


Marie [Velomama] blogs now and then, so here's a photo from her camera. I met Marie after she completed her thesis about "Everyday Modest Democracy - The Bicycle as a Symbol of Danishness". She had included Cycle Chic in the chapter about the iconic Cycling Girl in Danish history and how the tradition lives on here on the blog. We've been friends since. She now works for the City of Copenhagen's Bicycle Office, making our city even better for bicycles. Here's a birthday greeting from Marie:

Although my postings are sporadical, my heart has always been with this blog. I've been co-blogging here since early 2008. Once and again this blog has made me marvel at how the somewhat banal reality of Copenhagen's cycling culture - which we all take so much for granted here - can be an eyeopener for people elsewhere.

I find such poetry and reassurance in the fact that a popular, everyday phenomenon such as Copenhageners cycling around in their everyday clothes can actually inspire others and show the way forward towards more relaxed, livable and living cities all over the world.

Those of you who get a kick out of this blog: Find your own voice! Spread the message! Bicycles are for everyone! Big cheers, Velomama


Wifealiciousness - Felixio  -Bullitt
And then there's Wifealiciousness. Susanne doesn't blog much here - she's too busy with her own style blog in Danish - but being my muse [and wife] she is a major part of this blog and I couldn't do any of this without her. She still gets interviewed about style and the blog, however.

In celebration of our birthday, a talented friend of mine, Rasmus Balstrøm, is penning some Cycle Chic illustrations. He's done these two and there are more on the way, which we'll be turning into posters. These two are available as postcards and the first one is also available as a mini print over at our online boutique.


The boy's got talent and has really captured the essence of cycling in Copenhagen. We're looking forward to his next batch of artwork.

Enough, already. It's our birthday! We shouldn't be sitting here blogging. It's time to celebrate. Thanks again to all our readers. We're looking forward to the next two years.

Copenhagen loves you.

YES! It's a celebration!

42 comments:

Alexandra said...

About a year and a half ago, I stumbled upon this blog by total accident and couldn't leave it since. I'm not going into details, but you have actually changed my life. For real. Tangibly, literally, all the 180 of them. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Mikael said...

thanks so much, alexandra. now we're curious :-)

Lovely Bicycle! said...

Okay, now I am half tempted to start a Vacuum Chic blog. Sneaking into the homes of women across Midwest America, Germany, Eastern Europe, and Asia, to snap impromptu photos of them vacuuming fetchingly -- some wearing kitten heels and sipping martinis, others bent over in floral house-dresses with their hair tied up in a scarf, others singing along with Sinatra and swaying their hips... In this time of economic uncertainty cleaning one's home is more important than ever, and the vacuum chic movement can make this simple act seem easy, fun, and accessible to the masses.

But I digress: Congratulations on your 2 year anniversary and thank you for all you have done with this blog and your other projects!

amsterdamize said...

Congrats, Mikael and thanks for the inspiration that hit me (like a parked truck on the bike lane) last summer when I stumbled upon CCC.

One important thing that often goes unmentioned that I'd like to address is how much time and effort you put in all of your blogs. Your content is of such high quality and consistency, I think it's fair to say you have 'professional' online magazines running for their money. What you have is a labor of love, which has no real competition, if you think about it, and it shows.

So hat tip and a bow to CC and what it stands for!

lars said...

For now I will just say HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
(And thanks for your kind words.)

Hans said...

Congratulations! Copenhagen Cycle Chic is my absolute favourite blog, and I like your vacuum cleaner as well :)

The message of your blog is one of the most important in modern times - both in terms of environment, health and urban culture!

Su-Lin said...

Longtime lurker here (and in the process of looking for a bike to buy!) - happy blog birthday!

neil said...

It's great blog and happy birthday, unfortunately I can no longer read it since your RSS feed is now truncated now.

mrWak said...

So glad to discover this blog the day of its birthday ! I felt by myself in small Angers, France, but now I have something to refer to !
Happy Bday !

Anonymous said...

Well, happy birthday; and may there be as many more as it takes until the whole world thinks of just getting on a bicycle and pedaling as an activity so trivial as not to warrant any special notice.

Rasmus' stuff is rather nice. I'm going to have to consider an acquisition.

mrWak: Stick around, and rest assured that even in the vast bicycle wasteland that most of the United States of America represents you have at least a few kindred spirits.

Lafayette, we are here.

Anonymous said...

CCC is also very imprortant to me! kind a source of energy to live more :) happy birthday!

Anonymous said...

I don't own a bike but I have been following this blog for about a year. I fell in love with the photography. I think of this blog as one of the best examples of visual poetry I know.

Happy Birthday!

álvaro said...

Congrats!

CCC is such a great source of inspiration, information and beautiful women, I couldn't even start to thank you enough.

Mange tak.

Sigrid said...

Daily with my morning coffee your lil' ol' blog inspires me to live each day in a better and honest way. My addiction runs deep and I thank you for providing the fix. The extraordinary is in the everyday.

Happy Birthday CCC!
and thank you...

Jan said...

Mikael,

In case you start a vacuum cleaner blog, let me be the first to add a comment:

I love your pictures of everyday Copenhagen'ers enjoying their vacuums while wearing their everyday clothes. But I am a very disturbed about the general lack of helmets in your shots. Do all people in Copenhagen vacuum without helmets?? What about the children? I once tripped while vacuum our living room, and if it hadn't been for my helmet ... blah, blah, blah.

But seriously, congrats on inventing the cycle chic concept.

anna said...

Congrats! Keep up the good blogging, love it!

aorecord said...

Happy Birthday!!!

perfect day said...

You put MonaLisaSmile on my face everytime I get here. Your blog is a real treasure in this virtual word. Happy anniversary and regards from Serbia.

Denis said...

Like many other people here, I found this blog by an accident, coming back from work, tired and not really satisfied.. Usual stuff.. I have been riding bicycle since 1996 and now I have an everyday dose of inspiration! It really changed my opinion about the bike, though it was not with helmet & lycra :-) I`m very grateful for that!

Happy Birthday! Keep on wheeling and posting! It inspires people, it makes them better, they become smileful - because it`s impossible to be bad on a bicycle :-)

!!!So, let the celebration begins!!!

Luis Peters said...

Congratulations!!!

Casimir said...

As others have stated, your blog has also changed my view on all things cycling. Love all your work.

Congratulations from Portland, OR, USA.

Adrienne Johnson said...

Could you please turn the poster art into lycra jerseys, please? They would look great with my clipless shoes! Oh, and also, I would love to put CCC in reflective comic sans on the back of my new series of wifi connected helmets. Think we could work on that together?

Have your people call mine! We'll do lunch.

Many happy returns of the day!

Ole. said...

happy birthday CCC!)

Robert P, Dublin. said...

There are only two blogs I read at the start of every work day- this one and, um, your other one.

In that respect, they have become as essential to my morning as sleep, a shower, breakfast, coffee, and (obviously) riding a bike.

Many thanks for all the hard work, and many thanks for all the hard work to come. ;)

And, of course, Tillykke med fødselsdagen!

J.O. said...

Happy birthday from Glasgow. You lead the world!

WestfieldWanderer said...

Happy Birthday CCC and thanks for all the inspiration.

kiwehtin said...

Happy birthday! I've been following you almost since the beginning. Many more chic years! I was making a birthday present but didn't have it ready on time; I'll send it next year instead!

KT said...

JOYEUX ANNIVERSAIRE from the nanas at Vélo Vogue! Have a beer on us! ;-)

Mikael said...

All you people... you're all amazing. It's YOU who are the inspiration for continuing this blog. You're why we're here and why we going to stick around for awhile.

Thanks so much.

Claus said...

Happy birthday ;-)

I just love the copenhagen (international) cycle chic passion and I still watch, hear and feel the great pictures and videos. I love it!

dyrlægen said...

Tillyke med fødselsdagen old boy!
Keep it up, love the blog.
hils fra northampton

Curitiba Cycle Chic said...

Congratulations to the CCC, which inspired birth of our blog, where only three months managed to influence more people in our city to use the bicycle as a means of transport. hope you get as the second year of success. Thank you!

Adrienne Johnson said...

My husband has just pointed out to me that today is the 11th. It seems that our 15th wedding anniversary and your 2nd blod B-Day are one and the same. Hmmmmmm....

spiderleggreen said...

Congrat's!

The first and best. Hard work pays off.

bike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christa said...

Happy Birthday! I adore CCC - such an inspiration. :)

Yes, looking forward to the next two years. Should be exciting to see all the new opportunities arising from the Cycle Chic and Slow Bicycle Movement.

patrick barber said...

congrats Mikael! and many more to come. cheers -- patrick

Dottie said...

Happy birthday and thanks for all that you do!

2whls3spds said...

Happy Birthday and Congratulations!

I am headed for the local "pub" If they have one I will raise Carlsberg in celebration.

I am constantly pointing people to this blog and telling them "this is the way it SHOULD be!"

Aaron

Lyvemaskine said...

Stort tillykke med fødselsdagen!
I have been following you almost from the beginning and love the pics. I am yet to spot anyone I know though.
I wish you heaps of more chicness in the future.

brett said...

Happy birthday from Portland, Oregon, USA. Copenhagen is inspiring our bike planners, and CCC provides a daily dose of that inpiration for all of us. thanks!

Ernest said...

Happy birthday from Barcelona, Catalonia.
:-)
Ernest (Orange Brompton)