11 August 2009

Three Red Bicycles and a Musing

Copenhagen Straddle
Nothing quite like red bicycles, is there? Strange, that.
One of the books I'm reading at the moment is Nothing to Be Frightened Of, by Julian Barnes. It is an autobiographical work about the author's fear of death, which has nothing at all to do with bicycles or streetstyle. Nevertheless, one passage in the book struck home one of the sub-conscious reasons for continuing to produce this blog featuring the beautiful citizens of Copenhagen on their bicycles.

Barnes experienced a fear of flying for a period in his mid-twenties but he cured himself of it, quite unexpectedly, at Athens airport. He was a day early for a flight home to the UK and he camped out in the airport.

"To kill time, I went up on to the viewing roof of the terminal building. From there, I watched plane after plane take off, plane after plane land. Some of them probably belonged to dodgy airlines and were crewed by drunks; but none of them crashed. And this visual, rather than statistical, demonstration of the safety of flying convinced me."
There is little statistical proof that cycling is dangerous anywhere in the world, which is brilliant. But perhaps the visual demonstration of the beauty and safety of cycling that is this blog will convince readers, wherever they may live, that cycling is a normal, potentially gorgeous and safe form of transport. The 'Style over speed' motto coined here on the blog is, if you think about it, a fine traffic safety slogan.


Colville-Andersen said...

i added it ages ago, Birk.

MamaVee said...

Yes. you can count me in as one of the readers who see your images and become soothed into knowing that everyday cycling *is* possible.

Thank you- for giving me the images that offset my fears so I could do what I've always been oddly drawn to. (I say oddly- b/c it wasn't like I was a big cyclist. I simply always admired the bicycle, just thought it was not for me b/c it wasn't safe so I drifted away from the idea. if that makes sense...)

Anonymous said...

i just saw the most darling red bike yesterday! should have taken a photo of it. these pics are great as usual!

britt said...

I think I have to paint my bike tomorrow :)

like this red racer...

greetings from Hamburg

Lovely Bicycle! said...

I love Julian Barnes; was just planning to get that book. Interestingly, what he is describing is not how phobias typically work (I'm a psychologist). Watching planes take off and land all day is actually more likely to make a flying phobia worse, not better. Thankfully, it is not so with watching cyclists. Also, cycling phobias are not very common, even after people fall of their bike or have serious collisions.

I am taking this to mean that we are genetically predisposed to cycle, rather than to fly on airplanes, and that trans-oceanic cycling superbridges and tunnels ought to be built.

mir said...

I love this post!