26 December 2011
Bike for Life
One of the things that makes the cycling scene in Denmark special is that cycling stuck. Cycling stuck as everyday transportation even after cars became evasive. Old pictures from Berlin and recent pictures from Beijing show streets full of bicycles - until cars took over. In Berlin in the 1960's. In Beijing I biked with the masses in the late-1990's. Ten years later people have collectively decided to let their bikes rest and join the perpetual traffic jam on ring road three. Students, IT Gurus, Prime Ministers, Pop Stars, Fashion Models. In Copenhagen everyone can be seen on a bike. Children, youngsters, mid-age, old-age. All are out there rolling along happily. There are several theories to why people in Denmark and Holland kept biking. People often surmise - well its flat! But there are lots and lots of flat cities out there. And still the bikes are gone. Also, I personally by far prefer the sunny Tokyo hills to the rainy Copenhagen flatlands. One thing that did help in Denmark was that the Government set in with safety campaigns to keep school children biking to school. I can still remember how the police came one day and taught me the basic traffic rules and issued a "cyclist's" drivers license after I passed the test. Having biked for years to School, High School and University makes it much more natural to keep on biking as you move on to work. Happy cycling!