In Japan I was often ask about how to get more people to bike. Unsurprisingly, safety is the main concern. If people feel safe they are perfectly happy to bike - and to let their children bike. So is the answer bike lanes, bike traffic lights etc.? Absolutely. And they lead to the best - free - solution: Numbers. The more people who bike the safer it gets.
We know by instinct that there is safety in numbers. True for Cyclists in Copenhagen as well as Wildebeest in West Tsavo. And our instincts are backed by statistics and science. Even in Copenhagen we have seen the number of accidents drop as the number of cyclists rises.
Cars are the real danger. Their big, bulky steel structures do not mix well with cyclists. In Japan the drivers are very considerate towards cyclists - if they see you. But often they do not because they are not used to bikes. In Denmark drivers are used to keeping a watchful eye open for cyclists from all sides. And doing so is essential for anyone trying to get a driver's license.
Take care and happy cycling!
[Wildebeest pictures found at Creative Commons thanks to "Rainbirder" alias Steve Garvie / "amanderson2" alias Mandy / Dom Cram / "biggles621" alias Steve Johnson / all at Flickr - Thank you!]