- Bicycle Culture by Design: European Summer Culture

Like any other European country, Denmark has it's Tour. It's called 'Post Danmark Rundt' because the main sponsor is our national postal service Post Danmark. Not surprising, since our postal carriers ride bicycles.The race wraps up in my neighbourhood but I've never seen it, so we all wandered down to watch. Even though I used to race competitively, I only follow the Giro, Vuelta and, bien sûr, Le Tour out of habit. On the last day, the riders arrive in the Frederiksberg neighbourhood of Copenhagen and do ten 6 km laps through the city. We caught them on a street near us.Cycle sport is, of course, a sport but here in Europe it is really a big part of our culture and has been for over a century. People from all over Europe flock to France to catch an etape or two of the Tour de France and even our modest little Tour of Denmark attracts between 500,000 and 1,000,000 spectators if the weather is good. There's 5.3 million people in Denmark.During the Tour de France, every workplace has a telly tuned in on the days where the battles are fought on the 'kongeetaper' - King's Stages - in the mountains. It really is a national and European summer cultural event. I'm alway amazed how people from other countries know so little about Le Tour de France and cycle sport in general.It was fun today. People lining the streets, drinking beer, eating ice cream in the sun. My boy got into the Tour de France last year because of a Danish rider, Michael Rasmussen, and this year Denmark was paying extra attention because one of the teams in the Tour was Danish - and they won three trophies. Which was nice. So I figured the boy should see the speedy lycra boys here in the 'hood during the Tour of Denmark. He sure never sees them on the bike lanes.This year a Dane won for the first time since 2002. Which was nice. Here are some previous winners:2007: Kurt-Asle Arvesen, Norway2006: Fabian Cancellara, Schweiz2005: Ivan Basso, Italy2004: Kurt-Asle Arvesen, Norway 2003: Sebastian Lang, Germany2002: Jakob Piil, Denmark2001: David Millar, UK2000: Rolf Sørensen, Denmark1999: Tyler Hamilton, USA1998: Marc Streel, Belgium1997: Servais Knaven, Holland1996: Fabrizio Guidi, Italy1995: Bjarne Riis, Denmark

1988: Phil Anderson, Australia

Read More