Updated 30.10.2023

30 April 2008

Cargo Coolness

Cargo bikes are not only practical when it comes to transporting stuff - it's also a cool way to hang out together while strolling through the city.

This cargo bike delivers 'Kunstkalenderen' - a weekly agenda for Copenhagen's art scene. The lads were quite pleased by being photographed.

These two youngsters would laugh nervously every time a car got too close.. The 'K 44' on the bike stands for Kapelvej (a road) no. 44, where a municipal culture centre is located.

This has to be the longest dreadlock ever seen on three wheels... Unless anyone has a better shot?

Always exposed to the public eye, always on the move. As we've noticed earlier here and here, bikes are an efficient means of communication. Private messages intertwine with commercial outcries as manifold as the cyclists themselves.

"To be read with the other end" - a tongue-in-cheek ad for intellectual newspaper Information

"Shut up while I'm smoking" - who said cyclists necessarily care for their health?

Ungdomshuset is a former squat/music venue in Copenhagen

"Sit down and you'll get to look like someone under 28" - an ad for TDC - telephone and internet giant

"I love you" - someone took the time and effort to strap this little paper heart to his or hers beloved's bike

"Resaddle - vote 'Ø'" - an ad for Enhedslisten, Denmark's far left wing party

"Would you mind us being here?" - the title of a benevolent concert against surveillance in public space - and also an ironic wordplay that goes very well for the crammed bike parking situation in Copenhagen...

Business cargo bike for the film company Bastard Film. The model is a so-called 'Short John' with the characteristic green Danish milk box on the rack in front. 

Cargo bike culture in Copenhagen. The first five photos were taken in the 19 Copenhagen Minutes set. The last one was not but it's classic Copenhagen shot of a mother transporting her newborn.
The beautiful wide bike lanes of Copenhagen. On this stretch they are wider than normal to accomodate the 25,000 bikes that pass each day. At intersections the bike lanes are painted Copenhagen Blue for visibility.

Segregrated bike infrastructure is the foundation of any sustainable bike culture. Over the past 40 years, since Copenhagen started developing our modern bike culture, nobody, anywhere, has managed to think up any feasible alternative for creating a safe bike culture for the masses.

Dozens and dozens of European cities know it and 100 million Europeans ride each day on such infrastructure. Paris knows it and is rocking the bike culture world as we speak. Portland, Oregon - city of visionaries - knows it. New York City is learning it thanks to Jan Gehl. If you build it, they will come.

Sure, there are wacky theories out there about how bikes should be regarded in traffic, but then again there are people who actually buy the idea of Intelligent Design just as there are still members of the Flat Earth Society. Unfortunately for all the above, science and statistics don't back their claims. The are and remain, quirky 'roll-your-eyes' addendums to everyday life.

The arrows on the ground indicate which lane you want if you are heading straight on or turning right. Segregrated from the motorised traffic by kerbs. High heels and skirts, optional.

Bring on the bike culture. Copenhagenize the planet. 

Classic political protest - Copenhagen Style. Marie and I were on a bench by a canal when a massive demonstration rolled past. Nurses and care workers are striking for more pay these days and, in Copenhagen, if you want to get noticed, a bicycle is involved.

I filmed this little fragment of the rolling demonstration. It was several kilometres long and the mood was festive. Their fingers must be sore today, since they keep ringing their bells. And their voices are probably hoarse because they were singing and chanting, too.

The strike has maintained popular support throughout the first 10 days or so. You can hear cars honking their support and even trying to honk in tact to the chanting.

Another fine example of a Copenhagen demonstration last year in which the bike plays an important role. In this case, a cool Pedersen.

19 Copenhagen Minutes - 52 Photos of Bikes in 19 Minutes
On another note, I took a series of photos yesterday called 19 Copenhagen Minutes. I recalled a website where a tourist took 82 photos of Amsterdam bikes in 73 minutes so while sitting on a bench with a friend yesterday, I thought I'd see what I could come up with.

In order to see the whole set in all it's glory, you can see it on this Flickr Slideshow - it opens in a new window.

I also have a more funkalicious flash version of the set here. 


A baguette on the handlebars is all we need to complete the image of Paris' cycle chic. Until then, have a sniff of véritable frenchy bikemosphere:
Along Paris' canals there are excellent bike paths for Sunday strolls, easily enjoyed on a Vélib, Paris' bike share programme.
A future generation of cycling Parisians is already under way...
Vive la Tricolore!
- and orientalism!

We applaud the French attempt to spread the Style Over Speed mantra. As this signpost seems to say: "Pas de stress! Soyez chic!" (No stress! Be chic!)
Copenhagen Style, originally uploaded by [Zakkaliciousness].

Classic Copenhagen setup for families with two kids. One on the trailer, another on a bike.

[i don't know why Flickr and blogger.com crop the photos like this... any bright ideas?]
This post needs no introduction. 

A great underground initative in protest at the rising prices of public transport.

"Pass Your Ticket On - Movia [the company that runs the busses] is raising the prices but we're lowering them!

Ticket prices for busses and trains have again risen, this time by 5% - together we'll lower the price of public transport.

If your ticket is still valid when you've finished your journey, place it here so that your fellow passengers can have a free ride.

Yes to good and free public transport. No to more cars.

Warm regards,
Ungdomsfront.dk [Socialist Youth Front]"

There is a clothes peg glued into place so you can place your ticket there.

I love a bit of urban activism.

Life at a Traffic Light.

This bike is in one of the bike sheds at our flat. I've taken a photo of it before, but today I pulled it out into the sunshine for a better shot. All dusty and cobwebbed, but cool.

A classic Pedersen. 

The postman just delivered a package from New York - by bicycle, of course. Okay, not all the way from NYC by bike, but the last leg at least.

It's a copy of a new book by David Bach called Go Green, Live Rich - 50 simple ways to save the earth.

I got sent a complimentary copy by the publisher because Mr Bach uses Copenhagen Cycle Chic as a factual reference, apparently. Which is, of course, very cool. And how nice is that, sending a complimentary copy? We're well chuffed about it here at the blogs.

It was actually an excellent read. The book is geared for the American audience but there were still interesting tips and facts that are relevant to European readers.

The book is, of course, available on Amazon. 

We recieved this cool link from Japan about a bike parking system at the Kasai train station in Tokyo. Japan boasts a wonderful bike culture and they are tech wizards, so it's great to see the two in concerto.

There's room for 9400 bikes and it takes 23 seconds to get your bike back when you retrieve it. Not to mention it only costs 100 yen, or 1800 yen for a monthly pass.

We love aestheticism here at Copenhagenize but we love technology, too. This bike parking system is wicked cool. 

Bicycle rush hour moments in Copenhagen. My mate Jesper snapped this the other morning on his way into work. This is the busiest bike lane in the nation, with 35,000 bikes each day. And at the intersection just across the bridge is where you go if you want to reach Copenhageners.

Last week, the Vice-Mayor kicked off the annual We Cycle to Work campaign on this spot. This time there was a double-whammy.

The chap on the left is Nicki Pedersen, reigning World Speedway Champion. On the right is Hans Andersen, Danish Speedway Champion. They were given typical Copenhagen bikes for a photo shoot to promote an upcoming speedway race. [Note to Americans: Speedway is motorcycle racing and it's massive here.]

At the same time, visible on the left, there is a loud group of striking nurses. They're striking for more pay and they know that there are few places in the nation where you can get face to face with 35,000 Danes. Especially since most of the cyclists stop at the traffic light on the bike lane, so there is loads of time to read banners and hand out brochures.

Got a message you want to tell Copenhageners about? Go to where the Copenhageners are. On the bike lane. 

These two gentlemen might not be the chic'est of chic but happiness suits everyone - a fact our readers have pointed out before.

We believe that this is what cycling is all about, basically: making life beautiful. Be it with fluorescent spray paint, beer or what else you have in stock - it is the smile in the end that counts. 

There is, of course, extensive bike parking at all the beaches in Copenhagen but the new[ish] Amager Strandpark features literally thousands and thousands of racks, since the Beach Park is a magnet for city dwellers. These racks are filled to overflowing with bikes on a hot summer's day.

While we like the fact that our City Bikes [Bycyklen] have inspired cities all over the world to start bike sharing programmes, it is really only tourists who use them.

Copenhageners have their own bikes already, so they don't need these. In Paris, par example, they don't have their own so they need their cool Velibs. Although bike sales are rising dramatically in Paris since the introduction of the Velib.

Classic Copenhagen set up for families with two kids.

Peaceful coexistence. 


In Copenhagen a bike basket is a proper art form.
Add it, adorn it, adore it!

Two classic customized chic Copenhagen baskets combining raw natural wicker and delicately manufactured plastic flowers.

This type of green plastic box, 'Mælkekasse', is normally used for milk delivery. It is often seen on mopeds and has thus become an icon of overweight cigar-smoking men... On this race bike, however, it seems to combine flashy and sturdy.

I passed by this basket in my street. The nature-like sprouts are made out of plastic, complete with bits of fake soil in the ends.

Glitter 'n' glam!

Parisians have also discovered the vast possibilites of basket art.

Bike Box Bricolage at Centre Pompidou

This basket was in solid black rubber. The newspaper claims to have the answer as to 'Why Paris needs the Green' - an environmentally friendly party.

A real green fake grass basket.

We strongly encourage you all to get yourself an individual basket solution. Find more inspiration in our former posts on Hembrow's bespoke baskets, ANTBIKE, Personalised Bikeness and Flower Box as well as beautiful basket shots at our sister blog, Copenhagen Cycle Chic.