Updated 27.10.2023

27 November 2012

Cargo Bike History - Svajere in Copenhagen

King Christian X Guarded by Copenhagen Bicycle Messengers

Here are some historical photos of a cargo bike life in Copenhagen. Above, King Christian X on one of his daily rides through the streets during the Second World War occupation. He always rode without official guards through the streets and was much loved for it. Here, however, he was guarded by the bicycle messengers from the company Achilleus.

Here is a link to an earlier post about the Svajere - or cargo bike messengers of Copenhagen.


Copenhagen Bike Messengers 1917

The bicycle messengers at the headquarters of the Post & Telegraf service in 1917. Dressed splendidly. The bike messengers - or Svajere - in official service were usually uniformed until the end of the 1940s, when casual wear became the norm.

Illum's Cargo Bike Messengers in Copenhagen 1940s

The bicycle messengers for Illum department store in the 1940s, during the occupation.


Illum's Cargo Bike Messenger in Copenhagen 1940s

A double cargo bike nicknamed Skildpadden - or The Turtle - in the service of Illum department store. 1940s.


Byposten Bike Messenger Company in Copenhagen

The bike messenger team at Byposten messenger company.


Bike Messengers on City Hall Square in Copenhagen

Bicycle messengers from the telegraf service lined up on City Hall Square.

Dapper Bike Messengers in Copenhagen

Brilliantly dapper.

Young Bicycle Messenger in Copenhagen
Copenhagen Bike Messenger from the Post and Telegraph Service 1941

Young bicycle messengers. Ca. 1940s at left and 1941 at right.

Copenhagen Bike Messenger - Svajer
Copenhagen Bike Messenger - Svajer
Copenhagen Bike Messenger

Heavy loads.

Copenhagen Bike Messenger

A "svajer" giving free rides to kids in the neighbourhood, 1942.

Svajerløb - Cargo Bike Race on Israels Plads

The legendary Svajerløb on Grønttorvet - now Israels Square. The races were organised by a man with a messenger company and the money raised was used to send the young bike messengers to summer camp. The races were popular events in Copenhagen. They were revived in 2009.

More about the Svajere - then and now - right here.

Svajerløb - Cargo Bike Race on Israels Plads
Svajerløb - Cargo Bike Race on Israels Plads


Svajerløb - Cargo Bike Race on Israels Plads


Svajerløb - Cargo Bike Race on Israels Plads


Svajer Cartoon-005
Svajer Cartoon
Svajer Cartoon-001
Svajer Cartoon-002
Svajer Cartoon-003
Svajer Cartoon-004

Cartoons about the feisty bike messengers.

Quiet Moment for Copenhagen Bike Messenger - Svajer

A quiet moment with a pipe.