People who ride their bike everywhere often have a personal relationship with their bike, and they care about how it rides, that it is maintained and, often, that it looks good. Many decorate their bike with all kinds of knick-knacks and trinkets, like flowers, stickers or they paint it a certain way. The bicycle is no longer something you just ride but a way of expressing yourself. The bike may signal creativity, joy, personality and even political affiliation.
If there is anything that would make people take their car instead of their bike it would be family life. It is more practical taking the children and all their stuff around in a car, but to Copenhageners that does not necessarily hold true. Many in Copenhagen decide to keep their bike for transportation of their children to and from day-care or kindergarten. Economy might be a factor to some, but not to all, and today you can get bikes and equipment that make up with impracticalities of transporting children on bikes. The Christiania Bike is a great example. Copenhageners chose the bike because of things like economy, the environment, health and convenience.
The folding bike is becoming more and more visible in Copenhagen. The small and light bicycle, which is both easy to carry with you and easy to store, is now becoming many Copenhageners preferred mode of transportation. The folding bike has its roots in the Second World War, when the allies parachuted the bikes down from planes during the invasion of Holland. The bike’s folding feature makes it especially appealing to caravanners, sailers, and pendlers, because it does not take up much space on the bus, on the train, on the boat, or in the caravan. For many years, it has had a reputation of solely being used on holiday but in later years it has had its entry into the daily life of many.
The Christiania Bike is visible everywhere in Copenhagen. It is practical, and signals everything from family life and eco awareness to fashion and commitment to quality. The bike has been built and developed since the 80’s in the workshop at Freetown Christiania, which is the only place where you can buy it. The bike has three wheels, and you can get it in all kinds of shapes, depending on its application. The Christiania Bike is seen as the supreme bicycle trailer on the market because of its high quality and because it is easy and safe to get around on.
The bicycle has been a very popular mode of transportation in Denmark and in Copenhagen for many generations. Therefore, there have also been many generations of your everyday bicycle. The design has changed virtually every decade or time period, and like with most other forms of design, a retro wave has hit the world of bicycles. Today, you can get a bike that looks like it did back from our grandmother’s time. The design varies from small details to a complete replica of bikes from that time. Like with cars, the bike has become a part of the identity of the individual.
Copenhagen is one of the best bike cities in the world, and 36 per cent of the Copenhagen population rides their bike to and from work and school, so it is only natural that it can be difficult to find a spot to park your bike. Copenhageners are therefore creative, and lock their bikes onto everything from garbage cans and lamp posts to street signs and drainpipes. A lot of bikes get stolen in Copenhagen, and many do not feel safe simply locking their bike at the wheel, so they look to lock it onto something fixed. This produces some creative results, some of which are not always law abiding.
The old carrier bike, from before the Christiania Bike was built, was used for deliveries in Copenhagen and in other cities. It was useful for stores that had to deliver goods quickly and did not require the same resources as cars or trucks. Small shops, often, did not have the economic means for motorised transportation, so the carrier bike was ideal and the shops employed young delivery boys, who, all day, rode around town, delivering everything from flowers and clothing to milk and food. There are many different models of the carrier bike and a common one was this one with a flat platform between the handlebars and the front wheel. This model, today, has been replaced by the Christiania Bike, which is easier to steer and can also carry more and employ more functions.
The racing bike is very popular in Copenhagen and in Denmark. Professional cycling has garnered great interest in Denmark, and as a result, more and more people are cycling in their free time as a form of exercising. The bike is very light and demands great attention and maintenance, but bicycle enthusiasts love it and consider it a big part of their hobby. The streets of Copenhagen may not be the most suited for this kind of cycling but there are lots of roads in the outer areas of the region where people can rack up many kilometres. A more robust version has been built for even longer trips like cycling holidays. People may also ride the bike to work every day in the city but it is not often you see them riding a new and expensive one.
Neither rain, snow, sleet, nor hail shall keep Copenhageners from their beloved bikes. In Copenhagen, all types of weather occur during the year, but that will not make the people of Copenhagen give up their bikes. Some might, but many gladly defy snow, cold or rain. Most streets and bike paths will be treated with salt, but even when the snow settles in a thick layer, there will still be cyclists on the bike paths. Whether it is because people are bold or taking risks, one thing is for certain. They do it because they love it.
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