Last Friday I had the opportunity to meet up with Mikael, the author of the blogs Copenhagen Cycle Chic and Copenhagenize. We met at the Copenhagen City Hall. Then we rode over to a favorite coffee shop he goes to and chatted for a bit. Afterwards, we went over to the Dronning Louise Bridge, where we sat and chatted some more as we watched and photographed people as they bicycled by.
We talked about bike culture in our own cities, where he gave me the history of bicycling in Copenhagen. It turns out bicycling was big from the 1890's up to the 1950's when car culture started to take over. The bridge where we were has been a busy bicycle location for many years. It was more recently that special facilities for bikes were installed.
One profound concept was that most people in Copenhagen who use a bicycle don't consider themselves as "bicyclists." Certainly, they use a bike to go places, but its one of the tools for living, just as shoes are for walking and an umbrella is for the rain. Most people simply integrate the bicycle into their everyday activities. In fact many are quite surprised to hear that the world looks to Copenhagen as a leader in bicycling. "Of course we bicycle, doesn't everyone?" is what they would reply.
As we finished, I presented him with one of the 1000 spokes of light T-shirts that were made during the Bikeramento Week prior to the Amgen Race. Here is the photograph where I made him an honorary member of the Sacramento bike culture.