Tag Archives: experience

The Danish Are Bike Mad…How To Commute In Style

Hey Y’all, what a couple of days I have had. The doubt had begun creeping in about whether my ambition for bellabikers was possible at the beginning of the week. It was right there with me when I walked out of the Airport in  Denmark. Then I walked into a Female World Champion and cycling legend Marianne Vos on top of that she was stood with Pro cyclist Kirsten Wild . I’m not religious in any way but that is about as close as it comes for me on the divine intervention front. I actually mumbled to myself “maybe I am supposed to do this?” Whilst stood between the cream of the  Dutch National Cycling Squad.

Kirsten Wild, Me, Marianne Vos

So work had kindly sent me to Denmark to do a course. Having never visited the country as a huge fan of anything on two wheels I unbeknown to me was about to be let into the Magic Kingdoom. Everyone rides EVERYONE! All the kids commute to school on bikes, I was  staying in a Hotel opposite a School and never once observed the road blocked with cars.

Copenhagen can only be described as a commuting cycling Mecca. Every where you go there are bikes  literally 1000’s of them.

Every street looked like this!

I saw very few mountain bikes but it is pretty much pan cake flat, the order of the day was fixies and a very traditional relaxed up right looking bike frames.

The upright bikes I saw every where

One of the fixies that caught my eye

Instead of seeing random mums commuting with a child on the back seat, front boxes where the norm with up to 4 small children in them!!!

How Mums Commute in Denmark

Everyone seemed to ride in gorgeous looking clothes and lycra was absolutely no wear to be seen.

How Girls do it in Copenhagen

This city has got it 100% right, dedicated cycle lanes where as much  a part of the transport info structure as white lines painted on roads. This kept cyclists and cars apart nearly all the time only having to share space when turning across the flow of traffic.

Cycle Lanes

This is probably why I only saw a few people wearing helmets, I think the other contributing factor is the driving laws are pretty simple always give way to a cyclist if you don’t your in the POO. The fact that nearly everyone rides must mean that drivers are more aware of how careless behavior could affect their fellow two wheeled road users.

I happened to be the country due to work. I was completely oblivious to the Danish cycling culture and their love affair with the bike. For anyone that rides I can highly recommend a visit, it is truely wonderful and enlightening to see a capital city functioning like this.

Bike Love for Copenhagen

The World Championships are taking place there in September. With the love and support for cycling  it is likely to be a truly awesome event. Just in case you fancy a visit to watch,  Easy Jet and few other low cost airlines fly in. You can grab the metro train from the airport and your in Copenhagen in 10 minutes.



My First Bellabiker Success

Is it that simple?

Give a girl a bike, take her to the local 10 mile Time Trial and get her to have a go?

So my tiny little vision to introduce more girls and women to cycling had its first success. I brought Sarah (a girl from work) along to our club time trail this week. She loved it. Have to give the lass her dues she rode one of my bikes, never having used a road bike or road gears she coped admirably. On top of that I couldn’t crack one of my pedals, so the little star rode in her trainers on top of my Look pedals. The great news is she loved it. My TT experience wasn’t so great with my beautiful planet X bike throwing in mechanical problems again. However I managed to squeeze 15 seconds off my time on the course. I always suffer on that one, its a tad lumpy and I am no racing snake.

But this week was never going to be about me, it is all about the one girl thats converted. We’ve all ready began talking about bikes and commuting to work and how to get her up and riding.

The Brucey  bonus is another girl from work Naomi heard me chatting away about Sarah and mentioned that she could not ride a bike!

Being from South Africa I was astounded that she had never learnt in her childhood. Could you imagine never ever knowing what it felt like to whizz down a hill or get anywhere under your own steam on a bike.  So out of no where I have been presented with my first complete beginner to get up and ridding!

I will certainly keep you all updated on how they both progress.