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Friday, January 16, 2009

Cycle Chic

Ever since my visit to Copenhagen in October, I've seen bikes in a different light. While Americans tend to use bikes for exercise or for pleasure, the residents of Copenhagen use them as a necessity and as their main source of transportation. It's just too expensive for many of them to own cars. Imagine having to cycle as your main method to get around town. From age 7 until I got my license at age 16, this was my reality. The wind would blow through my hair, and my legs became powerful from the constant pedaling and lack of gears on my comfortable beach cruiser. Just think of all the benefits of riding a bike. You're able to enjoy nature while getting some exercise and saving the environment from pollution. I think we can all learn a lesson from Copenhagen's generously wide bike lanes, stylish cyclists, and progressive environmental policies. Many of the women I saw on bikes in the Danish capital looked incredibly chic with their scarves billowing behind them, their handbags stowed away in a basket, and their boots placed confidently on their pedals.

Copenhagen bikes and cyclists

Apparently, I'm not alone in my admiration for Copenhagen's bike riders. There's a whole website (called Copenhagen Cycle Chic) devoted to them, complete with witty captions, captivating images, and interesting commentary. It makes me long for a vintage European bike, (like the one I ogled below at last month's Rose Bowl Flea Market) with those signature curved handlebars and wheel fenders. Until then, I've got my Trek 7.3, so I'm not complaining.

Rose Bowl flea market vintage bike