Sunday, July 25, 2010

Cycling, style and blog guru

Here I am - I can't believe it - with Mikael Colville Andersen, the blogger who has created the phenomenon of Copenhagen cycle chic. I heard him speak twice this week - and as is often the case with speakers - he was even better once he had left his slides behind and was speaking freely.

He takes a culturally inspired approach to the bicycle [rather than a transportation or mobility driven approach]

Some of the points he made were :
  • just make riding a bike the easiest way to get from A to B
  • use happy, pleasant, positive imagery to stimulate urban bike riding
  • lowered speeds enable bicyling to flourish - Barcelona and Dublin both now have 30 kms on local roads 
  • reclaiming space for bikes rather than cars is a process of re-democratisation, rehumanising, re-creating liveability 
  • its not about the bicycle - its about the broader urban context 

Some great quotes from Mikael:
  • 'follow their [bike riders] desire lines - make it easy
  • he likes 'being elbow to elbow with fellow citizens'
  • he finds 'the upright bicycle the 'most anthropologically pleasing' and the 'most suitable for citizen cyclists'
  • 'plant the bicycle on the urban landscape' or more expanisively 'planting seeds of a meadow cycling' 
  • inner urban areas should be 'saturated with bicycles' 
  • In Copenhagen, bikes are like 'a fifth limb'

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