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 bicyle 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 of cycling'

inner urban areas should be 'saturated with bicycles'

In Copenhagen, bikes are like 'a fifth limb'

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