flickr

Cycling with Disabilities and Injuries

14 Below Zero - Broken Hand
I haven’t been on a bicycle for 7 days. The reason? A couple of cracked ribs. I’ve tried each and every day to cycle, but it hasn’t been possible. When a simple cough is enough to bring tears to your eyes, riding a bicycle is a long shot. A serious blow to my pride but hey, at least I can walk around the neighbourhood. Which is nice.

Many Danish cities have small cars like these to measure the level of comfort on the bicycle infrastructure. I have a better, cheaper idea.

The city should just give citizens with broken or cracked ribs a smartphone, with activated GPS and a live line to a person at the Bicycle Office. Then they just ride around the city. Every time an OWWWW! or groan is heard, the GPS location is registered. That way the city will be able to map the spots that need maintenence. Now broken ribs are one thing, but what of citizens with more serious injuries or disabilities?

So I thought I’d whips together this article with photos of Copenhageners and other urban dwellers cycling with injuries or disabilities or using other vehicles that improve accessibility and mobility.

Like the shot of a Copenhagener in the morning rush hour (above) riding with what looks like a broken – or at least injured – hand, above. Still looking cool as you like.
Bicycle Crutches 02
Then there is this Copenhagener carrying her crutches with her on her bicycle. Fair enough, she might have been heading to the hospital – across the street – to deliver the crutches back.
Double Crutch
Then I remembered this shot from a while back of a girl carrying her crutches and getting doubled by her mum. The bicycle is a versatile tool. I know several friends who, after many years playing sports, have problems with their knees. They are invariably advised to ride a bicycle by their doctors.

Urban Mobility
There is a bike for almost everyone.

If you also make the bicycle the quickest and safest way to get around a city, people will do so – whatever their physical challenges. The bicycle is a freedom machine for many people.
Mobility Five Wheels, Three Arms
The dapper gentleman to the left may have reduced mobility for whatever reason, but he can get out and about with ease on this tricycle. Note his cane sticking out of the back.

I see the man in the right photo quite often. He rides a tricycle and only has one arm. A friend of mine knows him and I’m told that he only has one leg, too. He lost his limbs in a landmine explosion in the country he was born. He still gets about with ease on his wheels. Both of these gentlemen were impeccably dressed.

Bicycle Mobility
This gent is amazing and so is his cargo bike. A retrofitted Nihola lets him ride around the city with no lower arms and only one leg to pedal with. Fantastic.

Rock Star
If you’re a legendary Danish rock star, like Steen Jørgensen (above), you have a certain look to maintain and Steen pulls it off to perfection. The fact that he has no left arm is of little consequence.

Disabled Motion
I took this photo in Tokyo. The man had some form of disability with his legs. It required effort for him to get the pedals to turn but you can bet that it was a fraction of the effort he’d use when walking.

Casting Call Crutch Bike Crutch Bike
The lady on the left has a kind of cast on her leg, but still rides. The two photos on the right are from last winter. The boyfriend was holding the girls’ crutches and she moved slowly along – injured foot wrapped in plastic – on a child’s bicycle they had borrowed. It was icy so the crutches were probably more dangerous than helpful so the bicycle stepped in to assist. They were heading to the hospital down the road.

Vienna Cyclist Sticks
I spotted this lady in Vienna, Austria. Carrying her walking sticks to help her after she got off her bicycle.

This quaint sign on this tricycle reads, “Slightly Disabled”.

Invalidecykler
What with all the bicycle options for disabled – whether permanently or temporarily – it’s not surprising to see a parking sign like this outside my local library. It reads “Invalid Bicycles”, reserving a space close to the door for those who need it.

Wheelchairs
Montreal Wheelchair
I took this photo in Montreal. A trike pulling a wheelchair behind. This takes intermodality to a whole new level.

Wheelchair Transport
This retrofitted Nihola (it really is the Danish brand that offers unique variations of their cargo bikes) is designed simply to carry a wheelchair with passenger.

Walker Transport
This gent has his walker in the front of his cargo bike – intermodality once again.

Active Cyclist
You see many trike brands in operation in Copenhagen on a daily basis. This gent had what appeared to be Down Syndrome and he enjoys active mobility on this trike.

Electric Vehicles
Amsterdam Cycle Chic - Wheelie
Spotted in Amsterdam. An electric scooter with the wheelchair on a rack on the back. Compared to other cities, you see so many of such vehicles on the cycle tracks of Amsterdam and Copenhagen. Used by people with disabilities and the elderly. It’s a massive market with many brands. Offering urban mobility to people who might be restricted to a wheelchair.

Heading For The City
Cool as you like in Copenhagen.

Bicycle Cane
If it is ripe old age that has reduced mobility, the bicycle still serves a purpose. I see this lady all the time in my neigbourhood. Always walking her bicycle with groceries in the basket. Perhaps too unstable to ride, but using the bicycle as a kind of crutch. Lovely.

Copenhagenize the planet. And have a lovely day.

Cargo Bike Logistics on Harbours and Rivers by Copenhagenize

Cargo Bike Logistics by Copenhagenize Design Co.
Urban logistics is just one of the many challenges facing our cities. After Copenhagenize worked for three years on the European Union project Cyclelogistics, we have cargo bikes on the brain and provide cargo bike logistics as one of our services. We also live in a city with 40,000 cargo bikes in daily use. As ever, we look for solutions not only for other cities, but our own. During the Cyclelogistics project we determined that there is a massive potential for shifting goods delivery to bikes and cargo bikes. 51% of all motorised private and commercial goods transport in EU cities could be done on bicycles or cargo bikes.

Great. Let’s do that. But how to do it best? Lots of small companies are already operating in cities with last-mile service for packages, which is great. DHL is rocking Dutch cities with cargo bike deliveries and UPS and FedEx are getting their game face on, too. But we need to think bigger and better.

The City of Copenhagen created the framework for the idea of setting up a consolodation centre south of the city where logistics companies could drop off their goods in their larger trucks. Last mile service could be provided by smaller vehicles so that the trucks stay the hell out of our city. The industry has been slow to pick up the baton, however.

Copenhagen’s City Logistik website hasn’t been updated for a while because industry is lagging behind. This film explains their basic concept:

Sådan virker Citylogistik from Citylogistik on Vimeo.

There are a lot of packages to be delivered to the citizens in cities. In the Netherlands, for example, over half of all shoes are bought online. That is a lot of shoeboxes needing to get out to the people. In Europe we speak of the Zalando effect – similar to Amazon in North America.

Last mile service by smaller vehicles is great for cities but what about the solutions that are right there under our nose? What about the most ancient of transport corridors in our cities – the rivers and harbours.

We at Copenhagenize Design Company propose having barges – electric if you like – plying the waters of Copenhagen harbour. Dropping off small goods at specially designed piers at strategic locations on the harbourfront. Secure facilities that keep the goods stored in lockers. Depots designed especially for cargo bikes to arrive and pick up goods – or drop them off – in order to deliver them to the people and businesses in the various areas and neigbourhoods.

Our urban designer Adina Visan took our idea to the visual stage. Envisioning iconic off-shore depots for urban logistics along Copenhagen Harbour – or any city with a harbour or river.

Cargo Bike Logistics by Copenhagenize Design Co.
This should be the new normal for goods delivery in Copenhagen.

Cargo Bike Logistics by Copenhagenize Design Co.
Depots arranged to serve the densely populated neighbourhoods on either side of the harbour.

Cargo Bike Logistics by Copenhagenize Design Co.
Designed for a fleet of cargo bikes that can roll in, pick up goods in lockers, and roll out again onto the cycle tracks of the city.

What are we waiting for?

Copenhagenize the planet. And have a lovely day.

Lego and Bicycles – Together Forever

Citizen Cyclists 001
When you live in a home with over 20 kg of Lego, using it comes naturally. I noticed five years ago that I didn’t have a lot of Lego bicycles. I soon discovered that they are rather hard to come by, despite the fact that Lego is, of course, Danish. In America, for example, the quickest way to get a Lego bicycle is buy the ambulance set. Seriously. Selling fear of cycling in a Lego box.

But back in 2011 I wanted to do a rendition of the Copenhagen rush hour in Lego bicycles. I stripmined eBay in four countries buying bikes and mini-figures that resembled normal people. Finally, shot a series of photos like the one up top.
Lego Cycle Chic
My inspiration also had a root at the Legoland theme park. I spotted this cyclist, above, from the age before the mini figure, which makes them awesome. From the age before rubber tires and asphalt, too, it would seem – so even more respect.

Bicycles in LEGO sets
Looking around the internet I discovered that there are/were sets that featured Lego bicycles, as you can see above. Then, of coursre, I discovered a nerdy website listing all Lego sets with bicycles in them. Ever.

Here are some photos from the original Lego rush hour shoot back in May 2011:
Citizen Cyclists 016 Cycle Chic Bike Gang
Citizen Cyclists 011 Citizen Cyclists 006
Citizen Cyclists 012 Citizen Cyclists 014
Citizen Cyclists 007 Citizen Cyclists 002

Citizen Cyclists 005
I tried to get all sorts of different people represented. Workers, doctors, parents, you name it.

Copenhagenize Lego
Late last year I did another shoot, featuring more bicycles and style of citizens.
Copenhagenize Lego Copenhagenize Lego
Finally managed to get a cargo bike built.

At Copenhagenize Design Co. we make holiday cards with mini-figures featuring ourselves in Lego. That’s me in the middle.
Eyes in the Back of My Head Lego bicycle chic
What else can I pull out of the archives? Cycling home with Lego containers for storing… Lego? Check. And a photo from Sandra at Classic Copenhagen featuring Godzilla-sized cyclists at the Lego flagship store in Copenhagen.

Legocentration Lego
Lego and urbanism? You bet. A few years ago the Danish Architecture Center (DAC) had Lego on tables on the City Hall Square and Felix and I hung around for ages constructing buildings. We always show up at DAC when they do Lego events.

The Kids Want the City Back
Felix and I also addressed a bit of urban decay with a Lego-based urban infill solution across the street from our house.

SF CM Legogirl 03
When speaking in San Francisco back in 2009 I rode in the Halloween Critical Mass and met this fabulous local with her home-made Lego accessories. Wasn’t a fan of the critical mass thing, though.

Chess Set
No bikes here, but Felix and I made this chess set years ago and it is still used. The most Danish thing I know.


Lego can be used in many ways. The Danish version of the morons on the left are right here. You have your version, I’m sure.

But hey. Lego ain’t going anywhere. Bicycles ain’t going anywhere. I’m going to keep on combining the two.
Vélomonde

Copenhagenize the planet. And have a lovely day.

The Best Bike Story This Week

The Lulu rocking the Bullitt on the school run today #thelulu #copenhagen
Yesterday I took back ownership of my own Bullitt cargo bike, when The Lulu and I picked it up at Larry vs Harry. You might have heard it was stolen back in March. After a week or so, I resigned myself to never seeing it again. I lived in hope, because another time it was stolen, the Danish internet helped me get it back.


On Sunday evening, I got this photo sent via MMS and on Facebook. WTF. My bike parked outside Larry vs Harry. It was found at Christiania by a guy named Danni and taken from there and put outside Larry vs Harry. An amazing story. I called Danni and he was all like “no problem…”.

I got the details of the story yesterday when we picked it up from Claus. And it is amazing.

I realised I know Danni. I chat with him every year at the Svajerløb – Danish Cargo Bike Championships and I chatted with him at the recent bike flea market. Ironically, about whether or not I had found my Bullitt.

Danni’s own Bullitt is well-known here. He extended the frame to make it extra long. This shot is from the flea market a few weeks back. He has a kid around the same age as The Lulu, too.

So it turns out Danni was out for a ride on his motorcycle and ended up at Christiania. He saw three Bullitts behind the Månefiskeren café and he recognised one of them. Mine. Still with the map of Copenhagen on the cargo bay and even the Copenhagenize Design Co. logo sticker intact.

Danni rode his motorbike home to Hvidovre – a suburb of Copenhagen – and returned with his minivan. He put my Bullitt in the back and went to a bike shop to buy a lock. He then drove it to Larry vs Harry and locked it outside the shop. He let Claus from Larry vs Harry know it was there and he, in turn, notified me.

How amazing is that. 30 km and a couple of hours out of his day. Just to get the Bullitt back for The Lulu and I.

I’m speechless. Grateful. Amazed.

Thanks Danni. The Lulu is making him a drawing and I’ll figure out a suitable gift.

Copenhagenize the planet. And have a lovely day.

Street Photography from the World’s Youngest Urbanist

Lulu Street Photography_40
Everybody sees their city differently. What does the city look like through the eyes of The World’s Youngest Urbanist? Lulu-Sophia keeps delivering a solid flow of pure observations about city life. She also grows up in a home filled with cameras and has free access to all of them. What about putting those two things together, I thought.

Some Canon camera, be it 5 or 7D is usually lying in the window sill at our place. I often find photos on the memory card that Lulu-Sophia had taken of people out on the street in front of our flat. She just started picking up the camera and shooting. A couple of years ago I started handed her the camera when we’re riding around on the Bullitt cargo bike.

I never say what she should take photos of. I just say “take photos if you want”. Totally up to her and no big deal if she doesn’t. Sometimes I don’t notice what she does but when I load the photos onto the computer, I get to see what she sees. And it is quite wonderful.

I’ve made a little set of her street photography work on Flickr?from when she was five but here are some of her shots from the urban landscape. Both from the flat and from the Bullitt.
Lulu Street Photography_38
By and large, she photographs people. Still Life must be like watching paint dry for a five year old. Humans, please. Except, perhaps, for a pretty red bicycle (farther down) that caught her eye.

Lulu Street Photography_5 Lulu Street Photography_26

Lulu Street Photography_41 Lulu Street Photography (2)
People doing things. Transporting themselves, waiting for someone, observing – in their own way – their city. Humans watching humans.

Lulu Street Photography Lulu Street Photography_20

Lulu Street Photography_13 Lulu Street Photography_23

Lulu Street Photography_32

Lulu Street Photography_9 Lulu Street Photography_14

Lulu Street Photography_7 Lulu Street Photography_18
There are many bicycles, mostly because it’s like shooting fish in a barrel in Copenhagen. You can’t take a shot without a bicycle in it. When shooting from the flat, she shoots cyclists and pedestrians.
Lulu Street Photography_12

Lulu Street Photography_42 Lulu Street Photography_17

Lulu Street Photography_16

Lulu Street Photography_34 Lulu Street Photography_2

Lulu Street Photography_11
And of course, the set wouldn’t be complete without a shot of your big brother, Felix.

Copenhagenize the planet. And have a lovely day.

Nantes: A City Getting it Right

Cours des 50 otages - Pistes cyclables

A French translation of this article follows the English text.

The city of Nantes in France will host the global bicycle conference Velo-City?in June 2015.?Before showing up, Copenhagenize Design Company decided to do a scouting tour.

Nantes and its 600,000 inhabitants – including the immediate suburbs – is one of the French cities that decided to implement an ambitious cycling policy. They dared to innovate and to make strong political decisions. We find that inspiring.

To begin with, watch the Velo-City 2015 promotional clip. In this video, Nantes demonstrates that they understand that creating a bicycle-friendly city is not just about building infrastructure but it’s most of all about developing a life-sized city where bicycles are merely one of the tools to create an active, creative and liveable city – albeit one of the most important tools. Nantes presents in the video its inhabitants, its urban spaces and its activities.

We have to admit that we have been impressed by the diversity of features included in the bicycle policy. Far from being only focused on building infrastructure, Nantes expands the initiatives to include everything that can support rebuilding a bike-friendly city; services for cyclists; parking; a bike share programme; long and short term rental bikes; collaboration with the local associations, etc.

Bicloo Zone à Trafic Limité

The implementation of their policy has been a success if you consider the fact that the number of cyclists has increased and the modal share rose from 2% to 4.5% between 2008 and 2012 (5.3% in the city-centre). Most importantly, the bicycle users in the city are largely Citizen Cyclists and not hard-core “avid cyclists” dressed in racing gear.

First step – Reducing the Number of Parasites
During rush hour, many streets are still highly congested but when it comes to traffic regulation within the city-centre, Nantes has made a crucial decision: the through traffic has been completely removed from the heart of the city thanks to the creation of a Limited Traffic Area.

The main boulevard running through the city is now only accessible to bicycles, public transport and authorised vehicles (taxis, delivery trucks, shopkeepers), meaning that most cars and motorcycles are no longer welcome. On this boulevard, just like on a pedestal,?cyclists ride a 4 meter wide cycle track, slightly elevated. Even if we can criticise the fact that the cycle track is very different from the others (bi-directional, in the middle of the street, elevated), we notice that the Municipality has decided to showcase to the inhabitants that the cyclists are very welcome in Nantes – and prioritized. In addition, the city continues transforming symbolic car-centric places into pedestrian areas (such as the Royale square and the Graslin square). Nantes is Copenhagenizing and modernising itself.


Place Graslin

Building Several Kilometres of Bicycle Infrastructure
In addition to their wider focus, Nantes has, bien sur, built numerous kilometres of separated bike lanes. The colour chosen for the bike lanes is a very light orange. At the intersections, this colour communicates clearly that the space is dedicated to cyclists and orange stripes along the lanes strenghten this communication in some areas.

But let’s look at the infrasturcture in detail because it is the backbone of any cycling city. The lanes are wide enough to host the current number of cyclists (3 meters wide for the bi-directional lanes). But when the modal share will really increase, will it be sufficient to cope with the user’s flow and capacity? Is the infrastructure capable of evolving and expanding? We’re not sure.

Piste cyclable?

Piste cyclable

Piste cyclable bi-directionelle?Piste cyclable

A Clear Strategy Can Still Suffer from Drawbacks
We must mention that one clear drawback and that is a lack of homogeneity in the bicycle network. The diversity the design of the infrastruture is such that without a strong knowledge of the city, you can easily lose track of the network. For instance, bicycle lanes are randomly designed. They are in the middle of the street, on the right of car traffic, on the right or left of the tram, shared with buses or pedestrians suddenly for a few metres, first monodirectional then bidirectional. It’s a guessing game at times.


Despite the consistency of the orange colour and the creation of two main routes – north-south and east-west- the network remains very complex and not at all intuitive. It makes it quite difficult to get a clear mind map of the bike route you’ll be riding. Moreover, the bi-directional bike lanes already show some limits as this infrastructure is too narrow to host the cyclists at the intersections during rush hour.

The physical complexity of the bike infrastructure has two main impacts. First, the speed of the cyclists is reduced, which turns cycling into a less competitive solution compared to other means of transport (12 km/h in Nantes vs. 15,5 in Copenhagen and 20 km/h on the “Green Wave Routes”). We know for a fact that a bicycle user wants to ride from A to B as quick as possible.

Secondly, the difficulty to visualise a clear cycling itinerary can become a serious deterrent to getting new cyclists onto the infrastructure. This might challenge the ambition of the city to increase the modal share. Can Nantes really reach their declared target of 15% model share for cyclists without making cycling the most practical and easiest choice? Not likely, as it is now.

This challenge is common in many French cities that, on the one hand, develop ambitious cycling networks but, on the other hand, make them too inconsistent when it comes to the type of infrastructure.

Increase the?Diversity of Services
Like so many French cities, Nantes implemented a bike share scheme – the Bicloo – relying on user-friendly stations (880 bikes and 102 stations). But the city also offers the commuters the opportunity to combine bicycle and train through the development of a bike-train-bike concept (similar to the BiTiBi project). Indeed, let’s imagine that an inhabitant of Nantes Métropole cycles from home to a nearby suburban train station, he/she can park the bike under a shelter (or, even better, in a secure bike parking facility at the main train station in Nantes). Then, he/she gets on the train and upon arriving in the city-centre, he/she can rent a bike for a day and return it to the same place before taking the train home. ?The City of Nantes has also developed secure bike parking, long term rentals and air pumps and they allow folding bike on the trams – the Cyclotan – as well as offering citizens €300 euros subsidy for buying a cargo bike. allowance when buying a cargo-bike.

Bicloo - station


Bord de l'Erdre

Le Lieu Unique


Important information for our followers attending Vélo-City 2015 – we have already found the Copenhagenize HQ ?- near the conference venue. A lovely place on the Erdre river. See you there in June 2015.

VERSION EN?FRANÇAIS

Nantes – Une ville qui a compris?!

La Ville de Nantes (France) accueillera en Juin 2105 la conférence mondiale Vélo-City. Avant de venir y participer, Copenhagenize a décidé d’aller y faire un petit repérage.

Nantes, 600.000 habitants à l’échelle de l’agglomération, est l’une des villes françaises qui a mis en place une ambitieuse politique cyclable et qui n’a pas hésité à innover en la matière et prendre des décisions politiques fortes. De quoi inspirer.

Pour commencer, visionnage de son clip de présentation de Vélo-City 2015, où Nantes montre qu’elle a compris que créer une ville cyclable c’était avant tout créer une ville humaine où les vélos ne sont finalement qu’un des éléments d’une ville active et agréable à vivre. Nantes y présente majoritairement ses habitants, ses espaces publics, ses activités urbaines.

Ensuite, il faut bien avouer que nous avons été impressionné sur la diversité des éléments de sa politique cyclable. Loin de s’être uniquement focalisée sur la construction de pistes cyclables, Nantes a élargi ses initiatives concernant le vélo sur tous les fronts?: services aux cyclistes, parkings, vélos publics, travail avec les associations locales…

Résultat, la part modale du vélo est passée de 2 % à 4,5 % entre 2008 et 2012 (5,3% dans le centre-ville), mais surtout les cyclistes sont des usagers de la rue comme les autres et non des hard-core du vélo, de vrais «?Citizen Cyclists?» (cf. le blogpost sur Copenhagen Cycle Chic).

Deuxièmement, des kilomètres d’infrastructures cyclables
Nantes a construit des kilomètres de pistes cyclables complètement séparées de la circulation automobile.?Orange pâle, c’est la couleur choisie pour marquer les pistes cyclables. Aux carrefours, cette couleur affirme la place des cyclistes et des bandes peintes le long des pistes vient parfois judicieusement renforcer la lisibilité du réseau.

Les pistes sont actuellement assez larges pour accueillir les cyclistes (3 mètres de large mais en bi-directionnelle), mais qu’en sera-t-il quand le nombre de cyclistes augmentera véritablement.?Toutes ces infrastructures seront-elles adaptables?


Une ombre au tableau
Toutefois, il faut tout de même signaler un bémol?: le manque d’homogénéité du réseau cyclable. La diversité du type de pistes cyclables est telle que sans être un fin connaisseur de la ville, on en perd très vite la lisibilité. La piste cyclable se situe parfois au centre de la rue, parfois à droite des voitures, à droite ou à gauche du tram, partagée sur quels mètres avec les piétons ou les bus, elle peut-être mono- ou bi-directionnelle…
Le réseau est trop complexe et malgré la signalisation des axes majeurs nord/sud et est/ouest, difficile d’avoir une carte mentale claire de son itinéraire. Par ailleurs, les pistes cyclables bi-directionnelles montrent déjà leur limite aux heures de pointes, les endroits d’attente aux intersections autant rapidement saturés.

La complexité physique du parcours alternant entre différents types de pistes cyclables à deux impacts majeurs. Il réduit la vitesse des cyclistes et rend ainsi ce mode de déplacement moins compétitif face aux autres modes de transport (12km/h à Nantes contre 15,5 à Copenhague et 20km/h sur les «?Green Waves?»). On le sait, un cycliste utilise son vélo principalement parce que c’est rapide et pratique. Par ailleurs, la complexité de lecture du réseau peut dissuader certains usagers à se déplacer à vélo et limite l’augmentation de la part modale. Est-ce ainsi possible d’atteindre 15% de cyclistes??

Cette remarque est en fait la principale critique que l’on puisse faire aux villes françaises de manière générale. Elles innovent mais complexifient leur réseau.


Une diversité de services?
Comme des dizaines d’autres villes en France, Nantes dispose d’un service de vélos partagés – le Bicloo – et de bornes facilement accessibles (800 vélos et 102 stations). Mais elle permet également la combinaison de transport – vélo-train-vélo (cf. le projet européen BiTiBi). En effet, imaginons qu’un habitant de la région nantaise se rende de son domicile à sa gare locale à vélo, il trouve – à défaut d’un parking sécurisé – un abris à vélo. Il prend ensuite le train et une fois arrivé à la gare de Nantes, il empreinte pour la journée un vélo public et le retourne à la gare lorsqu’il vient reprendre son train.

La Ville de Nantes a développé également des parkings sécurisés disponibles sur la voie public, des pompes à vélo, un vélo pliant autorisé dans le tram – le Cyclotan -, une aide à
de 300 euros à l’achat d’un vélo-cargo, un vélo à disposition des étudiants…


Information à tous nos lecteurs participants à Vélo-City 2015, nous avons déjà trouvé notre QG à deux pas de la salle de congrès, un lieu unique au bord de l’Erdre où nous aurons plaisir à vous retrouver.

Copenhagenize the planet. And have a lovely day.

Cargo Bike Parking Design – The Copenhagenize Bar by Cyclehoop

The Copenhagenize Bar - by Cyclehoop
In early 2013, Copenhagenize Design Company developed a design for on-street cargo bike parking that creates space and accessibility for citizens that use cargo bikes on a daily basis. Who else would we team up with for the further development of the product but the brilliant British firm Cyclehoop?

After this otherwise great prototype for on-street cargo bike parking was removed due to political decisions in Copenhagen, I started thinking about how to design a solution that would improve parking conditions.

After almost three years of working with the EU project Cyclelogistics, cargo bikes have become a main focus of the company. I have two cargo bikes myself and parking is a primary challenge.

When you use a cargo bike everyday, you want to have it handy. In many cities, like Copenhagen or Frederiksberg, you find yourself pushing it into the back courtyard because of a lack of secure parking on the street. Cargo bikes are objets de désir for thieves and, unlike regular bicycles, the theft of them is often organised. Most Danish brands are good quality and keep a fair chunk of their market price when sold used. People who do park their cargo bikes out in front of the buildings are forced to lock them to signs, drainpipes and other bits and pieces of urbanness. They often take up a lot of space – easily the space of two regular bikes. So our idea was to design an elegant, functional parking solution for cargo bikes. Prioritising cargo bike parking and giving people extra security.

The Copenhagenize Bar - by Cyclehoop
In situ visualisation

Surprisingly, cargo bike parking solutions have not been a priority, despite the fact that in Greater Copenhagen there are 40,000 of them. The aforementioned pink car was a step in the right direction and at a shopping centre, Fields, south of the city, dedicated cargo bike parking is in place. But that ain’t much. Certainly not with the growth of cargo bikes in cities all over Europe and beyond.

The challenge I gave myself included these keywords:
Functional. Elegant. Unique. Secure. Sense of security. Flexible. Modular.

The rack should look good on the street or outside shops/buildings. It should be a deterrent for thieves and offer the user both security and sense of security when parking on street. I wanted a unique design – most cargo bike solutions involve merely placing a metal railing next to them to which you can lock your bike. Making it flexible meant that it a majority of cargo bike brands should be able to use it. There are over 15 brands in Denmark alone, let alone some foreign ones on the market like Bakfiets and Johnny Loco, so it was important to make sure that as many of them as possible could use it.

The primary user was thought to be residents in densely-populated neighbourhoods who could use the Copenhagenize Bar on the street outside where they live, instead of having to muscle the bike into the backyard. Modular was important because the urban landscape is never uniform.

After doing the intial drawings and design myself I proposed the idea to Anthony at Cyclehoop and we entered into this partnership. The visualisations and the details that evolved are a great collaborative effort.

The Copenhagenize Bar - by Cyclehoop
You simply roll the cargo bike into the space and lower the bar between the seat and the cargo bay.

The Copenhagenize Bar - by Cyclehoop
You lock the bar into place with a lock (at left) and you can supplement it with a lock through the bar itself. Many people who park their bikes on street carry two heavy-duty locks. As all bikes in Copenhagen have a wheel lock, this is also invariably locked, as well.

Copenhagenize Design Company hit the streets last year and measured every single cargo bike brand on the market. The height of the bar was the most important detail. It had to be placed so that a thief couldn’t just take off the back wheel and push it forward under the bar. The majority of cargo bikes have a step-through frame but a couple of them have a crossbar. The Sorte Jernhest (Black Iron Horse) and Bellabike. The design fits all models up to the height of the crossbars on these two brands.

The Copenhagenize Bar - by Cyclehoop?

The Copenhagenize Bar - by Cyclehoop
Another in situ visualisation. Providing parking for five citizens in the space of two car parking spots. Note: The Copenhagenize Bar will be lower than shown here.

The Copenhagenize Bar - by Cyclehoop
The design can be fastened into the asphalt or, if need be, a base plate can be fixed to the ground.

The Copenhagenize Bar - by Cyclehoop
In situ visualisation by night, placed on existing car parking area.

The Next Generation
The Copenhagenize Bar - by Cyclehoop
Cyclehooop and Copenhagenize Design Company are currently developing the next generation. This will feature a subscription service from the municipality or, perhaps, a supermarket chain. A user can order a chip card – like most bike share systems around the world – and when locking the bike, simply lock the internal mechanism by waving the card in front of the panel. This will eliminate the need for having your own lock.

See more photos on the Copenhagenize Design Co. website.

Copenhagenize the planet. And have a lovely day.

New Tilt-action Cargo Bike Brand Hits the Market

Butchers & Bicycles

It has black and white graphic lines, a cool vintage style logo, but most of all this bicycle hopes to provide you with a new way to ride a cargo bike.

The brainchild of the newly launched company Butchers and Bicycles – located in the heard of Copenhagen’s meatpacking district – the Mk1 aspires to change the game of riding a three-wheeler. They launched with bravado in their funky showroom and their promotional film did the rounds of the social media.

Many people pointed out that there were no groceries or children in the box of the bike in the film. A good point, actually.

Riding the Mk1 gives you a very different sensation compared to the established brands of three-wheeler cargo bikes. It feels more like riding a two-wheeler.

The bike is also very sporty. Selling itself in the film by showing you how you can corner better and faster. The box tilts with you into the bend. It appears that the bike is aimed at the male demographic and not shy about it.

There is, however, a door at the front of the box, above parking supports so you don’t need to lift the children inside. Although with 40,000 cargo bikes already in Copenhagen, that hasn’t really been much of an issue. The bike is also nice and light compared to the established brands, which may be a unique selling point.

An optional electric assist motor can be mounted. Right there, we are sceptical. In a densely-populated city with an average speed of 16 km/h, we don’t fancy large, electric scooters zipping past doing 25 km/h.


Design-wise, the lines are elegant, the details impressive and the Mk1 rolls boldly along in simple in black or white. No bad taste in that department.

Butchers & Bicycles?
All in all, it’s a shiny new cargo bike and it looks good. Whether or not it will be the gamechanger the designers hope it to be remains to be seen. We know that in Copenhagen it is usually the woman in the couple who decides upon the model of cargo bike when they are out shopping for one. Our guess is that they’re going to get dragged along by the man to the showroom and then they’ll end up buying a Nihola, Christiania Bike or a Triobike.

The Mk1 might appeal to small businesses who need a cargo bike for transporting small goods but if you’re going to hammer home a success you need to win the hearts and minds of the young families.

Butchers & Bicycles?
What also remains to be seen is how a trike with so more moving parts than normal holds up after a Danish winter and constant daily use. Let’s see where this brand is after two or three years before we declare it a success.

It is always good, however, to see innovation from people wanting to take things to a different level. Kudos for that.Butchers & Bicycles
Website:?www.butchersandbicycles.com

Copenhagenize the planet. And have a lovely day.

Cycling to Copenhagen Airport

Cycling to the Airport
Standard cycle track in Copenhagen. Sign indicating that you turn left here for the airport.

I will fully admit the irony of my epiphany. It’s even a bit silly. The story has, however, a decent ending. The nature of my work involves a great many trips to and from Copenhagen Airport. We’re lucky in Copenhagen. The airport is the most efficient and well-designed airport I’ve seen anywhere in the world. It is easily accessible and is located close to the city. You can get there by bus, metro and train, as well as car or taxi, of course. This being Copenhagen, I knew there was fully separated bicycle infrastructure the whole way out there, as well. From every direction.

Last October, on the eve of a journey to Zurich for my TED x talk, my friend Ole – previously written about on this blog – asked why I didn’t just ride my bicycle to the airport. I shrugged and said that I live 6 minutes walk from a Metro station and it takes 25 minutes on the Metro to get there. I’m not a “cyclist” – I don’t demonstratively ride my bicycle everywhere. I like to walk and take public transport, too. I ride my bicycle because it’s quick, efficient and rational. My Metro journey takes 35 minutes, give or take, and that was the most efficient way to get to the airport.

With that trademark twinkle in his eye, Ole said, “That’s what I thought, too…” He pulled out his smartphone and showed me a journey he recorded on the Endomondo app. It’s like many other apps for tracking journeys, but being a Danish product, it rightly has “Cycling – Transport” as an option. Ole lives in a different neighbourhood but we live about the same distance from the airport. He showed me the bottom line: it took him 35 minutes to ride to Copenhagen Airport. The same amount of time as I use on the metro. And Ole rides a bog standard upright bike in style over speed.

Damn. There is was. Rationality staring me in the face. I woke up the next morning and hopped on my 60 year old Swedish bike with my carry-on bag for the two day trip to Zurich and rode to the airport.

It took me 39 relaxing minutes on my old one-speed. 11.39 km in all. I parked at the bike rack outside Terminal 3 and waltzed right up the escalator to security. Feeling silly that I hadn’t realised it before. Piece of cake.

The trip was, of course, on standard separated cycle tracks the whole way.
Cycling to Copenhagen Airport
One little 400 metre section along the motorway was one of the old-school bi-directional types, which was nice.

Cycle chic. Rode my bike to the airport. In style. #cyclechic bit.ly/VCuOHE
I parked right outside Terminal 3. Luckily, there was space


There is, however, ample bike parking at the airport, as you can see on Copenhagen Airport’s website. They are often filled. Many employees live in the nearby neighbourhoods, so they ride to work, although I’m sure others have discovered the simplicity of cycling to the airport.

So. Great for short trips with a carry-on bag. On my longer trips, I have more luggage, obviously. I would love to ride my Bullitt to the airport on these occasions. The problem is that theft of cargo bikes is big business so I am not keen to leave the Bullitt parked all exposed for a week or so.

I rang the airport and talked to a guy in the parking department. He could understand the problem and was kind enough to give me his best guess about which of the bike parking areas would be most secure – an area with a lot of traffic throughout the day and night. Still, I’m not keen to risk it.

There are underground parking levels all over the place. Perfect for cargo bike parking but currently only reserved for cars. At Copenhagenize Design Co. we’ve approached the marketing department at Copenhagen Airport about providing secure parking for cargo bikes and we’re looking forward to hearing from them. The airport has decent facilities for bicycles but mostly because it’s in Copenhagen and it’s a necessity. Although the bicycle pump when you arrive in the baggage area certainly impressed this guy last year.


The main challenge is that car parking is lucrative. Ole took a photo of this ad at the airport recently. “A hot dog on the platform or a cosy dinner with your partner – Why spend the evening on a cold train platform when you can take your own car to the airport. Park in the airport’s best spots: Direct and Standard. Then you’ll get home quick to your partner.”

So the message is clear. Car parking is big business for the airport. Although creating cargo bike parking facilities would, of course, be modern and marketable. Good for the airport’s brand. Let’s see if they’re up for it.

We’ve mapped out where the best locations would be and it would be an inexpensive investment with a lot of return in the form of marketing. Just look at how much focus the oil company Statoil has recieved because of their bicycle stations at their gas stations in Copenhagen.

Cycling to the airport is easy, rational and time-efficient. I hope more people consider doing it.

Baggage Handler Commuting
It’s also a great way to get around if you work there.

—–

On the subject of airports and cargo bike, here’s an article and film about how I get picked up by friends with a cargo bike every time I arrive at Rio de Janeiro’s Santos Dumont airport. Let’s face it: a city with cycle tracks to the airport is a modern city.


Bicycles and Airports set on Flickr right here.

Copenhagenize the planet. And have a lovely day.

By Emma on February 12, 2013 | Concepts, Nuts
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Cargo Bikes Are the New Ice Cream Truck

Oswalds Isbar
If you’re a regular reader of Copenhagenize, you’ve probably seen us blog a photo or two of cargo bike vendors. The ice cream bar is, hands down, one of my favorite cargo bikes to see cruising around town.?

With bicycle culture, and now cargo bike culture, emerging around the world it’s refreshing to see examples from cities that aren’t Amsterdam or Copenhagen. Here’s one straight out of Winnipeg, Canada: The Dickie Dee Ice Cream company.

Having been to wonderful wintry Winnipeg recently for the Kickstand Sessions it’s hard to imagine ever getting a hankering for an eskimo pie or a popsicle. Nevertheless, after being founded in 1959, Dickie Dee rode their way to the top – becoming one of the largest vending companies in North America – selling creamsicles and ice cream sandwiches straight from the front of their fiberglass cooler box cargo bikes.?

Here’s to hoping we hear a few more of those handle bar bells jingling around town.

Copenhagenize the planet. And have a lovely day.