Cycling Copenhagen – every single day :)

Posted: March 26, 2011 in Livable cities
Tags: , , ,

Six months ago we sold our car and decided to go all in. We had already been cycling a lot, but the car was becoming an inconvenient convenience, mainly being used for ridiculous little trips like dropping off our youngest at kindergarten or going grocery shopping.

The inspiration to make the bold move came from people like Mikael Colville-Andersen and his blog and his movement – and Clarence Eckerson Jr. and his Streetfilms documentaries on livable cities. I was particularly inspired by his 2010 documentary Cycling Copenhagen Through North American Eyes. And hold on – not least because of all the initiatives provided by Copenhagen City Council, such as more and wider bicycle paths, green waves for cyclists in the mornings and afternoons – and just the kick you get out of being part of something great.

So what’s my verdict after 6 months of full time cycling everywhere? I’ll probably never go back! And, mind you, that’s my verdict after having been through one of the toughest, coldest, longest and snowiest Danish winters in recorded history. These are some pictures from my iPhone representing some of the ambiance of Copenhagen winter cycling. (I know, these are no match for the photos over at Copenhagen Cycle Chic).

Let me say, I have challenged a lot of conventional wisdom over these last 6 months: I have cycled to meetings over 15 km away wearing a suit (top left, biked parked in front of my customer’s HQ). I bring my bicycle on trains all the time to bullet through town into the suburbs and continue for another 3 or 4 km by bike. I have plowed 3 km through 20 cm of snow with Halley (our youngest) on the back seat. I have managed more meetings in one day than I would have been able to driving a car (that’s a die hard myth).

After I recently met up with Christian Birk, one of the founders of Endomondo, I decided to give it a try logging my cycling, and what a great motivator it is. I know exactly how many kilometers I have cycled, the average speed (not that it really matters), how many calories I have burned (ehem, not that it matters either), but it does tell me how many trips to the moon I’ve done. Alas, since I started on March 1st I have only made it 0.001 times to the moon, but I’ll let you know when I get there.

All I really miss, gadget-wise, is a good sturdy, weather-proof iPhone mount, when I try to navigate using Google Maps, which, ironically, still doesn’t give me a cycling option in Copenhagen (only car, public transport and by foot).

Let me round off by encouraging you die hard motorists out there. There is another way :)

PS. Mikael from Copenhagenize did this cool blog post on me back in December: Ole’s ‘Old’ Autocar. Thanks Mikael.

  1. Ulla Sommerfelt says:

    Hey Ole, way to go! Wish it was possible here in Oslo, but I can just imagine myself up steep hills in 2 meters of snow in my heels, trying not to slide down into the tram rails…
    Well, gratulations with your achievements, see you next time around :-)

  2. olekassow says:

    Thanks, Ulla. I can vividly imagine you racing down Oslo’s hills in Carrie Bradshaw-ian stilettos :-)

  3. […] på cykelfronten de seneste par måneder. Jeg skrev i marts en artikel på min engelsksprogede blog, som gjorde status på vores første rigtige […]

  4. […] However overall my friend, Ole, took an early lead and finally won the challenge, but I was breathing down his neck for the whole month! The interesting thing about this is that Ole almost entirely burned his 16,967 calories cycling around the city, with very little high intensity training included. I on the other hand burned my 15,637 calories almost exclusively “training” whether running, hammering it on my bike, or in the gym, without much of the day to day exercise as I mention above.  Of course Ole has a good reason to need to burn the calories because he is married to my good friend, the fabulous cook, photographer and blogger FoodyTwoShoes! But regardless of that Ole and Foody made an inspirational lifestyle choice to dump the car and cycle everywhere which Ole has written about here. […]

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