Living in the North means living with four distinct seasons and a sizable difference in hours of light and darkness. Still, the benefits of transporting yourself on a bicycle outweigh the inconveniences. Exercise, fresh air, and being green top challenges like a little rain, light snow, or oncoming darkness at 3pm.
Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, is world famous for its biking culture and now officially the first Bike City in the World. Last year, it was also voted the ‘Best city for cyclists’ and the ‘World’s most liveable city’. The Danes are well known for their love of cycling and cities all around the world are now looking at ways to copy this phenomenon.
It really is biking heaven for the cyclist in Copenhagen with over 390 kilometers (242 miles) of designated bike lanes. There is even a bicycle freeway. Because of this network of bike lanes, one is safer when bicycling. That helps. And naturally, whether funds for this is found within municipalities and/or grassroots organizations, funding is necessary.
However, a more important factor is a shift in attitude from a car culture to a bike culture which is harder to conquer. I live in a small town and I bike to and from work, to and from grocery shopping (I have two baskets on the back of my bike and shop for groceries every day) which works for me. I’m an empty nester and don’t need to feed a whole family. But I’m looking at the bike culture that can be real in urban areas, where thousands of people commute to work every day.
Imagine if the network of bike lanes were available? Would you take your bike? The shift of mind that is necessary is hard to overcome. It’s like changing your diet. Your body is familiar with certain foods and drinks and is familiar with a certain way of getting around. Looking at your car and your bike in the garage, what will it be? With me, taking the bike is on the forefront of my brain and the natural solution, even when it’s cold and rainy.