City of Bicycles by Cecilia Vanman

| November 8, 2010

In Copenhagen everybody cycles. His Royal Highness Frederik, the Danish crown prince, can be spotted regularly riding his children around in a cargo bicycle, and it is completely normal to see politicians parking their bicycles outside the Parliament building, or a famous actor riding around town with shopping bags balancing on the handlebars.

Girlfriends in high heels push their pedals while they talk intimately side-by-side. With one hand on the handlebars bike riders send text messages, hold phone conversations, drink take-away coffees, enjoy their music, and transport dogs, kids and full shopping bags. Copenhageners practically live on their bikes.

In City of Bicycles Cecilia Vanman vividly describes the multifaceted Copenhagen bicycle culture with all that it entails. Her stories are accompanied by stunning images of the cycling capital captured by the celebrated British photographer Robin Maddock.
Find out why Copenhageners are so in love with their bikes and see them portrayed in the streets with their favorite two (or three) wheels: cargo bikes, fixies, racers, tourers, velomobiles, home built/new/vintage and on it goes – Copenhagen holds the whole spectrum. Bikes are everywhere, all day, every day, year round.

Read about the legendary bicycles makes of the hippie town Christiania and meet the city’s bespoke bike makers. See their creations that reflect the designers’ personal predilections and satisfy customers’ tastes across the spectrum from whimsy to deluxe to space age technology and back again to utter practicality and reliability.

The tight knit courier culture of today is also portrayed as is that of the original couriers, the ‘Swayers’, who ruled Copenhagen streets for four decades. Learn about Copenhagen customization, about the bike blogger who kick started a bicycle revolution, the collectors, the self-builders and the world’s most expensive bicycle – made in Copenhagen. Have a look at the bicycle as art, check out the punk knights who joust on giant bicycles and close the book again with the conviction that Copenhageners truly are the most cyclo-centric city dwellers on the planet.

For chapter descriptions and slideshow from the book:

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