Copenhagen’s Bike Culture on Exhibit

Denmark is one of the world leaders in having a successful biking lifestyle. The bike is regarded as a major means of transportation in the country and dedicated bicycle paths are in place to accommodate people who want to pedal their way around the towns. Other countries have followed this example not only as a way of cutting back on carbon emissions but also a healthy form of lifestyle.

The Danish capital of Copenhagen is where Denmark’s bike culture started. In fact, an exhibition is currently going on at the Museum of Copenhagen detailing how the bicycle lifestyle in the city began and how it evolved through the years. The exhibit that will run until August 1, 2010 follows the history of the bicycle culture starting from the Draisine to the more modern bike. It also showcases bikes in art, literature and pop music as well as personal narrations about biking and the city from contemporary Copenhagen residents.

Biking became common in Copenhagen at the start of the 20th century. It was, however, in the 1980s when separate cycle paths were constructed to allow people to freely bike to and from their destinations. Today, the capital has 350 kilometers of separate cycle lanes and 20 kilometers of on-road cycle lanes.

As biking is a way of life in Denmark, it isn’t surprising that the country has also produced its own unique bicycles. One is the Long John, also known as the freight, carrier or cargo bike. This type is meant to transport large loads and has a cargo area or carrier. The carrier can be a box, a flat platform or a wire basket.

The other Danish invention is called the Christiana bike. This is similar to the Long John but is meant to carry children in the front part. Its name was derived from a part of Copenhagen known as Christiana where this type of bike was invented and where only bicycles are allowed to be used for transportation.

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