The Copenhagen Files: Parades

Issue: how to get your family, including 4-month-old infant, to participate in a parade together?

Answer: put them in the cargo bike box and go!



Disclaimer: okay, yes, this was in Copenhagen.

These photos were taken during the Velo-City 2010 in Copenhagen, which culminated in this “bike parade” followed by a big end-of-conference party. Bicycle themed, of course!

What was interesting about Copenhagen was that things like Critical Mass didn’t really exist. Because they didn’t need to. But there were other fun things, like a weekly rollerskating event through the city center on a Friday evening that literally stopped traffic. I miss these kind of fun events that always had amazing turn out and generally got lots of smiles and waves from the people on the street; it seemed to be just another part of daily life. Perhaps slightly inconvenient, but who really cared when everyone was having fun and life returned to normal after about five minutes.

What was interesting about this particular parade of more than 1,000 people & their bicycles was that, as it wound through the city and crossed busy arterial streets, some of the car drivers got a little bit annoyed. Sure, you always hear about how “everyone in Copenhagen is a cyclist, too” [presumably meaning that they get it] and “cars always yield to cyclists” [assumption being that they are okay with yielding, because they have to] — but in this case, although everything was completely legal and legit, those drivers inconvenienced by the parade seemed less than patient about our good time.

In many North American cities, the issues seems to be with cyclists moving too fast, running people over, and so on. I suppose in this case, as some suggest, that we were simply not moving fast enough. Or perhaps that was just the local’s perspective.


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