Two Races

In Rome:

Rome’s 2762nd Birthday Chariot Race at Urban Velo
A patriotic group of bikers sporting giallo e rosso (yellow and red) athletic gear cleverly transformed their bicycles into race horses that pulled bigas, or two-wheeled chariots, manned by enthusiastic charioteers. While ancient Roman chariot teams were divided by color into the greens, the blues, the whites, and the yellows, these modern day Ben-Hurs formed two teams distinguished by their headgear–the helmet heads and the brush heads. Eager for a bit of Sunday-morning competition, they lined up at one end of the Circus and at the signal, the race for glory and fame began!

In Copenhagen: – Danish Cargo Bike Championships

Anyway, the Danish Cargo Bike Championships was a festive affair in bright spring sunshine. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many cargo bikes gathered in one place. The course was set up around the square with a fine mix of smooth straights and cobblestoned corners.

There was a race for three-wheelers, with Leif Harup on a Kangaroo taking the gold medal and the three-wheeled glory. Then there was several heats for two-wheelers and Thorsten Rentel beat Hans Fogh by a spoke in the final. In both disciplines the riders rode first without cargo and then had to put three tyres on the bikes to finish.

There were many Bullitts from Larry vs. Harry, a good number of Dutch Bakfiets and quite a few Belinkys. Add to that Christiania Bikes, Longjohns, Short Johns and the aforementioned Kangaroo. Baisikeli was present with one of their ambulance bikes from their African workshops.

Priorities – The Copenhagen Bike Culture Blog: Copenhagenizing Copenhagen & Denmark
While the U.S. Congress debated whether to include less than $1 billion in funding for Amtrak in the stimulus package, the Danish parliament has put all its economic stimulus eggs in one basket: transportation. The small Nordic country of 5.4 million people will spend 94 billion kroner, or about $16 billion, by 2020 to improve transportation. Two-thirds of that money will be used to make public transit even better than it already is.

The government will invest billions in high-speed intercity trains that will cut travel between northern Jutland and Copenhagen by a third, install light rail systems, expand the Copenhagen Metro, and widen and
lengthen city bike lanes.

“We are making public transit a lot more attractive with massive investments to increase capacity, improve on-time performance and lay brand-new railroads. We are also making the biggest push to promote cycling in recent memory,” said Transport Minister Lars Barfoed.

For Copenhagen, already one of the world’s most bicycle-oriented cities, that is a very tall order. The oil shocks of the 1970s inspired Denmark to build a vast network of bike lanes in the hope that Danes would start driving less and biking more. Three decades later, the strategy has borne fruit in Copenhagen, where a third of the inhabitants, or more than 500,000 people, now bike to work every day.

Walk, Baby, Walk,
Cycling for Everyone

Cycling for Everyone

Cycling for Everyone | Momentum – The Magazine For Self Propelled People!
In spite of their affluence and high rates of car ownership, countries in northern Europe have achieved a high overall rate of bike shares in their urban travel; ranging from almost ten per cent of trips in Belgium and Germany to about 20 per cent in Denmark, and 30 per cent in the Netherlands. What is equally impressive is Northern European women cycle as often as men, and all age groups make a considerable percentage of their daily trips by bike. That is quite a contrast to Canada and the United States, where only about one per cent of trips are by bike, and most cyclists are young men. Two important aims of cycling policies in North America should be to raise the overall bike share of trips while simultaneously making cycling safe, convenient, and feasible for women as well as men, and for all age groups.

Read the whole story. And then there is this news item. Maybe we can connect the dots. Bikes are healthier than cars. I would think it is in the best interest of health-insurance companies to assist in creating the infrastructure that will make more people want to cycle. One beer company is already promoting bicycles: one and two.

Six Days

Guys Who Cut Their Own Hair | A Film Of stAggering Genius
…a documentary had actually been made called Six Day Bicycle Race- America’s Jazz Age Sport.

My dad took me to several six day bicycle races in Köln. They were always scheduled at the end of the year when school was on break. I thought it was very exciting. I remember the riders relaxing (because their partners had taken over from them) and talking to one another with one foot in the clip and the other one on the handle bar, steering the bike. Might have to order the DVD – Netflix doesn’t have it.