For real? More bicycles than cars in the city centre of a European capital? Yes, it IS real! Get on the wheel of Copenhagen bicycle commuters.
For the first time since 1970 bicycles have in 2016 outnumbered the number of cars travelling through the city center in Copenhagen, new numbers from Copenhagen municipality's bike sensors and manual traffic counts show.
Copenhagen municipality has focused intensely to integrate cyclism in city traffic for more than 20 years. Now solutions such as broad bike paths throughout the city, a network of bridges for cyclists and a great focus on safety for cyclists have lead to more Copenhageners travelling by bike in the city centre than by car or public transportation. In 2016 256,700 bicycles were counted compared to 252,600 cars.
This article in the Guardian pays tribute to the Copenhagen approach.
What can you do in your city?
I am a typical Copenhagener in aspect of my cycling culture, which I have brougth with me to live close to Nice in Southern France. I keep on commuting on a bicycling to much surprise for a lot of people, who live here. I have been cycling since I was 2 years old, I cycled to school as a child, as an adult I lived in 20 years in Copenhagen and went on my bike on 95% of my travels around town. I owned a car for 2 years, but the bicycle has always been my number one choice for commutes in the city: It is cheap, it is a quick and easy way to get around, you can park a bike almost anywhere (at the risk of getting your bike stolen though) and you get fresh air and some exercize.
To me it is simply normal.
The infrastructure for cyclists in Nice is on a quite early development stage compared to the infrastructure I am used to from Copenhagen. But, heck, as an individual person and a small enterprise; what can I do about it?
Engage with likeminded people
Luckily, I have met some really cool people here, who would also like to develop the infrastructure for cyclism. I am quite exciting as this week I will meet with local initiators of an organisation, which works to promote cyclism as a part of the infrastructure in Nice!
Raise your voice: share your experience and passion for cycling
What I for years have taken as a standard and normal, now turns out to be the top dollar example of city infrastructure. Photos I have taken a bit by chance in streets of Copenhagen during the past year, I will now use to show Danish cycling infrastructure to the bicycle warriors in Nice - hopefully they can inspire the cool Nicoise people and our voices will be heard on a political level, so in the years to come - the Côte d'Azur with its fabulous climate for cycling will get a more bicycle friendly infrastructure and more people will get out of their cars and on a bike!
Meet up and take action!
If you are based in Nice: Hope to see you at the meeting on Wednesday 7. December. NB the location has changed, so have a look at the Facebook page for Nice à Vélo.
Yours truly Cycling Viking and Owner of Lifesparkz Bike Tours
"But cycling is dangerous!": a lot of people have said to me first thing, as I told them that I was setting up business as a bike guide here in Nice. Well yes, cycling can be dangerous.
Especially if you do not know, how to behave when you move around in traffic on a bike. You are neither a pedestrian, on a scooter, nor driving a car.
You are a cyclist and need to take your precautions.
Once you get accustomed to being a cyclist - you will find your self moving around with joy more than with a feeling of being in a scene from a scary movie.
To help more people overcome fear of cycling in Nice, Lifesparkz Bike Tours now set up cycling classes starting on 19. November 2016.
A few months ago I decided to change Lifesparkz into an event bureau Lifesparkz Eco-Explorer Côte d'Azur and focus on creating events in the Côte d'Azur where you easily can discover the beautiful nature, communities and relaxed atmosphere at the French Rivera by foot or cycling.
I have been visiting Nice and the close area many times on holidays myself without ever making my way out of the Old Town, the pedestrian streets or the beachareas - I may have rented a car and cruised to one of the most promoted villages in the area for tourists. But it was not until I moved here, and have spent time exploring and asking locals about where to go and how to do it, that I have truly started to discover the small amazing communities and places. They are all over and easy to get to - if you know how. My mission is to share it with you in a way that will help develop the region in a good way. In this blogpost I focus on cycling events.
Cycling and sightseeing
I am a bit of a psyclepath! I love cycling and know that a lot of you do too... sometimes all you need is a guide to show you the way - that is what I am here for.
Just outside of Nice you find very charming places, villages with great views and authentic atmosphere. I know that cycling in an unknown area can be scary! - you do not know the roads and traffic. I will be happy to guide you to get out of the city traffic and up those hills to explore life in the mountains. I do cycling tours that combine cycling and sightseeing. I highly recommend you to take out some hours of your day to experience the tranquility of the backcountry and get some exercise at the same time. We stop in a village or two and visit it - have a lunch or a coffee - chill and enjoy the rolling down of the hills.
I promise you that when you add these ingrediences to a day there is a good chance to get a happy one!
I can do tours when it fits into your schedule - give me a call/write a message to organise a day-tour. I will organise some events with 2-3 days of cycling sightseeing from Nice through-out Summer and Fall 2016. Keep an eye on the events page for dates and details.
A reason for me to move to Côte d'Azur from Denmark is the mild climate that makes it possible to train outdoor all year round. The area around Nice has all you need to train well! I am a triathlete on a level where I train and compete for fun and for having an active lifestyle. I do Ironman competitions, but am far from the levels of the Hawaii (world championships) athletes. This June, I am up for the Ironman France in Nice. I know that in periods of the year, you need to focus on your sports if you want to complete the longer endurance races. For that it is nice to have a few days away from everyday activites.
This year I will set up cycling/triathlon training events for you who want to train with other cyclists/triathletes in a place with hilly landscapes for running and cycling, blue lagoons with warm water and colourfull fishes for the swim, and a high chance of sun and a clear blue sky. Plus you can combine a training holiday with a few days to relax on the beach, endulge in good food and pleasant surroundings in Nice city. I plan 5 days events for July, September and November. Keep an eye on the events page for dates and details.
I hope you want to come and cycle with me at the Côte d'Azur - Cycling tours is a way for me to work for Good health and well-being, Sustainable cities and communities and Act to prevent climate changes. Those are my beginnings to reach the UN Sustainability Development Goals through my business.
Responsible consumption is also on my business agenda - In upcoming posts I will tell more about events that focus on how we can consume in responsible ways and make sustainable growth.