At Bikeminded, we’ve got the blues as the Copenhagen Cycling Culture events are now over. We really enjoyed working with the Danish Embassy in London to host a couple of events to highlight ‘Copenhagen Cycling Culture’ with creator of Copenhagen Cycle Chic and Copenhagenize, Mikael Colville-Andersen not only giving his first talk in London, but also showing his very popular ‘Monumental Motion’ exhibition of photographs.
Having sold out in minutes after being announced on Twitter, the first event was Mikael’s talk at Chelsea Old Town Hall during which he discussed ways to create a cycling culture, highlighting the benefits as seen in Copenhagen and talking persuasively about how that culture could be created in London and other cities. 250 people (many of whom cycled naturally!) braved the torrential downpour on the night to listen to Mikael’s talk and engage in the lively post-talk Q&A session chaired by James Harding, editor of The Times. Questions and comments from across the cycling community audience created a lively debate on cycling and the culture of cycling in London.
A couple of the popular quotes from Mikael in the evening included ‘Stop talking about bikes and start talking about a liveable city!’ and the most tweeted quotes about Mikael’s 5-year old son who once asked him ‘Why do cigarettes have health warnings?” And after learning why, his son then asked: “So why don’t cars have them?”
In addition to the talk and Mikael’s photographic exhibition, there were also a number of Danish bicycle exhibitors including Avenue, Velorbis and London Recumbents (who brought along some Nihola tricycles), Velopresso (with their very popular coffee-making tricycle), BlendaVenda (with their very popular pedal powered smoothies) and Thames & Hudson, publisher of Mikael’s very chic ‘Cycle Chic’ book.
If you got in quickly enough, you could have also savoured the Danish experience a little more by trying the rather fabulous culinary delicacies including the fantastic smushi open sandwiches provided by South Kensington-based Scandinavian restaurant Madsen, as well as a few pints of Tuborg, the most popular beer in Denmark. And for those who weren’t able to make it to the first event on 11th of October at Chelsea Old Town Hall, there was also a chance to see some of the fantastic bikes and Mikael’s photographic exhibition the day after in Duke of York Square in Chelsea.
So, all in all, the general consensus on Twitter and from those of you who’ve dropped us a line since the event was that it had been an ‘inspiring evening’ and as a result, not only do we now know much more about Copenhagen Cycling Culture and Copenhagen Cycling Chic, but we also have a much greater insight into how we can create that kind of cycling culture in cities across the world, including London and that’s surely a fantastic thing for cyclists everywhere.
So, now we’ve finished the blog, who fancies a smushi?!