Two Must-See Videos

14 Mar
Bicycle rush hour in Copenhagen.  Photo by Jeff Peel, League of American Bicyclists: http://blog.bikeleague.org/blog/2009/09/copenhagen_ideal/

Bicycle rush hour in Copenhagen. Photo by Jeff Peel, League of American Bicyclists: http://blog.bikeleague.org/blog/2009/09/copenhagen_ideal/

Watch it and weep…  That was the original title that came to mind as I planned to share this video (via Virginia Bicycling Federation) of bicycle rush hour in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Those would be tears of joy, mind you.  Maybe it’s an effect of the etherial music, but watching this just makes me hopeful.  All kinds of people wearing everyday clothes getting around by bike.  You also see plenty of cars, but it seems pretty clear that the motorists know how to deal with the cyclists.  Of course it helps that the cyclists a) have good infrastructure and b) are a major presence on the road.  I have no doubt that there are still occasional accidents and conflicts, but it makes a big difference when everyone gets the message: bikes belong as much as any other vehicle.

To me it doesn’t seem so far-fetched to think that Richmond could become like this in 10 or 15 years.  Richmond city is a very bikeable size.  And keep in mind that Copenhagen was not always like this.  Bikes were as scarce there in the 1950s and 60s as in the U.S.  But after the oil crisis of in the 1970s city leaders acted, and they’ve continued to do so.

Fast forward to the U.S. in 2013.  I take this second video as another hopeful sign, if also as a reminder that we have some distance to go.  It’s a public service announcement that came out of a partnership between the League of American Bicyclists and the American Automobile Association.  Yes, you read that correctly: if the AAA is supporting cycling, we must be doing something right.  The message is simple: cyclists are people too.  Hopefully someday we will not have to remind people of this simple fact, but for now, it’s a powerful and necessary message.

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One Response to “Two Must-See Videos”

  1. James Luggen March 15, 2013 at 12:18 AM #

    I love these videos! The bike infrastructure in Copenhagen is awesome and I could only hope for that one day. The scenes reminded me of critical mass rides I used to attend in Chicago.
    The AAA video was also great because it showed that not all the people on the road are extreme cyclists or angsty hipsters. It gives a little more insight to drivers who share the road with riders, letting them know that bikers also come from loving families and that you should take caution around them.
    On my ride to school today I had to turn left and got an angry honk from a driver several hundred yards back. I was by no means in the wrong for that maneuver, only that I was using a bicycle and not a car. The road belongs to us all so lets get along and be mindful of one another.

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