February 18, 2010

Copenhagen by Bicycle Exhibition

Postcard from 1950's entitled "Bicycle Traffic in Rush Hour"

We all know that Copenhagen is the best cycling city in the world, but what is the history behind its vibrant culture? Following on from the 1937 travel video of Copenhagen reported last year, here is some images from the 'Copenhagen by bicycle' exhibition currently running at the Museum of Copenhagen.

Copenhagen Rush Hour on Dronning Louise's Bridge - 1930's

Here's a photo from a cyclist demonstration on City Hall Square in the 1970's. Demonstrating for separated infrastructure and more focus on bicycles in the traffic equation. The 1970's were a turning point for everyday cycling in Denmark in general and Copenhagen in particular. The oil crisis helped spawn a real grassroots movement that returned the bicycle to the urban landscape after a decade or so of intense decline.

These demonstrations featured thousands and thousands of citizens on bicycles. They were peaceful but noisy. It was regular citizens demonstrating, not sub-cultures, so the effect was enormous and far-reaching. Just look at our streets today. Critical Mass can learn a lot from the Copenhagen experience in the 1970's.

Cycling Education in the 1890s was when the so-called safety bicycle came into the country and also women started cycling in earnest.

Photo of bicycle service station, 1940

The bikes dominate at Queen Louise's Bridge in the 1940s

Rent a lift, circa 1935

All Images Courtesy of and copyright Copenhagen City Museum / Københavns Bymuseum. The exhibition runs until June of this year and the booklet (in Danish) can be found here.