l i v i n g r o o m . w o r k s h o p

Yes, I’m a bit late this year, getting my bikes ready for the road. (Until now I’ve been using Oslo bysykkel, which is not a great substitute for my own bike, but it works just fine for some errands.) First one got a new tube, some adjustments and polishing done today. It still lacks a front brake, so I might fix it at Den rustne eike on thursday.

This is actually the first time I’ve used my living room as a bike workshop. Such a nice feeling having all the bicycle parts scattered around the room. I’ll do it again, very soon.

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How to demote cycling #1

Do you remember this article from last fall?
Well, this spring has had a flying start these last days, and the streets are finally cyclable (Oslo-vise). I’m happy to see that so many people use their bikes, but I doubt the police will let the opportunity of some fast money pass. So, watch out for the cyclist-hating police corps when ignoring a red light or forgetting your lights. They will fine you if they can.

Looking rather happy to give those cyclists what they deserve... a fine of 900 kr. (VG, 10.09.09)

Winter “Wonderland”

It’s about time to get out of the winter lair… I’ve had a way to long break, but now I’m finally settled in Oslo, and trying to get back on track, which seems to be harder than I thought. The winter has been snowy and colder than usual (this early in the wintertime), and all respect to those few I saw biking despite minus 20 earlier this month.

Yes, people do bicycle, and several norwegian newspapers report that the amount of year-round cyclists increase. Now even “normal” people hit the snowy streets. Well, they have to be somewhat tough to do so, and I admit I’m not one of them… Maybe it’s because of the lack of proper gear, but another issue is the bad snow shoveling of bicycle lanes in the city. The few lanes that actually exist usually serve as disposal for snow, or even car parking, and lack of space makes people insecure. To get more people to concider winter cycling, the streets must be cleared, and not only in favor of the cars…

Would you even consider your bicycle?

Copenhagen Cycle Chic COP15-competition

Just to mention, for those of you in Copenhagen these days; now you can win this beauty of a bicycle from Velobris. Go to Copenhagen Cycle Chic, enter 25 words, and maybe you’ll be the lucky one bringing some Danish chicness to your hometown.

Social change – COP15

I’m sorry for not writing in such a long time, but my mind has been elsewhere for some time…

It’s been brought to my attention that  the bicycle activist and author, Chris Carlsson from San Francisco, is coming to Scandinavia this week. He will be talking about the importance of social change – how movements and social activism can reach immediate change towards greener societies.

The event in Copenhagen will actually be already tomorrow, Wednesday. I might be going, so give me a call if you’ll join in. The one in Oslo is on Saturday, and in december he’ll be in Stockholm. I urge everyone to consider it.


November 25th, 19:00
Bogcafé 61, Dortheavej 61, 2400 København NV

“American author Chris Carlsson comes to to discuss the ways in which people are creating alternatives to capitalism in the here and now. He argues that DIY activities such as free software and guerilla gardening point the way towards a profound social transformation.

KlimaX member Oskar Larsson will talk about the connection between capitalism and climate change. He will de-mystify some of the COP15 mechanisms and argue that the COP15 process does not present a real solution to climate change, but will only provide a green image for business as usual.” (Kilde: modkraft.dk)

November 28th, 14:00
Humla, Hausmania, Hausmanns gate 34, 0182 Oslo

Program:
14:00  Utopia starts now! – Nowtopia!
15:00  Planka.nu – Public transport and climate activism
16:00  Open Space discussion An open discussion to facilitate action and ideas.

More information on the Oslo-event here.

December 5th:
Kafé 44, Stockholm, Sweden

If you’re not able to attend any of these events, you can watch this interview with Chris Carlsson to get an idea of what he’s talking abour…

Cycling in the Netherlands in the 1950s

As my retrospective mood is here to stay for a while, apparently, I give you this video of wonderful bicyclists of the 50’s Netherlands. It’s oh so pretty. :)

Retrospective cycling

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Høst & Søns Forlag 1954 - Copenhagen, City of Youth

I just bought this picture book of Copenhagen from 1954 at the book store Paludan in Fiolstræde. It starts with announcing Copenhagen as the “City of Youth”, and continues showing lots of beautiful b&w photos of the city and it’s people. A surprisingly nice book, and on page 58 I found this sweet description:

Cyklen er i Danmark det almindeligste befordringsmiddel. På den tilbagelægger man strækningen mellem hjem og arbejdsplads! Om morgenen og efter fyraften er hovedstadens gader et kimende kor af cykelklokker, og henrivende virker synet af de mange unge kvinder med blæst i håret, som med bare ben i skoene træder pedalerne.

The bicycle, Denmark’s most common means of transport, links home to work. In the morning and when work is done the streets of the capital are a jangling chorus of bicycle bells. With the wind in their hair, and playfully filling their skirts, the girls make an attractive sight as they peddle along with bare legs.

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Stylish bicyclists crossing Dronning Louises bridge in the early 50's.

A short note on history to go with this retrospective post:

This was probably just before the bicycle, for a couple of decades, got run over by the car in the city streets. During The Second World War the bicycle had a peak as major transport mean for people and goods, but between the mid 50’s and 70’s the bicycling declined drastically simultaneously with the increase in motorists. The “bicycling society” would need a new (oil) crisis and a significant environmental movement to get back on track…  (kilde: wikipedia)

…it wouldn’t be too easy to “trick” the rest of us.

Welcome to VELOslo

Welcome to my blog on bicycles and urban planning.

This is my first serious attempt to start a blog, and I will do my best to keep it up to date on news concerning bicycles and the city.

The city that needs the great improvement is my hometown, Oslo. For those who don’t know it, this is Oslo.
The cities I will study are European ones that have made some kind of effort concerning bicycle transport, and especially the worlds bicycle capital, Copenhagen.

In the meantime, consider your bicycle. It’s green, healthy and trendy!