The Norwegian Cyclist – Media’s Portrait

Once again the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten gives a portrait of the typical Oslo cyclist. Is it to give the cyclists more respect in the traffic, or to help their already poor image? Probably not. Medias has an underestimated power in shaping peoples stance. When will they focus on the important issues of mobility, access to the road, motorists attitude and environmental effects of bicycling?

The sportscyclists as portrayed here, bike in any weather, and they’re definitely not representatives for Oslos population…
Hopefully the spring brings more style to the streets!

Aftenposten Aften, 23.3.2010

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.