biking culture

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Year 2014 collection. “An intellectual is a man who doesn’t know how to park a bike.” Spiro T. Agnew

“Do you own a bike?” No, I don’t. “So you are not Swedish then?”

This is the most easy and direct way to identify a local in Sweden. Welcome to the biking culture in Sweden where virtually anyone owns at least one bike but families may own 2, 3, or more bikes.

That is actually a very good habit we should praise. Not only from an environment point of view but utmost from a health point of view because biking means exercising, 2 in 1, practical and useful. The cities make sure of the logistics for so many bikes in train stations, bus hubs, supermarkets, working places, condominiums, beaches, promenades and parks. Everywhere there are parking places for the bikes. The rules are clear but the possibility for a distracted person to be crashed by a bike is higher than be crashed by a car…

Obviously Sweden is for the most part of the country flat and that helps allot to ride without a super effort. I have some difficulty to imagine this culture being implemented in some cities I know; for exemple Lisbon and its 7 hills. Unless you are really good and strong at biking it is almost impossible to make big areas of the city rentable for biking, it would be a waste of money making biking paths just for a few braves… but maybe it would generate a culture after all, who knows.

//jb.15december2014