The Chainlink

The City That Cycles With the Young, the Old, the Busy and the Dead

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/09/world/europe/biking-copenhagen.html

Nearly half of all journeys to school and work in Copenhagen take place on bicycles. And people like it that way.

Riding over the bridge connecting the inner part of Copenhagen and with the neighborhood of Christianshavn.
Riding over the bridge connecting the inner part of Copenhagen and with the neighborhood of Christianshavn.Credit...Betina Garcia for The New York Times

COPENHAGEN — By the standards operative on most of planet Earth, this is not an especially wonderful day for a bicycle ride. The temperature reads 42 degrees Fahrenheit, and a vengeful breeze forces damp chill to the bone. Sullen gray clouds occupy the sky, dispensing an apathetic drizzle.

Natalie Gulsrud scoffs at these details. It is nearing 4 p.m., darkness already bringing finality to this bleak November afternoon. She has to go to the child care center to pick up her 5-year-old son — “5 and a half,” he quickly corrects, later. She has to stop for groceries, and then head home for dinner.

Like tens of thousands of other people in Denmark’s elegant yet frequently dank capital, she pedals her way through her daily rounds, relying on the world’s most advanced and widely used network of bicycle lanes. She does not own a car. She does not want a car.

She settles her bag into the front compartment of her cargo bike — a three-wheeled contraption built for hauling children and groceries that is something like the S.U.V. of local family transportation. She climbs aboard the saddle, gathers her overcoat around her, and leans into the uncompromising wind.


“People here say there’s no such thing as bad weather,” said Ms. Gulsrud, 39. “Only bad clothing.”

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