Bloomington's bike culture may just be budding, but other cities throughout the world have long had a society based around the bicycle. One of those is Copenhagen, Denmark, whose bike culture is well known. From Copenhagen comes the amazing blog, Copenhagenize devoted to inspiring other places around the world.
The author, Zakkalicious, has proposed, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, 18 ways a society can know that it has a bike culture. Here they are:
1. ”Fixed gear” is something than happens after you take your old Raleigh down to one of the 20-30 bike shops in your neighbourhood to have them look at ”broken gear”.
2. If a car honks at you in traffic, you hardly notice. Instead it makes you think that it's been a while since you took your kids to the park to feed the ducks... Hmmm... maybe this Sunday?
3. You think nothing of riding home in 35 degree heat, with your four year-old on the bike seat, two bags of groceries dangling on your handlebars, talking to your partner on the phone about dinner - all the while heading up a steep hill and STILL being able to growl ”Stay on the right!” in three languages at the weaving, gasping tourists on their rental bikes whom you just flew past as though they were carved in stone.
4. When you feel yourself start sweating on the bike lanes on your way to work... you just ride slower. And if the forecast is for hot weather, you leave for work a bit earlier so you don't have to ride so fast and get too sweaty.
5. The only place you ever see Lycra or spandex is in old Jane Fonda workout videos or on joggers in the parks.
6. And you're quite sure that Gortex is that guy who plays midfield for Bayern München.
7. When your bike breaks down and is in for repairs you take your other bike, or you take the train or bus. Even though your car is parked out front.
8. The only time you see more than three cyclists in one place wearing helmets is every July - on the television during the Tour de France.
9. The odd-person out in your circle of friends is the one who has never fallen off their bike while riding home drunk. You mock him/her regularly.
10. You have, at one time or another, checked to see if your clothes match your bike.
11. You and your friends have repeated discussions about which bike repair shop in your neighbourhood is the best for price and service.
12. When you see somebody with rolled up trouser legs you think, ”what a shame that fellow can't afford a chain guard”. You consider rolling up next to him at the next light to give him some money.
13. You don't even know that you live in a ”bike culture” and have never used the expression. You just ride.
14. You use your time waiting at a red light in bicycle rush hour with over 100 other cyclists to check out new fashions. ”Wonder where she got those shoes? Cool sunglasses on that guy... must be Prada.”
15. Your entire wardrobe can be classified as ”cycle wear”. Espeically those stilettos from Christian Louboutin or your new double-breasted trenchcoast from Tiger of Sweden.
16. When the odd motorist cuts you off you fix him with an icy stare and shake your head in pity before riding off and forgetting the whole episode 50 metres farther down the bike lane.
17. You find rust on bicycles to be charming and aesthetic. Shiny new bikes are somehow gaudy.
18. It takes you over fifteen minutes to find your parked bike at the train station.