03 August 2010

Copenhagen unglued

A friend of mine was in need of a used bicycle for his out of town visitors, and I foolishly recommended "The Blue Newspaper" (Den Blå Avis), an online place to buy and sell stuff. It turns out that the majority of the bike listings my friend called was shady. When he asked if the bicycles came with papers or some kind of guarantee that they were not stolen, he was reprimanded by the sellers that this was not a question one asked. One even offered to make some papers up. It creeps me out that this is so organised, and out in the open.

Every once in a while the media touches on the subject, and one time an anthropologist said that the trust we show each other works like a glue in our society. If feels good to trust your neighbour, just like it feels good to have his trust. But once the glue disappears it is almost impossible to restore, and as such the petty crime of stealing a bike is more damaging than it appears. I know this to be true because even if I feel paranoid at times, my three bicycles lost has cost me my glue, and I double lock my good friend to anything I can. And that does not include the flimsy front wheel parking solution, that belongs somewhere in the last century.

All I'm saying is that we need the law prohibiting stealing and selling stolen bicycles enforced. And until we get that glue back, we need something to lock our bikes to. I am a little bit in love with this one, a prototype of a bicycle parking car rack, spotted outside the international Velo-city bicycle conference. Come to mama.

1 carspace holds 10 bicycles.

And it even comes with a built in pump. I love good thinking.

I don't know if it is intentional, but the outline of the car makes me think of this one.


  1. I think so. And I hope the City splurges on some when they go into production. The Cyclehoop people has more funky ways of securing a bike, we are in dire need of that here.

  2. Enig, den er så vigtig og skrøbelig, den lim!

    Jeg er begyndt at konfrontere de venner og bekendte der "låner" en gammel cykel, eller åbenlyst stjæler fordi "det jo ikke kan betale sig at købe en cykel mere, den bliver jo bare stjålet".
    Der kan man vist snakke om en ond cirkel.
    Vi bliver nødt til som by at blive enige om, at det sgu ikke er ok at tage hinandens eneste transportmidler.
    Eller hinandens ting, punktum.

  3. I too have lost many bikes, but I believe one should not carry angry feelings towards others today I lock my bike to stuff when I can.

    Better safe than sorry.

  4. Hi Sandra, thanks for the post and for the photos of our Car Bike Port. I'm speaking to the cycling officer in the City of Copenhagen and will let you know if anything comes about. Here are more photos:



  5. Hej Flora Amalie, det er lige præcis dér vi skal sætte ind, kollektivt. Det må aldrig blive iorden at stjæle en andens cykel, eller købe den varm. Det er både politiet og borgerne der skal tage sig sammen for at få vendt den her møg spiral.

    Hi Uden Relevans, I applaud your peaceful approach, but I have to admit that I on more than one occasion have been ready to hurt the monster that stole my bike. Bad.

    Hi Anthony, you are so welcome, I look forward to the update on the progress. Your fantastic cars would fit Copenhagen perfectly! Thank you for stopping by the blog.

    Hugs for everyone! :-)

  6. I was saddened to read this post. After a short visit to Copenhagen, reading blogs such as yours, Oprah?!, I thought I had discovered the perfect cycling culture. I often wonder where people choose to draw thier line. Stealing a bike?, buying a bike ofquestionable origin?, not returning a 'found' bike?, fudging the tax form?. We all have our own lines, it's just where we decide to draw them and it's an uncomfortable thought,I know. regards~ian,Melbourne

  7. Hi Ian, I am sorry that I made you sad. In many ways we do have the perfect bicycle culture, I think it is inevitable that with such growth we also get "bugs". You know: supply and demand. Everybody needs a bicycle, and therefore there is a market for stealing and selling stolen bikes.

    What I wish for is a moral awakening, as Flora Amalie said (in Danish) it is about confronting friends and letting them know that the blurry line is not cool. People say "oh, it is useless buying a new one, I'll just get an old one (stolen)". It is a vicious circle, and it is about time we break it. That would really make this the perfect bicycle culture. :-)

  8. i suppose it is one of the problems cities like amsterdam and copenhagen have to face. it seems a desirable problem in a city like los angeles or ny though, where i suppose this kind of glue doesn't exist. we expect people to steal our bikes. how sad...

  9. I would go as far as to say it is a sign of bad upbringing to be stealing bikes, it reflects poorly on the parents. I know I would be embarrassed if my child grew up to be a bicycle thief.

  10. oh sandra, now you're making me worry! i certainly hope my son will never ever steal anything!!!! how shameful... that's true though that the thieves are somebody's child. hmmmm.

  11. Haha, Carole, I am sure your son is a good boy, you will teach him well. I only mention the parent thing because I read a comment from a mom of a thief saying that there were bicycles enough for everybody, and that it was no big deal. No wonder the kid grows up with zero idea of how to behave then. :-)


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