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our own vacuum cleaners. If you want the mainstream to ride like they did from 1885 until the 1950s, in cities around the world, a little subcultural group doing the talking is not going to get us there. It’s all about selling cycling like we sell every other product on the planet.

I also use the bowling metaphor. We don’t want to make a whole nation of bowlers or synchronized swimmers. We want people to use a bike like they don’t give a shit about it. I mean, we have nice bikes here in Denmark but they have rusty chains, they’re squeaky. That’s ‘cause a bike is just a tool, man.

So Cycle Chic is bicycle advocacy 2.0. In 2006 the bicycle didn’t exist in the public consciousness anywhere in the world. There was a slight rise in cycling levels in cities. Then I took that one photo that started that. Some journalist called it “The photo that launched a million bicycles.”

I’ve probably seen it. What is that photo?

Oh, it’s a crappy photo. I was on my way to work. I wasn’t taking a photo of a girl on a bike, I was just taking a picture of my morning urban scene. And I ended up starting the blog and some journalist researched, “Why is the whole planet talking bikes now?” and she went all the way back to that photo, and I knew that. And then Copenhagenize helped push it. There were no blogs on the planet for “citizen cyclists,” as I call them, when I started Copenhagenize. Now it’s everywhere.

By any chance have you stumbled upon Chicago’s bike style blogs? There’s a photo blog called Bike Fancy ( by Martha Williams and Lets Go Ride A Bike ( by


Critical Cycles