As my interest in biking grew (along with my love for design in general) I decided that I needed a month-long trip to Europe. In early 2009, the decision was made – I would leave for the month of June, visiting Stockholm, Copenhagen, Berlin, and London for a week each. My goal was to bike in every city and document culture via photos and Iva Jean Rides.
Over the next couple of days I will feature some of my favorite images from the trip, starting today with Stockholm. You can view my full photograph collection here.
June 7, 2009 – “The city exudes fashion and design, but there is something even more fascinating about the fact that it doesn’t seem to stop them from cycling, or playing in the park with their kids – these Swedes have found a way to approach style without having it consume their lives or the decisions they make.”
June 8, 2009 – “Cycling in Stockholm is easily the most fun I’ve had in a long time (our hostel had wonderful cruisers to rent free of charge). It has me thinking about riding in Seattle and what the main differences and commonalities there are. First, let me just say – yes, Stockholm is flat people, the largest hill I rode up didn’t even compare with one city block on my way home from work each day in the states. With that said, I do think that there are two things to examine: urban planning & life style.
Urban Planning: Stockholm recognizes biking as a preferred form of transportation; cyclists are not forced to choose between sidewalks and streets or pedestrians and motor vehicles. All roads contain bike lanes, often up on the sidewalk when streets or main boulevards have heavier traffic. At major lights, bikes have their own traffic light situation and a counted as a part of the situation. Paths and signage is clear &and easy to follow. This recognition is the reason I think that cycling works in Stockholm.
Life Style: The cyclists in Stockholm place an emphasis on biking for transportation, they do not seem to be in a hurry. For comparison, people in the states that walk to work, they do not run. It’s the same with biking here – people ride casually and without a rush. I only saw a handful of hardcore cyclists with the full gear and road bikes. Is it really necessary to make it to work in 10 minutes instead of 15? I think that we need to place a focus on biking as something that everyone can and should do – not something that only the fittest & richest can accomplish.”
“Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel…the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.” – Susan B Anthony, 1896
image via lars daniel.