Cycling in Copenhagen in the 1930s

I just had to share this old film footage of how Copenhagen was at the end of the 1930s. It includes some awfully politically incorrect comments, and the idea that the heroic Vikings ‘brought civilisation to darkest corners of the ancient world’ – hmm! Anyway, enjoy – see it as a piece of time travelling. The 1930s were a time when there were 1 bicycles to every three citizens! This certainly captured the attention of the roving American reporter in this clip.

Pedal power in 2020 – Every day, 62 percent of Copenhageners travel to work or school on a bike, even the Danish royals cycle the kids to school. There are 675,000 bicycles and just 120,000 cars in Copenhagen, meaning bikes outnumber cars by more than five-to-one. Copenhagen’s cyclists cover a total of 1.4 million km every day! Bicycle infrastructure in Copenhagen currently includes approximately 400 km of bicycle paths and innovative bridges, which form effective cycling superhighways across the city. This is perhaps the key to understanding why Copenhagen is also one of the safest places to be a cyclist, but they do have attitude when it comes to dithering pedestrians and disorientated jaywalking visitors to the capital city.

The golden rule is to keep off the wide bike lanes, and to check left and right at all times before you cross the road.

Copenhagen 1937 and 2020 doesn’t really look that different!

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