Originally published on The ECOreport.
Mads Phikamphon, editor of the Danish website icebike.org, lives in Copenhagen and, as you will read in the following Q&A, doesn’t think most people need a car. He says, “If you need to bring your children or something heavy you can use a cargo bike.” You get around much faster by bike.
Q/ Where do you live in Copenhagen?
We live in the middle of Copenhagen, in a somewhat hipster neighborhood called Vesterbro. We choose to live here because it’s super close to everything. By living where we live, we don’t have to spend time commuting to work from the suburbs and we also save time if we want to go out, etc.
On top of that, we have a park right next door that is much nicer than a garden of our own could ever be.
Q/ How long have you been riding a bike?
I have been riding a bike since I was a small child. Here in Denmark it is normal to start biking as a kid and then continue doing so as you get older and older.
So we bike, our children bike and our parents bike.
Q/ Do you use it every day?
I bike almost every day. There are days were I work from home, but besides that I bike every day.
When I go to work etc. I bike on a hybrid bike or my new electric bike (I’m a freelance programmer, so I sometimes have to go to projects a bit far away from home).
When I bike with our children, each of us usually ride on our own bikes. But since our children aren’t that big, we sometimes take our Christiania cargo bike if we need to go somewhere far away.
We also use the cargo bike if we need to transport something big. I have transported furniture, lots of plants and many other things in it.
Q/ Does it serve all your transportation needs? Or do you use a car sometimes?
I don’t think most people need a car and when I use our cargo bike, I become even more sure than most people don’t need a car.
If I could choose, private cars would be banned from big cities like Copenhagen. There is absolutely no reason to drive a car in the city. You can get around much faster by bike and if you need to bring your children or something heavy you can use a cargo bike.
If cycling for some reason doesn’t work for you, there is also some great public transportation in Copenhagen.
Q/ Do you ever go for long trips on your bicycle? Where & for how long?
I have been on a few trips on my bike, but I’m not sure you would call them long trips. Each trip has just been around a week or so.
Two of my trips have been cycling in the mountains in Slovenia and a bikepacking trip around parts of Southern Thailand.
Recently the children and I went on a small trip outside Copenhagen. The children rode on their own bikes and I rode the cargo bike, so I could easily bring the tent and all our gear for staying outside for a few days.
Q/ What about your friends & acquaintances – do they all use bicycles as their principal form of transportation?
Almost all of my friends bike, but I also have a few friends who doesn’t really bike and 1-2 friends who don’t even have a bike.
I can’t really understand how you can live in Copenhagen without having a bike, but it’s their decision and not mine (although I hope they will stop driving and buy a bike someday).
Photo Credit: Mads Phikamphon & his family – Courtesy icebike.org
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