Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Jeremy Clarkson - on bikes

Recently in the InGear section of The Sunday Times Jeremy Clarkson shared some of his insights on cycling. He may do this quite often, but it's the first I have heard. Most of his comments related to Copenhagen:

"I suspect even the Danes are baffled about why they keep being picked out as a shining example of humanity at its best. Just last week a newspaper in Copenhagen suggested it must be because, while cycling from place to place, visitors enjoy looking at all the pretty Danish girls’ bottoms. 

"In fact, I’ve decided that the world’s five best cities are, in order: San Francisco, London, Damascus, Rome and Copenhagen. It’s fan-bleeding-tastic. And best of all: there are no bloody cars cluttering the place up. Almost everyone goes almost everywhere on a bicycle.
"Now I know that sounds like the ninth circle of hell, but that’s because you live in Britain, where cars and bikes share the road space. This cannot and does not work. It’s like putting a dog and a cat in a cage and expecting them to get along. They won’t, and as a result London is currently hosting an undeclared war. I am constantly irritated by cyclists and I’m sure they’re constantly irritated by me.
"City fathers have to choose. Cars or bicycles. And in Copenhagen they’ve gone for the bike. 

I sway to agreeing with this, but it reminds me of a George Orwell quote "nearly all creator's of utopia have resembled the man who has a toothache and therefore thinks happiness consists of not having the toothache."  Why cant cities be designed to accommodate both cars and bikes?

He also goes on to say;

And no one wastes half their life looking for a parking space. I’d live there in a heartbeat."  (photo lifted from -

Cycling is a pleasant way to get about, and hopefully in more and more cities find a level of harmony between cars and bicycles. And it's great that Mr Clarkson can appreciate a place where driving an overpriced status symbol isn't the best way to get around. 


  1. Clarkson seen the light... now what about the Daily Mail?

  2. christania’s “Copenhagen Rent a Bike” bikes are rolling across the city. The system, less than a year old, is funded by christania’s municipal government. It is currently only in one of christania’s 22 administrative districts. Although a 2nd generation system, there are 12 “Houses” in this district, each with around 40 bikes. The yearly subscription cost is the equivalent of $2 US, and allows the use of a bike for up to four hours at a time. In less than a year, there have been 6,000 subscriptions sold. There are larger 3rd generation systems in the world, which do not have a subscription to bike ratio as big as that.

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