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September 26, 2011 14 comments
Danish Cargo Bike ChampionshipsEvents Curiosities Bicycles
Mikael Cycle-Chic Andersen loading up his cargo bike at the Danish Championships last week. The outstanding photoset from Anders Hviid can be viewed here Alright then, hands up. Who knows what a "Svajerløbet" is? Of course, no one does. Alright then, on with today's post. Beady bicycling eyes were trained on Copenhagen last week for more than just the latest offering from the man who has given innumerable cities the gift of Cycle Chic. The World Cycling Championships were underway there since Monday (well done Mr. Cavendish!) and if this wasn't already enough, the third annual Danish Cargo Bike Championships or "Svajerløb" took place over the preceding weekend, curtain raiser to the fun and games on offer from the UCI. Precisely the sort of strapping lad one expects to see doing well in a cargo bike race. A number of companies and volunteers are behind arranging the Svajerløb. It is a not for profit event and for all involved it is really a "con amore" affair, fueled by their passion for Copenhagen's bicycle culture and cargo bikes. The idea to revive the historical Svajerløb started in 2009 when Erik Heinze (Firmacyklen.dk) and Hans Bullitt Fogh (LARRY VS HARRY) held the first modern version of the classic race. Together with Mikael Colville-Andersen and Søren Houen Schmidt, they form the nucleus of the team behind the Svajerløb. This year's course was located in the historic surrounds of venerable Danish brewing family Carlsberg's Copenhagen facility where some of the junior category UCI events also took place on Sunday. If the increasing number of cargo bikes seen on city streets are any indication, the builders of such machines seem to be enjoying a huge spike in sales. New developments in this corner of the trade have allowed builders to produce frames, which, while remaining a touch heavier than regular bikes, are not necessarily a chore to ride. This is important, because the success of the cargo bike project lies in their ongoing and increasing visibility on city streets. Therefore, riding your weekly grocery shop home with one is great, but if you aren't prepared to use it to pop back down the road for the pint of milk you forgot, then maybe all you really have is another specialty bike. It seems though, that based on anecdotal evidence among new converts, the lightweight cargo bike does indeed quickly become the default machine in an owner's stable and is here to stay. Of course, if you're transporting two kegs of beer, it's probably not terribly important whether your bike weighs twenty kilos or twenty five. So while for a short course, high-speed race there might well be an advantage to be gained from using a lightweight saddle, in the real world we are gratified to see that most disciples of the ladcykel have a Brooks on top. Meget god, as they doubtless say in Copenhagen.