If you looked at our recent film, Doctor on a bike, you might have noticed that it ended with a women, a mother of two young girls, riding on a famous sort of cargo bike invented in Copenhagen, called a Christiania.
That material was shot for this blog by Genevieve Bailey and Henrik Nordstrom.
Gen. is a bold young documentary film maker who wrote to me out of the blue about a year ago, (She’d loved one of my movies as a kid) and has since become a friend, as has Henrik.
When she told me they’d be in Copenhagen soon, I asked them to shoot some material for me. Now, as well as filming the woman in purple, I found that Gen had also interviewed her. Sadly, we don’t know the name of this interviewee.
I don’t know why the bike carries a woman’s name either. Is Christiania a real person who got someone to build her the first bike like this? Does anyone know the story?
David Hembrow (View from the Cycle Path) has just told me the name comes from Christiania, an alternative community in Copenhagen.
I’m feeling stupid. I’ve been there, and was worriedly watching my teenage daughter the whole time as she chatted with strange types, strange to me, not her.
Christiania’s are very popular in Denmark. even though expensive, both for ferrying kids and for shopping. David Hembrow also points out that similar cargo bikes are common all over Europe, especially in Holland.
We haven’t got round to such bikes here in Australia yet. Ar least, I’ve never seen one on the roads. There is one type for sale here that I know of, made by Gazelle, a very elegant machine, costing around $4000 Aus.
I’ve just been corrected by Peter. Christiania bikes are available from PSBikes in Collingwood, Melbourne
In any case, we have to consolidate the idea that bikes are practical transport for a human, before we start loading them down or filling them up with stuff.
It’s very interesting that this Christiania rider in the clip below, does not own a car. Also, the problem of bike theft in the city, which she candidly discusses, is fascinating. The thieves seem very persistent there, even with burly bikes like these.
Here’s a Youtube version. Some people have trouble with Vimeo
By the way, here’s one of my favorite cargo bike photos from Copenhagenize.com.
I like the composed elegance, and the suggestion of a conversation between propulsion and purpose, the kid turning back towards the driver.