Danish Modern: Copenhagen Cycle Chic’s Mikael Colville-Andersen


Mikael Colville-Andersen with his kids Felix and Lulu-Sophia.

[This article originally ran in Urban Velo magazine.]

As “The Pope of Urban Cycling,” Mikael Colville-Andersen is one of today’s leading bicycle advocates, but also one of the most controversial. He’s known as the kingpin of the stylish cycling movement via his award-winning photo blog Copenhagen Cycle Chic. The site mostly features candid photographs of attractive, well-dressed women on wheels, for a largely female readership. For his day job as CEO of Copenhagenize, a nine-person transportation consulting firm, he travels to cities around the world, advising politicians, planners and advocates on ways to emulate the success of the bike-friendly Danish capital.

Mikael’s blogs have a global following—Cycle Chic has inspired some 150 spin-offs in other cities. He’s also a sought-after public speaker who gave the keynote address at this year’s Pro Walk Pro Bike Pro Place conference in Long Beach, California. But he’s not without his critics. His outspoken opposition to helmet promotion troubles many North American advocates. And at least two female bike bloggers have critiqued his Cycle Chic aesthetic and rhetoric as being sexist, elitist and counterproductive for encouraging regular folks to ride.

In July I visited Copenhagen for the first time and, as advertised, it’s a biker’s paradise with mellow traffic, grade-separated bike lanes on all major streets and good-looking, stylish people on classy Dutch cycles everywhere you turn. I met up with Mikael, a bright-eyed, energetic man, at his flat in Frederiksberg, a town completely surrounded by Copenhagen. We sipped cans of Carlsberg as his young kids Felix and Lulu-Sophia practiced soccer and picked flowers in their lush back yard. Mikael and I discussed his views on helmets, the differences between Copenhagen and Amsterdam, why he’s underwhelmed by Portland, and why bikes should be marketed more like vacuum cleaners.

Continue reading Danish Modern: Copenhagen Cycle Chic’s Mikael Colville-Andersen

Interviews reveal what Chicago cyclists want

Happy New Year!

I’ll keep this one light as you focus on catching up on all the emails you missed over the holiday – or maybe you need a distraction (there’s comfort in stillness). We published every weekday through the holidays so take a minute to follow up on those articles (a list and summary at the bottom). But if you want to keep reading, this is what we have in store for you today: the Bike Fancy catalog of interviews.


Jennifer and sons at Cortland Street and Paulina Street. Read their interview. Photo by Martha Williams

I emailed Martha a while ago and suggested she use the rich data she had in the personal interviews she conducted with Chicago’s citizen cyclists. Data that can be used to help guide development of bikeway planning (similar to what the Streets for Cycling 2020 Plan is doing). So I gave her some tips on how to put it together and two days ago she published the results. Continue reading Interviews reveal what Chicago cyclists want

Martha Williams celebrates a year of two-wheeled fashion photography


Martha Williams. Photo by Emma Arnold from the local street fashion blog Trés Awesome. All other images by Williams and featured on Bike Fancy.

Last year Time Out Chicago photographer Martha Williams began taking pictures of well-dressed people on bicycles and posting them on her blog Bike Fancy. She buttonholes good-looking cyclists she encounters while cruising the city, shoots portraits and interviews them about their rides and outfits, why they enjoy bicycling and their ideas for making Chicago more bike-friendly. Continue reading Martha Williams celebrates a year of two-wheeled fashion photography