Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New (old) Apartments and Danish Bicycle Shops

I've settled into my new place, 159 Emdrupvej, just north of the city center. Though my home is quite north of the center, it only takes 15 minutes to ride in because I ride *literally* on a bicycle superhighway each way. The road has three lanes of car traffic in each direction, but along each side is a bicycle track, that is a bike specific path that runs alongside car traffic but which enjoys separation by way of a modest curb. In my local tongue, it is totally ballin'.

Here are the promised pics from the first week:

This is my friend Clavs beside a statue that basically says bicycles live forever. Duh.

I traveled to a couple bike shops on my first day on a City Bike.

The City Bikes have a map mounted to the handlebars (kinda crappy as maps go in Medieval Cities), and you unlock them from stations around town with a 20KR coin. When you return the bike, you get your coin back. Really, the bikes are all around kinda clunky. But you know, it got me around when I didn't have another option. So, horray City Bike!

Among the most notable shops I visited was Schroeder Cycles, a shop that has been around for more than 90 years.

I met the owner, Niels Christensen, whose father has made bicycle frames for most of his life.

I've made a deal with Niels to work a little bit in his shop in exchange for a custom made Schroder Cycle. I'll build it up for the tour I'll do around Western Europe.

These are the custom built Schroder Frames.

Before leaving, I received a piece of advice, we'll call it wisdom, from a former Watson Fellow. "Never pass up an opportunity," she said, "as you'll always regret it if you do." In keeping with the spirit of that advice, I helped Niels carry a bunch of trash to the dump upon his request. I had to take a photo, just so you would believe I'd do such a thing on my world adventure.
I went to visit Niels the next day, just before I went to the beach. I didn't take a picture of the beach--because I was, frankly, too busy enjoying it--but don't despair as I plan to go back this Saturday.

I was on foot at when I saw Niels the second day as my City Bike had been claimed by someone else. Niels was sympathetic, so he just gave me a bike. She was a real piece of work. She, in fact, needed some work.

The rear tube had a slow leak. But despair not! Niels, being as friggin friendly as anyone I've met, gave me an extra tube and a crescent wrench to complete the repair. That along with a lock. Guess that trip to the dump already paid off.

Though you may not be able to see it, Clavs is wearing American Flag converse. He also recently saw Bruce Springsteen at a massive stadium here in Copenhagen. Love it.

I know you've been on the edge of your seat. The time is now. You know him, you love him (don't lie!), the King of Pop himself--Michael Jackson:

And now for something completely different.....

Near the end of my second full day in the city, Clavs and a couple journalist friends took me to Nyhavn, a pedestrian street beside a canal.

I'm convinced that journalists are as cool as bicyclists...well, maybe not
as cool, but at least cool enough to hang out with cyclists.
I thought this next picture was especially cool, not only because it features Clavs' American Flag shoes but because it's four pair of feet similarly aligned. Maybe I'm enjoying symmetry more in my old age.
"So what about the bikes," asks the careful reader. "What about all the 'transforming people and places' nonsense?" Well, keep your spandex on, its coming. I had to spend some time taking in the city.

I'll wrap up this "I'm so pumped to be in Copenhagen" post with a couple pics of my apartment from the outside.
So what is so impressive about this image, even the daft observer asks? Well, what this pictures belies is the herd of people just inside the entrance to my apartment. This gentleman had a fairly simple job amongst the herd: harness the natural light for the movie shoot going on inside that green door. An entire movie crew had assembled inside my apartment building to shoot an episode for the annual Danish Christmas Calendar, a series of 30 (I think?) programs that count down the days to Christmas. This was the only shot I got, well, cause they wouldn't let me through to the apartment where they were shooting. But I did see that they hung a Christmas Wreath on my door. I was dissappointed to find it was gone when I came back.

I took a walk to pass the time while they were shooting the Christmas Calendar and found this. I got tickled by it. Hope you like it to.

Stay tuned on Friday for "Traffic Hierarchies and Effective Curbs."


  1. Fantastic news about the custom whip! Looks like fun, can't wait to hear what you're thinkin'

  2. cant wait to see that custom ride. looks like your doing really well out there, bunk.