Monday, October 05, 2009

The knees knows

They say that when it comes to riding a bike, you never forget.

My knees definitely remember riding a bike yesterday. I cycled seven or eight kilometers (70 or 80 miles, I’m not sure of the conversion) around Copenhagen, Denmark, on a tour with the chief lobbiest and the project leader for the Denmark Cyclist Federation and four other bloggers/journalists.

Most of me loved it.

My knees were the exception. My left one has asked my thigh to tell me it’s never going to speak to me again. My right knee cut out the middle man and gave me the message personally.

You see, I haven’t ridden a bike for any distance in probably seven years, and the distance then was less than a mile. Since then, my biking experience has consisted of swinging a leg over my son’s bike and walking it out of the carport so I could air up the tires for him.

In Copenhagen, everyone rides. Lise Bjørg Pederson, the lobbiest for the cyclist federation, said there are 30,000 bicycle commuters in Copenhagen, compared to only 15,000 automobile commuters. All of them passed me yesterday.

I was so slow, parents taking their kids along for the ride in cargo cycles (think pedal-powered SUV – SUC?) passed me. There were little girls, young women, men of all ages, grandmothers. Everyone was pedaling – fast. The thing that impressed me as an American is that there were no fat people, unless they were the few driving by in Mercedes and Audi cars.

Suffice it say that there must be a huge market for talcum powder in Copenhagen, and a very small market for gasoline, er, petrol.

Today I’m off to the island of Samsø, where 100 percent of the energy comes from renewable sources. More on that tomorrow.

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