With the introduction of the Crimson Cruisers on OU’s campus and the release of Frank Ocean’s single, “Biking”, I’ve started to pay more attention to the culture of bicycling. I remember having a conversation with my brother about Denmark, and he mentioned something about how everyone there bikes. At first, I just thought that the “everyone” he was talking about was the regular amount that usually bikes in a city environment; with further research, I found out that everyone bikes, with over 50% of the capital’s population using it as a means of transportation. Copenhagen, the nation’s capital, has a very prominent and encouraged biking culture. Sometimes, you can find streets that have counters that basically count the daily amount of passing cyclists. Biking is not limited to a certain class or income, with most every street accessible and safe for cyclists. You can even see some people using cargo bikes that can be used to carry anything from either their children or groceries. Safety and traffic rules are often included in the curriculum and taught to young danish children around kindergarten. This substantial amount of cyclists has many benefits for a nation: CO2 emission are tremendously cut down, healthcare costs decrease, traffic decreases, commute time decreases, drivers are more cautious, it’s cost effective, and it’s fun.
In America, bikers are considered “outsiders” and different from the “us”. When we see cyclists on the road, we have a tendency to get frustrated having to drive alongside them on roads. It would be nice to see more populated areas in the US starting to make cyclers feel a part of an ingroup by providing more bike lanes, bike share programs, and maybe even some tax deduction for driving less than a certain amount of miles per year. With its economic, health, ecological, and social benefits, biking is something that every city should consider tying into their everyday culture, and I’m happy to see OU’s campus take a step forward in that process.