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Denmark: Danes go by bike to work

Denmark 3 August 2006, 20:53

Skip the train, leave the car at home and hop on a bicycle- that is what more and more Danes are doing for their morning travel. It makes sweat trickle before most Danes have even stepped into t…

Skip the train, leave the car at home and hop on a bicycle- that is what more and more Danes are doing for their morning travel.

It makes sweat trickle before most Danes have even stepped into the office to begin their working day, but that does not stop them from using a little pedal power for their morning commute.

The majority of Danes who ride their bikes to work travel more then seven km to and from work each day, a figure which surprises the Danish Cyclists Federation.

In connection to their yearly 'Ride to Work' campaign, the association asked more than 4600 people about their cycling habits. Some 45 percent of those asked reported cycling more than seven km to work and 13 percent of respondents power their way over 15 km each day.

The survey also showed that those people who tried cycling instead of their normal commute for a few weeks got hooked on pedal pushing. Of the respondents, 13 percent reported that they previously had no desire to bike to work, while 98 percent of everyone said after the campaign they wanted to continue their morning commute by bicycle.

'It's impossible to understand why bicycles aren't better incorporated into mainstream traffic planning. The social economics and health value gains are obvious,' said Jensen Loft Rasmussen, manager of the Danish Cyclists Federation, to public service broadcaster DR.

Rasmussen said that better infrastructure such as more parking spots and better bike paths would encourage more people to ride to work each day.

Danes are already fond of their bicycles, riding an average of just under 800 km yearly.

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