Sure you can get around town on a standard bike — two wheels, a few gears, and a couple brakes — but there are also cargo bikes, electric bikes, folding bikes, recumbents, and even velomobiles. But these specialty bikes are expensive, so most people just stick to what’s familiar, and within the budget.
At Copenhagen’s Bicycle Innovation Lab, you can take these specialty bikes for a spin for days at a time using the organization’s “bicycle library.” Put down an $80 deposit and ride around on the bike for three to four days at a time. The idea behind the library is to give people the opportunity to test ride these more expensive bikes so that potential customers can get a better idea if they’re worth the investment.
The New York Times spoke with the founder of the library:
“I see myself as a bicycle psychologist,” said Lasse Schelde, manager of the Bicycle Innovation Lab. “It’s about exploring the possibilities of bicyclism — it is an ‘ism’ because it’s not just a bicycle but a question of infrastructure, livable cities, health, the relationship between you as a person and society.”
It’s no surprise that Copenhageners would be interested in exploring different ways to get around on bike. The city is one of the best when it comes to bikeability. One-third of commuters do so by bike. And the city has answered demand by building a free bike share program and a new cycling superhighway. Now you just might see people using the new infrastructure with a fancy ride.
Image: Bicycle Innovation Lab