Portraits of Cyclists – A fantastic year spent taking pictures of cyclists in Copenhagen and also getting to know more about them

One year ago, I started taking pictures of cyclists but also decided that I would talk to them in order to make their portrait and add a personal touch to the photo. During this year, I published 45 portraits of inhabitants from Copenhagen and 2 from Aarhus.

Almost all the people I stopped while they were cycling to the office or back home accepted to answer my questions and to pose in front of my camera. I want to sincerely thank all of them for their time and their smile.

Here are some of the common points I came across during the interviews.

99% of the people I talked to are cycling every single day in the streets of Copenhagen. They enjoy it and find that cycling is the best way to get around in the city. Just as all the surveys already demonstrated it, they think cycling is convenient, fast and cheap. Often they added that it's healthy and a very good way to get fresh air. For some of them, cycling helps them to wake up in the morning.

A lot of bicycle users told me that they appreciate when they run into a friend along the cycle tracks. They just wave or stop to have a chat during their commute. Moreover, they feel that they are really in contact with their city since they cycle through it.

A significant amount of cyclists remember quite easily their first bike or the first day they cycled alone. I always felt that it was an important moment for them when they spoke about it.

Surprisingly, I heard often that the Copenhageners don't really use a bike when they visit a city abroad, feeling that the city is less adapted to the cyclists than their home town.

Here are some cyclists you have seen this year and some details that make the difference when you want to Cycle Chic. They are a vital contribution to Copenhagen urban landscape.


Portraits of cyclists - Helena and her mother: “I was on business trip when my daughter cycled alone for the first time. It was like missing her first step”

I live in Copenhagen. I cycle every day with my daughter. Normally, she bikes her own bike just in front of me. She started biking with me when she was 5.

Do you have a special memory related it?”

I taught her cycling when she was 3. But I was on business trip when she cycled alone for the first time. When I came back home I was so sad. It was like missing her first step.”


More cyclists on Cycle Chic


Portraits of cyclists - Natalia: “I used to bike in Romania too”

“I'm from Romania. I'm studying in Copenhagen and I cycle every day. I used to bike in Romania too and I'm involved in the blog SkirtBike. It's a reason why I wanted to come to Copenhagen.”

“Do you have a favorite route in Copenhagen?”
“Sometimes I take a ride for pleasure or simply to clear my mind. In this situation I cycle in the center of the city. I love cycling on the bridges over the water.

“May you share an anecdote with us?”
“Once, while cycling, a cyclist talk to me, but I could not understand since I don't speak Danish. She pointed at my pedals and I was a little bit frightened but it was just to ask me where I bought my shoes.”

More cyclists on Copenhagen Cycle Chic


No more suits. In Copenhagen, this summer, it's just about swimsuits

I'm from Sweden. I'm visiting a friend in Copenhagen for the weekend. In Jönköping, I cycle to work all the time. It's very convenient.

Here is in Copenhagen, I'm heading to the beach. It's so sunny and hot.”  

Portraits of cyclists: “I fell good. I take my time and I actually enjoy it.”

I cycle every day in Copenhagen. I start in Norrebro and I cross the Dronning Louises Bridge. Then, I go down Gothersgade with the Rosenborg Palace Garden on my left. Finally, I cross Knippelsbro to reach Christianshavn.”

So, you cycle every day on the two busiest bridges of Copenhagen (about 36.000 cyclists on Dronning Louises Bridge and 40.700 on Knippelsbro in 2012). How do you fell when you cross them?”
I fell good. I take my time and I actually enjoy it.”

I have been living here in Copenhagen for nearly 10 years and don't know any bus routes because I cycle everywhere I go and, I like it. I like the freedom it gives. You have nothing to plan, you just take your bike. When I'm thinking about it, it's insane how much Copenhageners use their bike, day and night.”

Do you have a specific memory related to cycling in Copenhagen?”

On my first year at the Architecture school, I was cycling with the people of my study group going from a party to a bar. We were cycling to close to each other so I fell down. I still have a scar. I considered it as my baptism as a cyclist in Copenhagen.”


Portraits of cyclists - “Cycling to work every day, you get use to it very fast and you get to love it too”


I live in Copenhagen. I cycle every day 10km to go to work and 10km to come back.”

“Because it's faster and easier than taking the car or the public transports. It's a good way to be active.”

“With these shoes?”

“What is your favorite route in the city?”
“I change my route sometimes. If I do a detour, I like going through the city, to see all the people and for the specific atmosphere of this part of the city.”

“What would be your advice for the women who wouldn't dare to cycle 20km to work?”
“It's a matter of habits. You get use to it very fast and you get to love it too.”


Portraits of cyclists - Niels, Director of Traffic Department, cycles chic

The coolest and most elegant Director of Traffic Department works here in Copenhagen and cycles every day.

Do you remember the first day you cycled by yourself?”
Oh yes, I have a clear memory of that day. I was 4 or 5 years old. I was riding my sister's bike, which was too tall for me. Where I lived the streets had long slopes. I went from the top of a street down the slop and suddenly I lost control and as I was not ready to brake I finally went directly into the garbage cans. That's what happened on my first day biking.”

Do you have a memory of something unusual that happened one day when you were cycling?”
Some years ago, I was cycling on my way to work. I was on a very busy road and suddenly in front of me in the amount of cyclists I saw someone from behind that make my think: “I know this guy!”. I was thinking that it was not one of my colleagues or one of my friends or relatives but then I realized that it was a very very old friend of mine. At some point we took different directions in our life but we were best friends when we were children and just with his body language on his bicycle I could recognized him. It's difficult to explain how this happened but it just did.”

More pictures of cyclists on Cycle Chic


Portraits of cyclists - Conrad: "I really don't care about my average speed"

I'm from Copenhagen. I cycle every day but not during the winter.
I ride a second hand bike, I don't fell like spending money on a bike.

I learned riding a bike when I was 3 years old. For me, it's just normal to bike in the city. I cycle since it's faster than taking the bus. When I've got to go further, I cycle to the station and I put my bike in the train.”

Do you know how many kilometers you cycle every day? Do you know your average speed or things like that?”
I don't know. Maybe 10 kilometers. I really don't care about my average speed.
The good thing when you ride a bike is that you can see the city and wave to your friend we you meet them.”

Sticker of Pele Che Coco – Conrad brother's Sustainable Recycled Fashion shop