Zen and the Art of Bikes

I love Scandinavia; I really love Denmark and I adore Copenhagen. Not just the Danes’ sophisticated approach to social justice but their appreciation of the things that matter – cycling, for one!

It takes a highly evolved city to decide that stuffing it full of cars might not suit actual people. Cycling in Copenhagen (in fact in all of Scandinavia) is a way of life. Children can’t wait for their first bike; it is a privilege to experience their city “en plein air” and drivers are stunningly courteous.

One day, the increasing torrent of cyclists might persuade politicians here in Sydney that yes, people do want an alternative to cars; they do want to stay healthy and green by pedalling to work or for leisure and they want decent cycleways on which to do this. PLUS, and it’s a big plus, politicians need to lead by example, thus changing the mindset of drivers, many of whom react irrationally and furiously to cyclists. It is worrying to read that cycling deaths are dramatically increasing in NSW.

Please read my story in The Sydney Morning Herald/The Age Travellers on January 18, 2014 on cycling in Scandinavia and specifically on a novel way to appreciate a lovely city – Bike Mike’s Zen evening cycle. If you’re headed there, don’t miss it.

You can also read it online here:


Scandinvia bikes


About alisonstewartwriter

Alison is a writer, journalist and travel writer, born in South Africa, now living in Australia. She has had nine books published - two books for adults and seven for young people. Four of them have been translated into Italian, Danish, Dutch and Thai. Her latest project, Cold Stone Soup, an unpublished memoir about growing up under apartheid and migrating to Australia has won the FAW 2013 National Literary Awards (Jim Hamilton Award for a non-fiction manuscript). Cold Stone Soup was also runner-up in the 2010 Penguin/Varuna Scholarship. Her first book for adults, Born Into the Country (Justified Press 1988, South Africa) was shortlisted for the 1987 AA Mutual Life Vita Young Writers’ Award. Heinemann Australia published her next adult novel, Bitterbloom in 1991. Her YA novel, The Wishing Moon was shortlisted for the 1995 Australian Multicultural Children’s Award and was a 1995 Children’s Book Council Notable book. Her YA dystopia, Days Like This, published by Penguin Australia was a finalist in the inaugural 2010 Amazon/Penguin Breakthrough Novel Award in the YA category. Alison worked for years as a news and feature journalist. She is now a regular travel writer for The Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age and online Fairfax Media publications.
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