Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Teaberry Shuffled

Deja vu all over again. I saw a container of Peaberry coffee and the words Teaberry Shuffle popped into my head. For the younger generation, the CLark Company put out a commercial for Teaberry Gum in 1967 using a maddeningly memorable tune by Herb ALpert and the Tijuana Brass. The tune was a huge hit and sold a lot of gum. I had no trouble pulling it out of my memory banks 40 years later. Here it is.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I have seen the future and it's Danish

Bike Lane
Originally uploaded by Mikael Colville-Andersen
Okay, maybe I am indulging in wishful thinking, but boy, I would like it to be true. Just spent a week in Copenhagen and this is, as advertised, a world-class cycling city. What you are looking at is a bike lane, physically separated from the car lanes and the sidewalk. Some of them have their own traffic lights (which give the biker a head start over right-turning cars). Some of the lanes have green bicycle imprints which mean they are part of the Green Wave - at rush hour bikers traveling at 20 km per hour don't ever hit a red light.

Denmark created a policy to encourage biking and the result is that almost 40% of Copenhageners commute that way. Incredible.

An interesting side effect: don't expect to see a lot of jocks in the bike lanes. Instead you see the typical commuters: cigarette in their lips, cell phone in one hand, no helmet.

I saw one guy with a popcicle in one hand and a map in the other, no hands on the handlebars. One day in the rain I saw a man in a suit bicycling, full speed ahead, with an open umbrella in front of him. I doubt if he could see anything, but he didn't seem to mind.

And worse, I saw a man riding with a baby (one year old?) on his hip. No helmets. Scary. As I understand it, children are required to wear helmets, and most of them did.

We rented bikes for about $80 for the week. Brought our own helmets. Our apartment was about four miles from downtown (south of Amager Faelled) Great ride to town. Highly recommended.

Oh, it probably doesn't hurt that the highest point in Denmark is only 600 feet high.

Photo by Mikael Colville-Andersen