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Chapter 2 Cycling Cultures in Northern Europe: From ‘Golden Age’ to ‘Renaissance’

Cycling and Sustainability

ISBN: 978-1-78052-298-2, eISBN: 978-1-78052-299-9

Publication date: 29 May 2012


Purpose – This chapter traces the development of cycling in several European countries over the period from the 1880s to the present, with special focus on the two cycling nations, Denmark and The Netherlands.

Methodology – Drawing on a wide array of research on bicycle use in Europe in the twentieth century as well as primary sources, the chapter pays particular attention to the users of the bicycle, their organisations and the mixture of male and female, young and old, and rich and poor, because these users were the people who actually shaped cycling cultures.

Findings – While acknowledging that geographical conditions cannot be fully ruled out as contributing factors, the authors point out that political, social and cultural aspects were all woven together into what would become increasingly distinctive national cycling cultures.

Value – This study provides historical context for recent efforts to increase cycling participation by identifying relevant cultural, social and political factors, and providing insights into the trajectories of Dutch and Danish cycling cultures.



Agervig Carstensen, T. and Ebert, A.-K. (2012), "Chapter 2 Cycling Cultures in Northern Europe: From ‘Golden Age’ to ‘Renaissance’", Parkin, J. (Ed.) Cycling and Sustainability (Transport and Sustainability, Vol. 1), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 23-58.



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Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited