Danish university bicycle racks

roofed bike rack on campus

This is something I’ve never seen in the United States: a bicycle rack with a roof to protect the bicycles from the elements. Not much to look at. Not even designed to take high-security U-Locks like an American university bike rack. Mundane. But unexpected, to my foreign eyes.

Compare to an American version:

uconn bike rack

The American version isn’t much to look at, but you can see it has high, thick bars, no roof, and is placed next to a large trash can. The Danish version, by contrast, is roofed, has fairly thin metalwork rather than heavy bars, and was placed beside a rather small trash can (though that wasn’t in the photo). A similar type of roofed bike rack was also found near a Swedish university I visited, to give one tiny point of comparison. So what, you ask? I suppose it simply seems good to remind ourselves that cultural (and, most likely, meteorological) differences play a visible role in so mundane a device as these bike racks… incidentally, I haven’t noticed large bike racks at French universities at all, but possibly haven’t been paying attention.

The Danish image, by the way, was taken at the Danish School of Education, where I had the chance to see Sue Wright earlier this summer. She and her colleagues do marvelous research about neoliberal restructuring of English and Danish universities, which I ought to write about more in the near future.

2 thoughts on “Danish university bicycle racks

  1. re: locks.

    the vast majority of bikes in copenhagen have small locks attached to the frame which, when engaged, prevent the wheel from turning. it is rare to see a bike locked to something — even a rack — in that beautiful city.

  2. Yes, it does make sense that one wouldn’t bother to lock the bikes to an external object if they had internal locks already… thanks for the clarification!

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