Wednesday, May 23

Day 144: Thank You for Riding Your Bike

Fifty thousand cyclists. That is how many people ride their bicycles to work, school or wherever in Stockholm's inner city. Pretty impressive, right? Do you recall my post a couple of weeks ago (Day 128: Morning Commute and Summer Anticipation) when I said that I passed probably a hundred or more cyclists on my way to work one morning? I actually counted cyclists on my way home that day. I passed two hundred and fifteen people, including myself. And that was just people ON bicycles. I saw probably twice that many bicycles parked and waiting for their owners. The following morning I counted four hundred and fifteen cyclists on my way to work. This is just on one route. I take different routes depending on my mood and I pass hundreds of happy people on bicycles regardless of the route I take. It is utterly amazing.

Over the weekend while we were eating breakfast. Okay brunch, but anyway my husband saw in the newspaper that the city of Stockholm would be handing out gifts to anyone riding their bicycle on Wednesday (today) at specific locations, one of which was on my current route. Presents? I love presents! As you can imagine I was one of those cyclists this morning. I figured it being a free gift, being handed out to nearly fifty thousand people, it would probably not be a handmade, ceramic coffee mug or hand knit scarf, but how fun to be appreciated for doing something I love. I road down to the spot, which was actually directly on the cycling path, and folks were standing on both sides of the path saying, "Tack för att du cycklar," as they handed out goodie bags. The phrase means "thank you for riding your bike."

You are welcome Stockholm. What a cool city I live in. I mean in the winter it is literally "cool" to put it mildly and in the summer it is just plain awesome to live here. When the sun is shining and it is warm out it is such a glorious place to be. You see nearly everyone out and about, enjoying the sun, having picnics in the parks, riding their bicycles or just sitting with their faces directed toward the shining sun. It's lovely. This time of year it seems pretty easy to be happy and positive all of the time. But it's not for free. As my husband says, "You have to earn your summers here." Right now, that feels okay but I'll get back to you on that next winter.

My free gift... a cycling map for Stockholm, coupons for discounts on cycling accessories, a cycling magazine and a cool, microfiber towel in a pouch that you can carry with you. Not bad.

Gamla Stan, the old town, has a specialty bike shop and they were there to help with your bicycle if you needed it. I love the old truck. 


  1. I love presents too and I loved getting this goodie bag today!! I was thinking it would be lights again (like last fall) but the little rag is really handy too :)

  2. I actually wondered if it would be bike lights but I guess they aren't needed as much now with the longer daylight hours. Maybe we'll run into one another on our bikes one day. I saw Greta this morning! Have a Happy week!

  3. I think there were more than 50,000 becuase they ran out of prizes before I came.... yay for environmentaly friendly people like us!!

  4. Greta - It amazes me every day how many people are on their bicycles. When I lived in Texas I road in a few bike rallys and there were approximately two thousand cyclists riding in a group at one time. Riding in the city, especially during commuting hours, reminds me of riding in a rally! Yay for us for contributing to a cleaner environment!