Copenhagen's reputation as a cycling city is hard to surpass. We asked Jesper Pørksen, who is the Chancellor of Danish Cycling Tourism, to tell us what the capital means for cycling tourism in the country as a whole. On the purchase we received a tip that biking packing may be something for Sweden.
Copenhagen is a world-famous cycling city. How important is it to attract foreign bicycle tourists to Denmark?
It undoubtedly plays a big role. Our cycling culture has become as well-known as butter bread abroad, and it is to a great extent the merit of the cycling city of Copenhagen. Very many tourists experience Copenhagen on two wheels, and once they have opened their eyes to Copenhagen, they become aware that there are great opportunities for cycling holidays even in the rest of Denmark.
During the Big Bike Day seminar in Vetlanda in December, you mentioned that bikepacking is growing strongly in the United States. Do you think there could be something for Denmark and Sweden as well in terms of cycling tourism?
I definitely think so. Bicycle packing is a concentrate on the great and growing interest in MTB, the new interest in gravel biking and the everlasting desire for adventure. You could say that biking is the equivalent of the urban bike ride when it comes to recreation. It's about nature, narrow paths and wide expanses. This makes bikepacking interesting for new audiences. In my opinion, Sweden could be the ideal country for a major biking package adventure, but we actually have really good opportunities in Denmark as well. The trip does not have to be 1000 kilometers long for it to be an adventure.
If you were touring by bicycle in Copenhagen, what would you go and watch yourself?
I would take a tour of the Harbor, which is a 13 kilometer long route around the harbor in Copenhagen. Here you can experience some of the best the city has to offer when it comes to bicycle infrastructure, and at the same time see the life in the city from the water side and from the bridges you cycle over. It's pretty amazing.
Bikepacking Sometimes it is defined as the combination of cycling and camping. You bike with packing in bicycle bags in rural environments and have the readiness to sleep in tents.
Gravel Cycling Cycling on dirt roads with bicycles suitable for the purpose. For example, through robust tires and stable construction. A phenomenon that has become big in the United States in recent years, not least because cyclists want to avoid sharing asphalt roads with cars in what is usually called the car's engaged country.