An important focus for our hosts in Vienna was cycling cultures. This meant several things:
- The heritage of Vienna as a cultural capital
- A growing bike culture and counter culture in the city
- A relatively newly elected city administration that is determined to build a cycling culture by all means possible
- A parallel workshop at the ECF AGM for young volunteers from new cycling organisations – the VOCA programme
As a self confessed old git cyclist I have to say the best of this was being exposed to the new advocates group on the VOCA programme and counter cultures tour led by Alec Hager of campaigning group Radlobby IG Fahrrad and Gudrun of the Bike Kitchen.
Ending up in the Bike Kitchen late afternoon enjoying some food and a beer and hearing the enthusiasm of everyone involved was just refreshing. I felt a bit sorry for friend Doretta who thought she had signed up for a culture tour and ended up with a tour of workshops and bike shops, but I was really at home. And a big shout out for their inclusive, supportive, collective values – not much of that survives in a material society.
I wonder whether there is a point when the counter culture becomes the new orthodoxy because none of the elements on the tour were at all unique to Vienna, but I guess you can’t really describe a city as having a vibrant cycling culture without them so Vienna is making important strides.
My thanks to all the places that hosted our visits, here are a few photos of variable quality – and special thanks to Bikelager for outstanding coffee served amongst a gallery of classic bikes laid out like an art show. And of course the scene stealers were the fabulously painted Colnagos on the scalloped frames. At the time we just knew they would become classics.