Stockholm Hipster School of Economics

If Stockholm School of Economics goes down the cycling-is-cool-so-we-are-cool route (like in the commercial video published this week) they should as well – in my opinion – change name to Stockholm Hipster School of Economics.

The video contains pretty much all the ingredients you would expect from a documentary titled, let’s say, “living the hipster life”: a 30+ year old student finishing a master degree, living on Södermalm (the organic fed wannabe artists/creators district), riding a shiny pseudo-vintage bike and wearing woodcutter shirts.

SSE’s idea of cycling and cyclists in this film is quite flawed if not completely disconnected from the day to day life of a regular Stockholmer, riding a regular bike to a regular job and I just wonder whether the brains behind the script actually live in the same city as I do. Or maybe SSE people really think they are different (every single school and company out there think they are different so who could blame them) and the programs they offer are for hipsters only.

Nice commercial anyhow and no offense to Andrew (the student) who is working on an interesting project. I’ll visit for sure.

were people cycling back then?

Sometimes we wonder how it was back in the days. Were people cycling in Stockholm or just walking because, you know, they did not have carbon frames, spandex clothes & GPS trackers, right? Could they possibly commute on two wheels without these basics back then? Well…

Cycling in Stockholm, 1945
1945 – one car to smoke them all

Cycling in Stockholm, 1946
1946 – bike parking facilities (replaced later with beautiful asphalt)

Cycling in Stockholm, 1946
1946 – Stockholm Central Station before mad taxi drivers conquered the spot

More bicycling vintage pictures of bicycle cycling Stockholm here thanks to Stockholmskällan.

ITU World Triathlon Stockholm 2013

In exactly 100 days I will participate in the ITU World Triathlon Stockholm but unfortunately I enjoy neither swimming nor running. I don’t enjoy swimming and running as regular sport activities I should say since I’m perfectly fine with a refreshing swim during summer and also fine with a quick run to the bus stop when I’m late in the morning (or a 10 kilometer race once in a while with the wife if she insists but that’s if she really insists).

Swimming in freezing water
Stockholm triathlon 2012 (or 2011, I can’t remember which summer it was so warm and we had so little ice)

Lucky for me there are such things as triathlon relays and people who actually do like swimming and running (weird but convenient)! “- Joel, wanna swim 1.5 kilometers? – Yes. – Jukka, wanna run 10 kilometers? – Yes. – Alright boys, I’ll bike, let’s go for the relay. – Sure. – Sure.” And so it is. Our it-took-less-than-one-minute-to-form team is on its way to its first triathlon.

I’m still not sure I’ll be able to get my hands on a proper racer for the day (I’m sure not going to buy one) so I just pretend I won’t and get ready for the 40 kilometer ride on my loyal single speed Kona Paddy Wagon (I’ll skip the fixed gear and go freewheel to get a chance to rest my legs if needed). The bike came with a 42T chainring and a 16T sprocket and the gear ratio – which is quite alright for relaxed commutes to work – would be way too small if I want to cover the distance in a decent time.

I now am on 46:16 and I will ride that for a month or so before I put on a smaller sprocket and so on. 46:16 is quite alright at the moment but I will need a bigger ratio to reach my objective: 1 hour 15 minutes and under (not sure I’ll manage but it’s more fun with a goal).

My main concern is the wind though: I ride the course almost weekly (at commuting speed) and it’s rather flat but it’s along the water and exposed. It’s around 6 kilometers one way and then back on the other side of the river (so the race will be 3 laps): with north to south winds it’ll be alright and means side winds the whole race but if it’s east to west winds then it’ll be harder with headwinds half the race.

As for the weather it does not really matter: it could be warm, cold, sunny, rainy or even snowy (it was 1°C for last year’s marathon in June so..) I embrace rule #9 and have a spare set of studded tires in stock. Our runner (Jukka) should be fine too but it might be a bit trickier for our swimmer (Joel) if he has to swim with an ice tool in each hand. But as long as we all have fun (Joel can always wear gloves) it does not really matter, we are the it-took-less-than-one-minute-to-form team on its way to its first triathlon and we’re going to smash our current record!

Joining the race too? Want to share your triathlon experience on one gear? Please don’t hesitate and leave a comment.

the real threat to Stockholmers

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the first episode of a series of controls targeting cyclists who ride through red light. The controls are still going on around Stockholm and it’s for the best: cyclists are a real threat to pedestrians and car drivers and must be treated like the criminals they all are!

cyclists should be put in jail
Handcuffs look good on casually dressed bike commuters.

Of course there are a few sloppy motorists too but the situation on the roads is not as critical as the anarchy it’s on the bike paths. A police check in the city once in a while should be enough to remind drivers of the rules and make sure they stay safe in their rolling coffins. An operation like the one carried out in the evening of Thursday, April 26th and which definitely proves cyclists are the real threat… oh wait…

Between 23:00 and 06:00, Stockholm Police carried out an operation on “The Central Bridge” (Centralbron) & in “South Way Tunnel” (Söderledstunneln). Around 90 cars were stopped. Fines amounted to 50,000 SEK.

  • highest speed was 125 kph (instead of 50 kph)
  • 12 driving licenses were confiscated as a result of speeding and drink-driving
  • 15 drivers were caught driving without a license, 6 showed fakes
  • 1 driver commited environmental crime with “illegal waste transport” (whatever that means)
  • 2 people were taken to the police station on suspicion of drug-impaired driving
  • 1 person was arrested for illegal weapon possession and drink-driving
  • 2 people were reported for breaching knife law
  • 1 person was taken into custody for being in Sweden illegally

This is the result of just one single police check carried out on a regular weekday. I don’t know about you but as far as I’m concerned I have a pretty good idea who the real threat to Stockholmers is.

The report is available (in Swedish) here –…/Flera-fast-for-rattfylleri-fortkorning-och-olovlig-korning/

Brompton Swedish Championship 2013

Brompton National Championships will be taking place in twelve countries this year; the fastest male and female participants will win flights to the UK and entry to the Brompton World Championship 2013. –

The Brompton Swedish Championship 2013 was run on Sunday in Stockholm and I was there to cheer my friends up. I’m not much of a storyteller so here are some pictures of this fun event instead.

Brompton Swedish Championship 2013

Brompton Swedish Championship 2013, speaker

Brompton Swedish Championship 2013, women

Brompton Swedish Championship 2013, men

More pictures in this photo album on Facebook.