By now you’ve probably seen that we’ve started doing some new sections on the Treadlie website, whether that be the Centrefold or Editors Picks. Utilities is a new area we’re adding to the mix. There are so many interesting and useful features in cities across the world that improve cycling and we want to be able to share them with you. First of the block is Cykelslangen, or “The Bicycle Snake”.

Just over a decade ago the Inner Harbour of Copenhagen underwent a pronounced transformation. The first stage was a foot and bicycle connection across the Inner Harbour, Bryggebroen (The Quay Bridge) by DISSSING+WEITLING architecture, which was opened in 2006 . The first new crossing of the harbour in fifty years.

The bridge became a tremendous success not only as a connection between two parts of the city, but also simply as a way to enjoy the views of the harbour, the sensation of being above water. However, if  heading to or from Bryggebroen on the Eastern side of the Harbour a cyclist had to carry their bike down or up a full flight of stairs at one end of the quayside.

In 2010 DISSING+WEITLING were presented with the task of building a ramp to replace a nearby staircase, a time-consuming obstacle for the 12,500 cyclists that pass through the area daily. Instead of just replacing the staircase with a ramp, the office proposed a plan with a completely new approach to the area.

The cyclists were in fact exposed to many obstacles, not just from the staircase, but also continuously throughout the nearby area, from sharp corners and many pedestrians. The pedestrians where likewise exposed to unnecessary dangers from the cyclists. The proposal was a long sculptural bridge, where the cyclists could be separated from the pedestrians.

A ride for cyclists that gives them the feeling of moving quickly and effortlessly through the area, while the experience of riding at first floor level would be unique and exciting. A roof for the pedestrians, who could then use the entire quayside at Fisketorvet, giving them comfortable surroundings and shelter from bad weather.

Today, The Bicycle Snake meanders 6-7 meters above sea surface and is 230 metres long. The bridge is made of steel, which gives it a light and elegant look, and the surface is a bright orange colour, creating a clear visual route for cyclists.

At night the bridge is lit from LED strip lighting built into the parapet handrail ensuring path visibility at all times, and also creating a bright element that enriches the entire area.