Marc Hester

Last year, track cycling specialist Marc Hester received an offer he couldn’t refuse when Sir Bradley Wiggins asked if he wanted to join Team WIGGINS. Here, the Copenhagen local shares his love for cycling and city life.


Marc's Ride

One of my favourite routes from Copenhagen is to go around the island of Amager, which is where the airport is located. I can go around the island next to the water for 45km and almost 40 of those are without a traffic light or anything. I can just cruise around and do my thing, looking at the water and at the empty fields, and clearing my head after a hard race or a block of training. A lot of this route is on a bike path and you might see nobody for almost two hours. It is really nice to have that almost on your doorstep.

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Copenhagen has so much to offer. I can go straight out of my door and ride for a couple of hours, passing almost anybody. It would be better if there were mountains too, but I really appreciate that you can also live well here at the same time. Copenhagen has everything I need: I like the atmosphere, and I like the football team. Copenhagen is my city, and I am proud to be a part of it.

Cycling is my life. That is the only thing I have been thinking of since I was six or seven years old. At that time, I went to Forum to watch the six-day races, and I started cycling myself. Today, cycling is the first thing I plan in the morning and the last thing I think of before going to bed at night.

I am a track rider who specialises in six-day races. On top of that, I consider myself a good rider in the peloton in terms of positioning, riding in crosswinds, sprinting and such things. All the things you learn from the track, I have been able to bring along to the road.

“The bike has become part of the way people dress and a part of a bigger trend in Copenhagen… a fashion phenomenon.”

One time I try to avoid Copenhagen is between 8 and 9 in the morning. It’s utter chaos! There are so many people cycling to their workplace that I wait to go training after then. It is a bit like riding a cobblestone race in Belgium when you go through the city at that time. There is a battle for positions and everyone goes at full speed.

Copenhagen, and especially Nørrebro and Vesterbro, is a playground for hipsters. The bike has become part of the way people dress and a part of a bigger trend in Copenhagen. It is a bit of a fashion phenomenon that the bicycle and clothing styles fit so well. If you see a woman who is on her way from work, her bike is classic and it fits her clothes. Similarly, you can often see a man on a remodeled track bike in a pair of tight jeans and with a small moustache. The idea is that the bike must fit in with the kind of fashion style one has chosen.

I think what we see with bikes in the city is just the beginning of what has been the idea over the last couple of years in Copenhagen; getting more bikes on the street. The bicycle paths are constantly expanding; they become wider and more spacious and it makes it more enjoyable to ride through the city. I think that in ten years time we will have wide cycle paths on the major roads across the whole city.