Stockholm: Island Park and Bike Design Exhibit

Today, Las Chicas get an early start in order to grab the desirable CityBikes for another day of sight-seeing. We head to the island of Djurgården. As the name suggests, it’s mostly park land with assorted museums, a castle (slott), and walking and biking paths that meander through fields, forests and along canals. We choose to ride next to the water.


View of downtown Stockholm from our garden island. 


Sheep add to the bucolic mood.


Off-road biking on the Citybikes!


Photo of Las Chicas by a Florida woman who now lives in Trieste, Italy. Like us, she is escaping the heat of the Mediterranean. 

Feeling a bit peckish, we ride back into the center of Stockholm toward the business district to check out a recommended bistro called Pocket. There we feast on onion rings with Swedish caviar dipping sauce, salmon, and tuna.

Time to find out more info about Lisa’s Swedish heritage at the Swedish Genealogy Center!

We find the neighborhood and the street, up a rather steep hill, and right in the middle of a retirement community. We ride on its paths in search of the genealogy center. The senior citizens are outside enjoying live music, perhaps the Swedish version of Frank Sinatra or something like that. It’s a beautiful sunny day–good to be an old person in Stockholm. But not a good day find the Swedish Genealogy Center.

We ask at the hospital where a staff person prints a google map for Lisa. We ride to that location where a young woman opens her second floor window and tells us where it used to be. We head to that spot, a day center for older people, and they tell us that all the buildings have been repurposed. Even a van driver tries to help us with his GPS, but no luck!

So we ride off across another bridge in search of a women’s bookstore on Kungsholmen Island. Foiled again! The bookstore is now an office with a photo of Rosie the Rivetter in the window. Time to go see bikes at the Design Musuem, which we know will be open.

We ride through central Stockholm, cross a bridge onto another island: Skeppsholmen. More museums, but we will not lose sight of our bike focus. Well, we are a little distracted by this Calder sculpture called “Four Elements” and discuss which item represents which element. What do you think?


Inside the design museum, we explore the bike exhibit which the curator describes: “bike as a passion, a fashion accessory, a transportation devise, an iconic object and a component when planning for a more sustainable future society.”

We stop first at a display of student projects for bike accessories ranging from rain jackets to rack and bag systems. Similar to looking at kickstarter projects, but without videos and snappy music.


This student project shows a case for your laptop on the left and expandable bag for your front platform rack (popular in Denmark and Sweden).

We move into the main part of the exhibit with an amazing number of bicycles designed over the last 125 years or so.


Pedals on the front wheel of a wooden bike.


Early rear suspension was a spring!


Husqvarna, a Swedish company known for power tools like chain saws, used to make bikes.


Curvy frame and springy seat of an old bike.


Tillie Anderson, an American racer known as “Tillie the Terrible Swede.” She was born in Sweden.

A seamstress by trade, Tillie sewed her own bike racing uniforms.  She was World Champion at the end of the 19th century. Thistle Bicycles was her sponsor. But in 1903, the League of American Bicyclists banned women from competing due to perceived dangers. Read more about Tillie Anderson here:


Swedish postal bike with large front rack and two rear racks; we saw a similar version in use in Copenhagen.


Swedish military bike had a platform for a dog!


Bike and sidecar.


One of the many kids’ bikes on display. Italian design. 


Hanging from the ceiling, this prototype plastic bike was rejected due to ugliness. Old bike film plays in the background.


Old posters show everyone can enjoy a bike ride!

© 2014 by Lisa Howells and Mary Reynolds.


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