4cms tall? You’re needed for a micro Critical Mass

There are roads, petrol pumps, train stations, airports, harbours and town houses. But no bike paths. Exactly what kind of retrograde conurbation is Lego City? It’s no Plastic Portland.

Lego, the Danish plastic extrusion company founded in 1934, produces a large themed play range called ‘City’. In this City, the company has found space for a recycle truck, a street cleaner and a corner cafe, but there’s no bike shop.

In a City playset titled ‘Community workers’ there are three cyclists out of 31 minifigures. But where’s the cycle infrastructure for these cyclists?

The roads feature single carriageways with pedestrian crossings but there are no dedicated cycle lanes, not even a splash of white paint.

The service station has petrol pumps and a car wash. But in the whole of Lego City there’s not a Sheffield stand for love nor money. Covered cycle parking? Forget it.

If ever a community needed an active bicycle advocacy group, this is it. Lego City is crying out for a micro Critical Mass.

The Lego Group produces over 306 million miniature tyres each year, more than any other tyre manufacturer in the world but not enough of them are bicycle tyres.

Lego is clearly missing a trick here. Denmark is extremely pro-bicycle, so why is the country’s most famous export so poor at providing decent cycling infrastructure for its City minifigures?

Visit Denmark says: “A bicycle is perhaps the ideal way of getting around Denmark….Denmark’s provision for cyclists ranks among the best in Europe. The Danes are a nation of cyclists and pride themselves in an outstanding network of cycle lanes and paths.”

Perhaps the way to go will be for anarcho-bicyclists to create their own infrastructure, their own Plastic Portland? Amazingly, it’s possible. Lego Factory is an online bricks ordering tool with a downloadable program to create bespoke lego creations and then offer them for sale to all via the Lego shop. Members have created barber shops, internet cafes and Dutch-style townhouses…but’s there no bike shop yet. It’s criminal! (As luck would have it, Lego Factory members have created jails…).

Grand Theft Auto: Lego City