The Bikes of Copenhagen

Trip Start Oct 21, 2011
Trip End Oct 29, 2011

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Flag of Denmark  , Zealand,
Saturday, October 29, 2011

If you ever go to Copenhagen the first prevalent thing you are going to notice is that the Danish people love their bikes.  I think I can honestly say I have never seen so many bikes in one place my whole life.  It seemed that everyone rode bikes from children, to twenty somethings, to old men and woman.  The bike culture is super prevalent with all ages and is a part of there everyday life like a car is in Los Angles.

During all times of the day you saw bikes all backed up on the road like it was rush hour traffic in any major city.  It was definitely quite impressive to see this amount of bikes in action all over the city.    Another cool thing I noticed in Copenhagen is that for 20 Kroner (which gets refunded back to you) you can get a bike rental and bike all over the city for free.  I was shocked at that one, anywhere else and its going to cost you.  How cool is that?  For about four dollars you can cruise thru-out the whole city and once you turn your bike in you get your money back

In DC we have "Bike Share" which is pretty cool in its own right.  For a monthly fee you can bike all over the metropolitan area.  It super easy as well.  Basically, they have bike ports (a place where bikes are stored) through out the whole city on various sidewalks.  All you need to do is go to a bike port pickup your bike then drop it off at the nearest port to where ever you are traveling.  However, it does cost to participate in the "Bike Share" program where in Copenhagen it cost nothing to do the same thing.

The bike culture in Washington DC has really taken off in the past four years.  However, I think the gold standard would have to be Copenhagen.  I was amazed at the infrastructure already in place.  They had massive bike lanes on all roads no matter how big or small.  This is something DC does not have.  DC has bike lanes but they can be quite narrow and at time dangerous when parked cars open their doors.  The bikers in Copenhagen also obeyed the rules of the road pretty religiously, which is a huge issue here in Washington DC.  DCer's tend to not care about stoplights or signs or traffic in general on any given day. 

Another oddity I noticed in Copenhagen is that most of the bikes I saw that were not being used, and there were a ton of them, were not locked up at all?!?!  Then the bikes that were locked were not locked to anything (ie they might just lock one wheel to the frame of the bike).  So in a nut shell, if someone wanted to steal a bike all they have to do is just pick up the bike put in the back of a truck and take off.  I think that was one of the oddest customs.  In DC you leave your bike unlocked for 30 seconds someone will be riding down the street laughing at you.  I actually thought about taking a bike and cruising around and just returning it to the spot I found it at but I decided that might not be a very wise move. 

All in all, if you don't have a bike in Copenhagen then you have no real way of getting around other then your legs.

If you click on the first picture it is a movie clip that shows what typical traffic looks like in Copenhagen.  Enjoy.
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Big Mike on

But how's the chewing tobacco in Coppenhagen

dcdave100 on

I have no idea!

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