It’s funny. When I was 11 I took the cycling proficiency course, which here in the UK is a course and a test that kids can take to teach them road safety when cycling. And I failed.
It was pretty devastating and embarrassing to fail, because I was the only one in a group to fail and I had a shiny new baby blue bike at home that I wanted to ride. Luckily failing your cycling proficiency course means absolutely nothing, and heck I’ve seen plenty of cyclists on London’s roads who definitely haven’t taken that course…
This rambly introduction is my way of telling you that I’m quite a nervous cyclist. The reason I failed the test way back when was because I kept pulling ‘nervous faces’, and whereas I didn’t witness it myself I am 100% that was the case because that’s definitely how I was feeling, and how I still feel when I ride a bike nowadays…
Whereas I’ve cycled in London and that was hair raising at times, Copenhagen turned out to be a completely different experience – I’ve never felt safer cycling anywhere before. All across the city there were bikes on every corner, on every street parked outside every house. Apparently in the city there are more bikes than inhabitants in Copenhagen, with 375 kilometres of cycle tracks available to cycle across. and so when we visited the city a couple of weekends ago, travelling by bike was the obvious option.
And luckily, no nervous expressions needed from me. As cycling is the primary way of travel in Copenhagen, the bikes definitely get priority on the road. Our canal tour guide told us in Denmark the incentives to cycle way out-weigh those to drive. To buy a car you’re subjected to a lot more tax, in addition to that fact cars are more-than-normal-expensive and so is petrol. So overall, what’s the point?
Each road had designated cycle lanes and traffic lights especially or the bike routes, which mean there were rare instances where you actually had to cycle among the cars – perfect for nervous cyclists like myself.
If you’re a tourist to Copenhagen there are endless places to rent bikes, and I would definitely recommend the Donkey Republic app. Similar to the concept of Lime and Ofo, you can download the app and find bikes nearby. You can rent them from as little as 30 minutes to as long as 7 days, and it’s so easy to keep a track of your bike, add more time to your rental and to lock it up whenever you wish.
There are several models to hire – my favourite being the City bike with rounded handles, so you’re not bent over the handlebars, Tour De France style. They also have nifty phone holders at the front if you’re in need of directions. It’s actually illegal to be on your phone or under the influence whilst cycling in Copenhagen, so beware! They take it very seriously, and in my opinion that extra layer of safety makes the whole cycling experience a lot more enjoyable for the rest of us on the road…
If you’re in Copenhagen it’s best to grab a bike and cycle around the city centre, but there are plenty of routes you can look up online that take you further out of the city and into the greener outskirts of Copenhagen. We didn’t go far, but we did cycle out to visit The Little Mermaid, which was a lovely journey mainly across cycle paths away from the road, which is something I would 100% recommend if you’re visiting yourself.
Who knew I’d be a city cycling convert? Guaranteed, you won’t find me hopping on my bike in Central London, but the cycling experience in Copenhagen has changed my cycling attitude a lot. Not only is it a cost effective way of travelling around the city, but it’s also a great way to be more environmentally friendly, and also get in some extra exercise (which in Copenhagen is even better to burn off all the Danish pastries…).
So, I hope I’ve inspired you to grab a bike if you’re visiting Copenhagen anytime soon, as it’s something I would definitely do if (When!) I return to the city. Either way, I hope you enjoyed this post and that it has helped in any way. If I’ve missed anything important feel free to let me know in the comments!
More posts on Copenhagen will be coming to the blog, but in the meantime check out my Instagram @GrundyTravels for the latest updates!
Thanks for reading x