Copenhagen Cycling Culture

I cycle to work every day. More often than not, I see more bicycles than I see cars on my way. Probably this is due to the fact that the time I ride to work, is after the initial morning rush hour. Even so, it’s still pretty good for a capital.

Mostly there are only benefits to this Copenhagen cycling culture, the most important of all being that Mother Nature really enjoys the lack of fumes.

On the other hand, it’s not a very clever or intelligent culture. In fact, most people riding bicycles in Copenhagen act like mindless drones.

On the off chance that you, the reader, are a bicyclist in Copenhagen / Denmark, please keep the following in mind for your next ride.

Five Pieces of Advice for Riding Bicycles

  1. Obey the most basic of laws
  2. Red light means “stay put”. Green light means “go”. The light is there for a reason. If you think you can get where you need to be faster by crossing the red light, you’re probably wrong. Street lights are usually synchronized, so all light posts in the same direction are green at the same time. Crossing the red light will most likely just get you to another red light.

  3. Slow bicyclists, know your place
  4. There are few things that annoy me more than slow bicyclists that mindlessly stay in the fast lane. I’m not allowed to pass you by on the inner lane, so you’re effectively blocking the way for that growing column behind you. Pull in, for the love of god, pull in!

  5. Don’t smoke while cycling
  6. I generally don’t mind people smoking. But I do mind it if they’re smoking while riding their bikes. Especially if they’re blocking your way like #2. First, there’s the why: Why not wait till you’re where you need to be? Are the cravings really that bad? Surely the enjoyment must be better at point B? Then there’s the how: How can you breathe smoke, while riding a bike? Some air must be needed in those busy lungs somewhere?

  7. Scooters, you’re not all powerful
  8. Some scooters drive on the same part of the sidewalk that is reserved for us cyclists. Most of them think “hey, I’m on a scooter, I’m faster than all of these morons”, and expect the fast lane to be their property. I shouldn’t have to overtake them from the inner lane, just to demonstrate their weak ratio of acceleration. If you must use the cycle lane, atleast follow the same rules we do. That means #1 and #2.

  9. Look for the cyclist green light

In Copenhagen, most larger crossroads have special light posts just for cyclists. They’re just like the normal red/green light posts, except they’re smaller. They commonly turn green in advance of the large light posts, yet cyclists that have problems with #1 usually don’t know this. That means an unnecessary wait for those of us who do.

Did I miss anything?

1 thought on “Copenhagen Cycling Culture

  1. 😀

    Really enjoyed reading this Joen, nice to know more about the how these things work out in different places. I’m coming from Binary Bonsai :]

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