Like I wrote in my previous Copenhagen post you simply can’t go to Copenhagen without experiencing it on bike. It is what the city is famous for. So what better occasion to make a little list of do’s and don’ts and some things to prepare for, to everyone who is not used to biking in a big city.
DO’S WHEN RIDING A BIKE IN THE CITY:
No. 1: Always wear a helmet
You won’t look stupid, so many people are wearing one and if you love your brain you should too.
No. 2: Stay to your right
A lot of people in Copenhagen bike to and from work and they are in a hurry (!). So make sure you always stay to the right side of the lane (unless you are making a left turn, obviously). Think about making room for others than yourself on the road. Actually it is really much like standing to the right on the escalators in the London Tube.
No. 3: Signal when stopping or turning
This is very important. Make sure the other riders behind you can see whether you are stopping or turning, so they can bike around you and not straight into your back wheel or you for that matter. If you want to stop simply raise your hand as stopping signal.
No. 4: Locks
I know that scandinavians have a reputation for trusting each other eg. leaving strollers outside cafees but we never leave our bikes unlocked as we have A LOT of bike thiefs, so always, always, always lock your bike. If you are riding a really cool one, lock it with an ekstra large chain lock. And do not leave it over night in the center of the city.
No. 5: Use you bell
It is okay to use your bell, no one will get mad. Not if you do it a non-aggressive way of course. Use it when overtaking other if you are in high speed, so people know you are approaching from behind or simply to get inattentive people of the bike road.
No. 6: Light it up
If you are in Copenhagen during the summer months, this might not be so important but when it starts getting darker it will be. Make sure you have lights on your bike for others to spot you in the traffic both drivers, other bikers and pedestrians. If you do not have lights on your bike, you will risk getting a fine.
DONT’S WHEN BIKING IN THE CITY
Please do not stop in the middle of the road to try and read your map, look on your phone for directions or anything else that might distract you and take away your fokus on actually riding the bike. Just don’t.
No. 2: Window shop while riding
This is especially important if you are not used to riding a bike. I am sorry to say, but you will not be able to do these to things a once without wobbling on the bike.
No. 3: Forget to look over your shoulder
Before taking over another biker in front of you the same rules apply as when driving a car, except looking in the mirror. Look over your shoulder before overtaking so that someone from behind you does not collide with you. Another rider could be trying to overtake you as well (but thats is probably not the case after reading this as you will be 100 % prepared and ready to ride your bike with speed and confidence).
Some things to be prepared for when biking the streets of Copenhagen:
- People are driving really fast on their bikes and they use their bells alot.
- They will drive close to you as the streets are not that wide in the middle of the city.
- People can tend to get a little aggresive. This will of course be more clear and obvious if you don’t follow the above listed Do’s and Don’ts .
Happy biking! Let me hear about your experiences when exploring Copenhagen by bike!