Copenhagen is often described as “a city of cyclists” or “the world’s cycling capital”, but you will also hear the opinion that there aren’t any “cyclists” in Copenhagen, just normal people wearing normal clothes who use bicycles daily as their main form of transportation.
Their argument is that they also use toothbrushes to brush their teeth and vacuum cleaners to clean their floors, but that doesn’t make them toothbrushists or vacuum-cleanerists, does it?
Whichever way you take it, this is a great city to cycle around in, and the people who do it are visibly healthy and energized when they arrive at work or wherever they’re going.
My photos and text in this post are from 2009. I arranged them here in 2019.
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It’s easy and safe to ride around Copenhagen, similarly Holland and much of Germany.
Inspiring! I want (not “wish”) this approach to be par for the course in Montréal and across Canada. Here we need education at public and political levels on transportation issues. We face a wall due to the way our towns and cities developed. Initially, the wall served omnipotent car drivers… now intransigence is also shown by cyclists, who lost faith in the city’s capacity to protect them. So two women talk excitedly while pushing their huge baby carriages ON the cycle lane, and insult the cyclist who dares to say anything… While in the park in front of my place, the path for walkers, through the Rose Garden, is used increasingly by cyclists, who scream at seniors with walkers to “get out of their way”! I really came to see your point about cycling, Don. Thank you.
Hi, Lou, thanks for your comment. Yes, Copenhagen’s system of three separate lanes for cars, bicycles and pedestrians really does make sense. Fortunately other cities like Frankfurt and Paris are also starting to do the same.
Copenhagen is still on my wishlist! 🙂 Discovering on bicycle is always great! I never knew though that it was so common in Copenhagen. Not that many bicycle path around my home in Sweden, but it is improving! They just build a new bicycle path where I live, from the city of Eskilstuna to Sundbyholm at the lake Mälaren. A stretch of around 15 km. And it is so great to see where previously no one used a bike, because of the traffic and being dangerous. But now many take the bike using the nice bicycle path to enjoy a day at the lakeside 🙂
I wish I could enjoy the same safety when riding in my neighborhood here in West Los Angeles. It would save me lots of time waiting for buses. Plus, I would be great exercise.
Yes, it’s transportation plus exercise at the same time. (I have just returned home by bike from the Frankfurt opera house, 7.1 km each way.) (Saw Rossini’s Otello, not Verdi’s for a change.)
Had to read aloud your first two paragraphs. Yes, isnt it amazing that people use a mode of transportation, in order to get places! We really need to take off our blinkers on this side of the Atlantic, and realize that cars are not the only option!
Denmark is a country of cyclists. Not just in Copenhagen but the whole country and why not when it is so flat! I got into trouble when walking there with my young daughter who strayed into a bike lane. The cyclist was NOT impressed. I mumbled an excuse that we didn’t realize as we were from Australia. It didn’t help!
Yes, cyclists and pedestrians are expected to keep out of each other’s lanes, in places where separate lanes exist. I have written about this in one of my Amsterdam posts:
Great – I will take a look. Thank you