Bicycling in Denmark is probably one of the best ways to see Denmark. For many people living in Denmark, it is the preferred method of getting to work, shopping and getting about. During rush hour, there are more bicycles than cars moving about Copenhagen. Bikes are everywhere!
Since Denmark is relatively flat, it is easy, convenient and a lot less expensive than driving a car or even public transport. In fact Denmark has been held as model city for cycling and been named the first Bike City in the World and consistently ranks as the top bicycling city.
If you live in Denmark, you will be exposed to cyclists on a daily basis. It doesn't matter if it is rainy, sunny or snowy, the cyclists will be out. Bicycling in Denmark is part of life for most Danes and will be for most expats too.
Denmark is constantly striving to make "two wheeling" more accessible and convenient. Things like:
There is an extensive network of bicycle paths, which make bicycling in Denmark safer and easier. These paths run along major roads for convenient access to city centers and other vital areas, but they can also take you through some wonderful forests and meadows, around small lakes and scenic waterways.
Denmark is putting in bigger bicycle lanes in Copenhagen, Arhus and Odense. These new bike lanes are called Supercyklestier. Unfortunately many Danes are having a hard time with the name so it might be changed. Actually I find it quite easy to say, easier than many other Danish phrases / words!
Since most of the landscape is generally flat, riding a bicycle in Denmark is pretty much a pleasure. That's not to say, however, there aren't the occasional hills and steep slopes to contend with.
Before taking off on your bicycle, there are some things you need to know. Bicycling in Denmark requires the rider to follow traffic laws similiar to those for motor vehicles. Even though cyclists are given their own paths to ride on, there are traffic signals and signs they must obey. Bicycles must also be properly equipped.
For everyone bicycling in Denmark, there are strict laws to follow.
Every bicycle must have a bell on the handlebar in order to warn other cyclists you are passing on the left and also to warn pedestrians of your approach.
If you plan on bicycling in denmark after dark, you must have a headlamp with a white light on the front and a red tail lamp on the back.
Reflectors are also necessary. A good alternative to having lots of relectors on your pedals and bike frame is to use reflectors on your trousers. There are straps made from reflective material which will keep your trousers from getting caught in the chain.
They are just like the slap bracelets that children love to wear. They just go on your legs! They are very handy and readily available in most bike shops and many discount stores in Denmark.
Important to remember: When bicycling in Denmark, you are subject to many of the same traffic rules that apply to motor vehicles and if you break those laws you can and often will get fined. So know the rules before heading out.
Avoid Bicycle Theft
Here are some important tips if you plan to be bicycling in Denmark.
Your bike needs to have a bicycle lock. In Denmark, the most popular type of lock are the ones that are mounted over the back wheel. They are bolted to the frame. When you are ready to lock the bike, you just push down the bar which goes through the wheel preventing the bike from being ridden. To unlock you put in your key and the bar slides back open.
Bicycle locks should be used at all times to deter crime. Denmark has a very large bicycle theft problem. The Danes accept it as part of life and just file an insurance claim and get a new bicycle!
In addition to the normal lock, I suggest getting a good chain lock to secure your bicycle to a post, bike stand, etc.
I would suggest you never leave your bicycle outside your residence, unless you do not mind waking up and finding it gone!
If possible place it in the bicycle cellar(most apartments have them) or inside. It is a very common practice to leave bicycles outside apartment blocks or houses.
P.S. You can get a fine for not having a lock for your bicycle and most insurance companies require you have the back wheel lock on your bike if you want to be covered.
Bicycling in Denmark
Remember if you plan to live in the city and will be fairly close to work, don’t buy a car – invest in a good bicycle. Learn more about buying a bicycle. It will give you a lot of pleasure, exercise and save you a small FORTUNE. Car ownership is very expensive!
P.S. Remember, when you take your bicycle on a train, you must put them in the carriage with bike racks. They are marked on the trains. Do not take them into the passenger area and please do not block doors or aisles preventing people from getting by. Be courteous.
You can even borrow one at some IKEA stores, so you can take all your flat pack items home. See photo below! There are also many city bicycles located throughout the city, which can be rented via an app. See more about that at exploring Denmark on a bicycle.
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