Copenhagen Cycling Culture

If you are an avid cyclist like myself, chances are the magnificent city of Copenhagen tickles your fancy like no other city does. With its outspoken bike culture it’s hard not to feel at home in CPH.

Bike lane galore

Claiming that Copenhagen is a bicycle friendly city is just stating the obvious. As a cyclist, you will rarely find yourself far from a bike lane, cycle path or other bicycle designated area. No wonder that locals prefer the bike over the car as it easily gets you to your location in no time.

Well, maybe not during rush hour when you may expect heavy cycling traffic and the odd two-wheeled traffic jam, but still, the bike is the way to go. Even ‘mister Snowplow’ has his priorities straight. When it snows, bike lanes are cleared first! How cool is that? Well,… ice cold I guess!

Tourists (and snails) keep right

You’ll quickly notice that the bike lanes are rather wide. If you’re cycling at a moderate pace, it is advisable to keep right if you want to avoid being yelled at by native cyclists. Those Vikings do have a bit of a temper if they even think you’re slowing them down so consider yourself warned. In order to avoid nasty crashes, keep in mind to get in the right cycling lane if you are making a turn to either direction.

Left is for racing

If right is for moderate paced cyclist, than left is for overtaking slower cyclists and – to a lesser extent – full-fledged racing. Aah, the look on the faces of those Danes when Mister Small Wheels overtook every single one of them. Keep in mind however not to put yourself or anybody else in harm’s way when releasing your inner Peter Sagan. Safety first remember!

Orange means go

When it comes to traffic lights, orange definitely is the most important color in Denmark. Unlike in good ol’ Belgium, Danish lights go from red over orange to green. Long story short, orange means go.

Orange means go!

As soon as a traffic light turns orange, the Danes have the tendency to franticly ring their bells if you wait for more than a second or so. More often than not, they’ll even run – or should I say cycle – the red light when their ‘orange radar’ starts to tingle.

Cargo bikes

If you think cargo bikes are merely to transport goods from point A to point B you’re sadly mistaken. It’s hard not to spot someone riding a Christiania bike – the iconic CPH tricycle – with one or more children in the cargo area, a trend you see in more and more European cities the last decade. But why stop there? It’s only a small step from taking your kids for a ride to taking that special someone for a scenic ride through the city. In Copenhagen the general ‘if it fits, we sits’ rule applies.

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