A few days ago I finally got something everybody in Copenhagen should (and indeed do) have – a bike.

Over here bikes are a big thing. In fact, bikes officially outnumber people three to one [citation needed] and will soon most likely become the dominant lifeform in the country. Yours truly will gladly accept the Master Bike Protector’s offer of truce and aid the bicycle race with their quest for galactic conquest.

But seriously speaking, a bicycle is a good thing to have in Copenhagen, especially if you’re a student.

I mentioned before that public transport, while effective, can be somewhat expensive. Unless you can get your daily affairs done without ever having to go too far out of your neighbourhood, a bicycle offers you quite a bit of freedom. And if you’re lucky you’ll find a good deal too.

Perhaps the best time to buy yourself one is when old-timer Erasmus students are leaving the country and are desperate to cash in on their two-wheeled (former) friends. If you cannot time your travel to coincide with the student migration, other channels exist that are worth checking out. DBA is a particularly useful site with plenty of second-hand bikes on offer. If you tap the “refresh” key persistently enough you can find a perfectly good bike for as little as 300 DKK. Some people have found bikes “just lying there on the street” but we all know better to call such affairs “thievery”. In certain parts of the city, such as Norrebro, people can be seen selling bikes on the street and there is a bicycle cemetary near the docks at southern Frederiksberg. The latter is perhaps not the best place for procuring a bike unless, you know, you have a morbid fascination with repair work.

My bike (henceforth to be referred to as “babe”, “baby”, “babée” or “hotness”) cost me 600 DKK and for a city cruiser with a nice vintage look this is not a bad deal at all. A few malicious friends of mine have pointed out that it is in fact a lady’s bike, but I do believe “a cruiser” is the more appropriate term to use. Sure, she has a bit of rust but oh boy, when you oil her up and… [EXCERPT REDACTED]… the chain is likely to last for at least a couple of more years.

As for traffic, Copenhagen humbly shivers at the feet of the bicycle armada. Bike routes are to be found everywhere and even if you do have to merge into traffic, the drivers will not try to murder you instantly. For someone coming from the streets of Tallinn, I surely appreciated this simple courtesy and the relative lack of casual hit and runs. I was initally quite uneasy about throwing myself at the mercy of the cars, but because the Danes value basic things like, say, human life, it didn’t take me long to get with the flow.

It should also be said that riding on the sidewalk is generally frowned upon and the Danes will eagerly engage you in mortal combat should you bump into them.

.

Advertisements