Europe holiday – Denmark – part I – cyclists heaven

Written by Gary on November 7th, 2010

Coming to Copenhagen from Stockholm in October, one is immediately aware of the substantially higher numbers of tourists and multiculturalism.

The Copenhagen restaurants and bars still seem to be dominated by tourist-oriented British/American food as I mentioned in the previous post on Stockholm, but it does have some very nice Italian restaurants which served great food, and not just pizza and pasta.

The numbers of cyclists seem to have increased exponentially, and they were the main threat to my personal injury – it seems cyclists assume they have right of way, even if pedestrians have a green light, and many of the cyclists just don’t stop to give way to you – you do have to be a bit more aware here!

I had not researched Denmark prior to going there, and thus I was caught off-guard by Denmark’s love affair with cycling – I suspect that if you were a young adult and didn’t cycle to work in Copenhagen, you might be regarded as a second class citizen. I was fascinated by the clothes the Danish wore whilst cycling – no helmets, but it seems, fashionable clothes and even high heels is the trendy way to travel here. They have bikes designed for every purpose, and the ladies generally used bikes with elevated handles to allow them to sit very elegantly with straight backs.

I just can’t imagine this degree of cycling taking off in Australia with its rigid bike helmet laws discouraging fashionable cycling!

Denmark's love affair with cycling

After I returned to Australia, I was telling friends about this cycling culture, where even ladies would be seen cycling home in the cold and rain at 9pm at night, and they informed me that Copenhagen had become so famous for this, there has been a web blog devoted to Copenhagen Cycle Chicks – a blog which presumably started off as a sexy voyeuristic site but seems to have become more a social documentary site – it is worth a check to see what I am talking about. However, I am not sure how the Danish ladies feel about this, although it does seem many love the attention.

It is certainly fascinating watching how the Danish people carry everything on their bikes, including their children in boxed carriages at the front, yet apparently, they have a very low rate of cycle injuries per kilometer cycled.

Our first night in Copenhagen coincided with their annual cultural night which was a great way to get acquainted with the city.

Ice sculptures on Copenhagen’s cultural night taken with the Panasonic GH-1 Micro Four Thirds camera with Leica-D 25mm f/1.4 lens without flash:

Ice sculptures on Copenhagen's cultural night

See more of my Denmark photos here.


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