On your bike

A big part of my falling in love with this city has been down to my getting back on a bike for the first time since I was a teenage paperboy.

Copenhagen is maybe the most bike-friendly city in the world. It’s flat as a pancake and the cycle network is utterly comprehensive.

It’s the only way to travel. But it was not always thus.

bike.jpg When I first arrived I was completely bewildered by the seemingly arcane rules for the cycle-lanes.

There are many strange hand signals and an apparently random array of traffic lights – some of which are only for cyclists and often contradict what the car signals are saying. Or maybe I’m just dense. The latter, my girlfriend says.

A week or two of doing my best to figure out the system by observation alone and I realised that the only answer was just to go for it.

Which was when I found Death Trap.

He’s an awesome little speedster and he only cost me 650kr (£65) from an odd little bike shop where haggling was apparently forbidden. I offered 600kr and they laughed in my face and muttered some strange curses under their breath.

A minute or two later and a polite explanation from Anne that I had grossly insulted the exalted office of Copenhagen bike-trader and Death Trap was mine.

He’s the fastest bike in the city. Especially when I’m drunk. And that’s the other thing about Copenhagen. You can get literally everywhere on a bike.

Now that I’m reasonably au fait with the signals I feel like a seasoned pro. I tut when someone doesn’t indicate or when some scum tourist (Germans usually) ambles vacantly into the cycle lane. DUMNKOPF! I shout before cycling off on Death Trap.

No-one’s going to catch me, after all.


1 Response to “On your bike”

  1. 1 Alan Emmins December 20, 2006 at 10:25 am

    It does take a while. I was all over the show when I first moved here. All is good now though. Mind you, I don’t have the likes of ‘Death Trap’ between my legs… Though I’m loath to admit it.

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