A quick introduction: I’m Megan, and I’ve just started my study abroad year at Copenhagen Business School. I got here a week ago and I have fallen in love with Denmark.
Like Amsterdam, Copenhagen is an extremely bike-friendly city; everyone rides a bike here and purchasing a bike is like a Danish rite of passage. I managed to get a bike the other day and it’s been my sole mode of transport since.
The best way to go about getting a bike is to join the second hand groups on Facebook here and here. These bikes are well over half the price of a second hand bike sold in an average bike shop in Copenhagen, let alone brand new bikes!
However, every year Copenhagen hosts a massive amount of exchange students, all trying to find a cheap second hand bike. This means that the bikes on that group get sold, on average, within the hour. So the trick is to always be checking that page.
One thing that must be mentioned is the possibility of being scammed. To avoid this, my friendship group always went together each time one of us got a bike. If you go in a group obviously it’s a lot safer. We all tested out the bike to make sure it wasn’t going to fall apart and came to a decision. If it’s second hand it really won’t be perfect, but it’s very apparent if they are trying to rip you off.
Also, a ridiculous amount of bikes are stolen each year. So, as well as getting a decent lock, it’s probably best to avoid the temptation of getting a bright, flashy bike and opt with a plain bike. The more it blends in to all the other bikes it’s parked with, the less likely it’s going to get stolen.
Rules of Cycling in Copenhagen
So, as you would expect, there are a few rules in place when you are cycling around. I’m yet to figure out all of them, but these are the ones I have come across so far:
- As soon as the street lights come on, you must turn your bike lights on.
- Your bike must have a white front flashing light and a red flashing light on the back.
- You are absolutely not allowed to carry anyone on the back of your bike (my friends found this out pretty quickly after being shouted at in Danish whilst attempting to ride home from the bar one night).
- Your bike must have a bell.
- You are not allowed to ride side by side. You must stay on the right to leave enough space for others to overtake.
All in all, cycling here is pretty easy due to the extensive and well designed cycle lanes. Its really safe and not at all like London, where you pretty much sign your own death warrant just riding to the shops.
Even though the buses and metro run 24/7. You have to get a bike, you can’t truly experience Danish culture without it!
This is my bike and I basically live on it