Copenhagen is one of the biking capitals of the world. Having lived there for two and a half months, I realized very early how essential bikes our to get around in this city. Every Dane I know in Copenhagen was born riding a bike. Some of them (including my boyfriend), don’t even have a driver’s license! I guess if you’ve lived in a bike city all your life, there is not a point in getting a license, but it’s so hard for me to fathom not knowing how to drive!
Anyways, when I first visited Mads in Copenhagen, it was February. I was studying in Germany, and went up to Denmark for a weekend with Mads to meet his family and friends. His mom had a bike for me that I could borrow, but I was a little nervous about biking.
In the US, I rarely ever bike. I had a bike when I was little, but since then, I had only biked twice, and both times, I only biked a few hours, and it was in nature. I had never tried to bike in a city, let alone Copenhagen! Every road has separate bike paths that are sometimes even wider than the lanes for cars and for good reason. Biking is the easiest, cheapest way to get around Copenhagen, so everyone bikes. Danes bike to work, to the gym, the grocery store, everywhere! So in order to me to fit in with Mads’ Danish life, I had to get used to riding a bike.
It was a very rocky start. The first day, I was so anxious. I got so nervous when any other bikes got close to me that my knuckles gripping the handle bars were constantly white. In fact, one time Mads got to close to me, and it caused my first fall.
These pictures were screenshot from a GoPro movie I made about visiting Copenhagen. As you can see, not very happy about biking haha. Thankfully, we were on the greenway and not on any of the main streets, so there was no danger in me falling.
The rest of the weekend did not go that well either. Eventually, we kind of gave up on the idea of biking and took public transit (which is also very good in Copenhagen, just so you know). I was a little disappointed in myself that I couldn’t do it, but I hadn’t given up! When Mads and I went back to Germany, we both bought bikes on ebay, so that we could easily get around the small city of Reutlingen, but most importantly, so I could practice.
It was much easier to bike in Reutlingen, because the town was so small, and so, there were never many other bikes on the bike paths. I practiced biking in Reutlingen for four months, and all that work really paid off. Mads and I would even take bike trips to the neighboring town, Tübingen, which took us about an hour and a half each way. Basically, I was becoming a biking pro.
In order to save money and because it was just easier, I decided that I was going to bring my German bike with me to Copenhagen. The easiest way to do that was by taking Flixbus for 22 hours. It was such a deal! The ticket was 55 euros and to bring my bike was just 9 euros more. Granted, the bus ride was very long and not the most comfortable, but it was definitely worth it in order to bring my bike!
With two months of biking Copenhagen behind me, I would consider this quite a success story! I am sometimes a little cautious when it comes to trying new things, so maybe for somebody else biking in Copenhagen would have been way easier from the start but not for me. If you come visit Copenhagen and you feel comfortable biking, definitely rent a bike to get around the city. It is the best way to see everything, and you experience Copenhagen like a real Dane!