You can see Copenhagen by foot and you can see it by boat, but if you really want to experience the city like a local, you will need a set of wheels… Bike wheels, of course.
And if you want to travel like a local, you need to bike like a Dane. Here is my top 10 list of Tourist no-no’s:
1. Fitness gear is out. Heels? Skirts? Yes. Spandex and lycra? No. Unless there is leather involved.
2. Ride your bike like you drive your car. Running red lights and swerving into oncoming traffic? A definite sign that you are not from these parts.
3. Remember your shades. You will look cooler and it will keep the wind out of your eyes.
4. Lock your bike. It will save you a few tears and from paying for a new ride.
5. If you happen to have not ridden a bike in say a good decade or so (guilty!) then take a little refresher on a quiet road before you hit the busy ones. Danes get a little cranky when you wobble around like a newborn giraffe in the bike lanes.
6. If you need to turn to the right, stick your arm out towards the right just before you turn to alert cyclists behind you that you are turning and vice versa for the left. Slamming on your brakes, throwing your map into the cyclist’s face behind you while you careen off the next street? Tourist.
7. If you need to stop, dragging your feet along the ground is totally not cool… besides you wouldn’t want to mess up your cute heels. Simply put your hand up, making a little stop signal instead. PS. Jumping off or hitting the curb are not cool, either.
8. Do consider taking a ride in a cargo bike. Warning, though. In your jet lagged state, it may lull you into a blissful slumber.
9. Bicycles may be Denmark’s “sacred cow” but running people over while riding is frowned upon.
10. Unless you are an experienced cyclist, trying to take a photo while riding your bike could lead to an embarrassing accident and profanity being yelled at you from the other cyclist.
And 11. Because cycling in Copenhagen is truly the most wonderful way to experience the city…. Remember to relax, ride at a leisurely pace, and soak up every minute of your visit!
Here is a little video clip of our recent ride in the city:
Photos by Jack Fussell for Flying House Studios
Bike: Trio Bike