My sister Heather just returned from a trip to Denmark, in which she discovered it to be a biking utopia. Photos and words by her below.
I recently traveled to Denmark and was struck by their biking culture. More people use bicycles than cars. Every street has a bike lane wide enough for three riders across. Coming from New York, where you see bikes painted white as a memorial marking the spot where a biker was killed and the majority of streets have no bike lane, the amount of bikes in Denmark really made an impression on me.
Bikes are in front of every store, restaurant and bar, and all offices and rail stations are equipped with large bike garages. Many bikes have carts attached to the front for groceries, pets, and children. The Danes ride their bikes throughout the year in rain or shine and it rains often in Denmark. It rained a few times while I was there and the rain did little to lessen bike traffic-people just put on full body rain gear.
I was also impressed to hear that few bikes are stolen in Denmark. Bike theft was on my mind because my little sister, who lives in New Orleans, recently had her bike stolen from her own backyard. Her bike was chained up but the thieves were equipped with wire cutters. I know they had wire cutters because they so kindly left them in the spot were her bike had been.
At first glance it does not look like any of the bikes in Denmark are locked up. I asked my walking tour guide about this and he pointed out that most bikes have a tiny circular lock around the back wheel. I asked how that prevented people from just walking away with someone’s bike and he responded that anyone carrying a bike would look suspicious and someone would ask them what they are doing—mind blowing! Denmark is a truly amazing place and their bike culture is just one tiny aspect.