There’s a fly in my paradise

I’ve been riding in Copenhagen for over three years now, and it’s fantastic. I doubt there’s a better city for a bike enthusiast. It’s not perfect though. Here’s a list of things you’ll find on bike paths, ranked from best to worst.

  1. Cyclists that are predicable, considerate, and alert. This is by far the largest group.
  2. Cyclists that probably mean well but suffer from an iPod or cell phone dependency that prevents them from being either predicable or alert.
  3. Three-wheeled bikes. This includes parents on Christiania bikes, hauling their kids around, and some disabled people who have strange sort of scooter-tricycles, some of which are electric. This is a well-behaved group, but these bikes take up a lot of room. Luckily there aren’t that many, and they’re pretty concentrated in the inner-city.
  4. Racers riding $5,000 bikes and wearing full-body condom-like suits who act like they’re perpetually in the final stages of the Tour de France. I don’t like to be slowed down either, but it’s a reality on a public bike path. You mostly find these folks out in the suburbs.
  5. Tourists that are distracted by the sights and therefore periodically veer into the path of other cyclists. Or just stop in the middle of the lane without warning. This is only a problem in the city, in the summer.
  6. Pigeons, dogs off leash, stray cats, broken glass, etc.
  7. Cars parked partially or fully on the bike lane because the driver is more important than anyone else in the world.
  8. Steaming piles of fresh dog shit (this actually almost never happens, but I mention it to underscore the repugnant nature of the remaining two items.)
  9. Scooters on the bike lane legally. This means a scooter that is limited to 40 kilometers an hour, or about 23 miles per hour. Still, I think they have no business on a bike lane at any speed. Bike lanes are for bikes.
  10. Scooters on the bike lane illegally. This is the single most irritating and dangerous thing about riding in Denmark. These scooters are modified for speed, and driven by assholes that pass you without warning at three times your speed, and then leave you breathing toxic fumes. If you’re just too fat and lazy to ride a bike and really have to have a scooter, drive on the street with the rest of the motorized traffic.

One Thought on “There’s a fly in my paradise

  1. I guess the last item means I ought not take my speed-modified scooter with us when we visit you in July?

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