Discovering a city by bike.
This sentence will probably seem like a utopia if you come from very big cities full of climbs or descents where everyone use cars and public transport and the cycle paths are too few to cover the whole area. And yet, as I discovered on my skin, there are cities where such a thing is possible, it is an everyday reality.
I’m talking about my last trip last summer in Copenhagen. I had already been warned by my friend that hosted me that there everybody moved by bike but I never expected what I saw. Everyone goes by bike, and I mean also older people and young children to whom this art has been taught since the early years. Not to mention the cycle paths, they can be found everywhere and cover almost the entire city. The few points where there aren’t in any case you can safely stay on the common road without too many risks because the cars are fewer.
With a lot of curiosity, I decided to try this experience and so I was there the first morning of my vacation to rent a bicycle ready to speed through the streets of the city. I would never have expected such a thing. With my bike and the map, I was able to dedicate my day to visit the city without having to wait for public transport or to spend a lot of time walking. The bike allowed me to see things that I probably never would have seen, in fact at one point I had lost the way back. This caused me to explore places that weren’t planned.
The following days with my friend we always moved by bike and although I’m not good at cycling and more than once I risked falling I was able to appreciate this new experience. Staying there pedalling while everything around you changes and you feel the air on your face is an experience that I can’t describe. You might think it’s easier to get around by car, basically it goes faster and is more comfortable. But the point is this, it’s fast and comfortable but for this reason, it doesn’t allow you to enjoy the journey. On the other hand, by bike you’re present in the moment, you’re an active part of the movement and you can stop almost anywhere if there’s something that attracts your attention, something that can’t be done with the car.
Not to mention the fact that it’s good physically and environmentally, it keeps us in shape and doesn’t pollute. Precisely for this reason, I would recommend to anyone taking a vacation in cities where the most used means of transport is the bike to rent one and try to discover the city like that, pedalling after pedalling. And if the weather is worrying you, if you fear it may rain while you are cycling I can assure you that you’ll survive anyway, a little bit of rain has never killed anyone. If I managed to do it, you can do it too, there’s nothing to stop you.
Rather the thing that I recommend you to do, in particular if you are not experienced cyclists but in reality even if you are is to get a helmet because even if it’s ugly or unsightly if for any reason you fall it can prevent you from getting hurt. So in summary, use the bike when you can because it’s a wonderful experience, but always do it safely.
And have you ever discovered a city completely by bike?