One of the greatest ways to explore Denmark and meet the Danes is to get on a bicycle. Bicycling in Denmark is the number one mode of transportation and also one of the most popular forms of recreation. The bicycle is King of the Road and there are many reasons for that. But before you get on your bike, there are a few things you should know about cycling in Denmark.
You probably already know how to ride a bike and the basic safety rules, but there are some specific rules, which apply to cycling in Denmark. Not knowing them can cause you problems and in worse case get you in trouble with the law. Ignorance is not an excuse.
First, let me stress the fact that bicycling is very safe in Denmark due to the many bicycle lanes in the cities and more importantly the laws, which give the bicycle the right over motor vehicles.
Motor vehicles must yield to cyclists and give them right of way. The penalties for injuring a cyclist are steep and the rare accident is usually major news.
The rare accidents are usually between large trucks, which often have blind spots. Being aware of motor traffic is important. Just because cyclists have the right of way, does not give a cyclist carte blanche - motorists can have problems seeing cyclists! Pay attention when coming in contact with motor traffic - especially at intersections!
A few rules that you should be aware of as a cyclist are:
1. You MUST always use the bicycle lane or path if it available. You can only ride on the road if there is no cycle lane or path. Ride on the right side of the road.
2. Obey all traffic signals and laws. Many cycle paths have their own light signals for bicyclists. These signals are just like the regular traffic lights but a bit smaller. They are there to protect the cyclist, so it is vital you obey them.
3. When you want to turn left at an intersection, you ride on the right side of the road, signal your intention to stop, ride through the intersection and stop at the opposite side. There you wait for the light to change and continue across.
4. You must never ride a bicycle on the "walking streets", sidewalks or pedestrian crossings. You will get fined for such violations. You must get off your bike and walk it.
5. Learn your hand signals for stopping and turning and use them. Also it is advised to ride signal file on the right side of the path. The left side is for passing and you should signal by ringing your bell to let other riders know you are passing.
In the city the bicycle paths are very busy during commuting time and not obeying proper bicycle etiquette like signalling, proper riding techniques and paying attention can cause accidents. Worse can be the berating you will get from other cyclists. Danes are not afraid to tell you did something wrong - especially when it comes to riding a bike.
If you take these simple steps, you will soon learn that bicycling is one of the best ways to explore the cities and country and you will encounter many Danes along the way. At stoplights, you will notice many conversations going on and it is also okay to ask for directions and assistance. The Danes are usually quite willing to help another cyclists.
For more information on bicycling in Denmark and learning about where to rent a bike, bicycle routes and other important facts about cycling, you can check out http://www.fyidenmark.com/bicycling.html. Being well informed about cycling in Denmark will make sure you get the most out of your cycling adventure.
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