So, according to our class, Copenhagen is really easy to bike in. The city is built for it. Roads make sense, bicyclists, drivers, and pedestrians all follow the same rules, and traffic lights fill in the gaps. I was sure that out in the countryside, all of that was going to change. Without the extremely high ridership and tons of funding, biking about 30 miles from Copenhagen to Helsingor on Saturday was just going to be the worst.
Well, this is one time where I will happily admit that I was wrong! (And let’s be honest, that really doesn’t happen very often! 🙂 ) Biking up the coast proved to be one of my favorite days on the trip so far. I was a bit concerned about the ride. It was going to be the longest ride of the trip that I had done and looked intimidating on the map. Our many adventures along the way made it very comfortable and enjoyable, even with a slight accident along the way.
I have to admit, Saturday was the first moment that I really questioned the validity of NOT wearing helmets. That’s right, we haven’t been wearing helmets at all this trip. Somewhere along the gorgeous bike path next to the train line in the woods, there was a nice downhill section. Two of my classmates in front of me collided at the bottom of the hill. It had been raining and they both just fishtailed into each other. They went off in separate directions while I tried to navigate my way through the destruction (I am really happy to say that I made it all the way through the collision… It was me trying to stop on the other side after a high speed weaving section that didn’t go so well). Everyone behind said it looked pretty crazy from behind, as three of us just disappeared off the trail into the woods. Luckily, the worst thing that happened is a few bruises and some stained shirts (Guys, slug gut stains are seriously the worst). Like I said though, there was a moment between the trail and the ground that I really wanted a helmet. They are not part of the overall culture here, and that is part of what makes bicycling so accessible. Anyone can hop on a bike at any moment and go. I’m a bit scared to ask this, but what do you all think about helmets?
Aside from the slight detour I took, the trip was just fantastic! The bike trails themselves were wonderful. They were very well marked, nice and wide, and relatively flat. It was just an overall good day to be out on a bike. Since this is a class, we had to stop and see some of the attractions, I mean, learning opportunities along the way!
They turned a parking garage into a playground and workout structure! Swings and trampolines and stairs were all kid friendly, but they also had workouts posted or timers for residents of the complex that wanted to get outdoors to workout… Such a great use of space. We may have also stopped at the world’s oldest theme park…. I really can’t make up a transporation related lesson for that detour, so I will just say that it was a ton of fun! My thrill seeking self was more than happy to jump on some roller coasters around lunch time!
A gorgeous ride along the coast up to Helsingor made the distance worth it. I can’t reiterate to you enough that I am NOT a cyclist at home. Short trips only. Riding in such a beautiful place, away from traffic, made all the distance worth it. Didn’t even matter. After dinner, a few of us volunteerily hopped back on our bikes to see the outside of the Hamlet castle! We might not be able to build these incredible historic castles in the States nowadays, but we can make the trips themselves as enjoyable as our journey was.