Letters from the dorm: The joys of travelling by bicycle

Letters from the dorm: The joys of travelling by bicycle

One of the reasons I chose to come to Copenhagen for my year abroad is because of the bicycle culture. I still can't get over how great it is to use such a quick, easy, safe and feel-good mode of transportation. People in Copenhagen cycle come rain or shine. And they look fashionable while they do it. In an attempt to blend in, I am trying to learn how to cycle with no hands (only the cool people do that).

I'm not proud to admit that it took me a month to adjust to the culture shock and get used to riding in a lane packed with cyclists during rush hour. There are perks though. The Danish cycling lane is 2.2 metres wide and has a curbed edge. This protects cyclists from cars, makes conversations possible and leaves space for safe overtaking.

Cycling is very safe in Copenhagen. The laws about front and back bicycle lights after dark are strictly enforced. Cyclists always use hand signals and look over their shoulders when they overtake, turn or stop.

It is a wonderful way to see a city's beauty. You can hop off your bike whenever you find a quirky shop or cafe, park it on the road, and resume your journey afterwards. When you are biking, you can clearly see the faces and expressions of pedestrians strolling by, and they can see you, too.

Biking connects you to the city and its people. The more I bike, the more I see. I love to grab my iPod and hit the road, headphones on, and watch the world pass me by, like a music video.

What makes Copenhagen stand out is not (just) the impressive infrastructure, cuisine and thriving nightlife, but the livability of the city. To experience this magic, you absolutely must be a part of the two-wheeler club (I insist!).

Whenever I am on my bike, I feel so light and free, and as I glide through one breathtaking street to another, I feel as if anything is possible, and that the world is in my hands. I would do anything to create a similar set-up in Hong Kong.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
The joys of travelling by bike


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