ttierney July 21st, 2009
Biking in Iceland & Denmark
* While bicycle riders were relatively common in Reykjavik, I was surprised by their relatively free style. Riders generally seemed to prefer riding on the sidewalk, but then would jump out onto the street when pedestrians blocked their way. It made for an interesting (and slightly dangerous) mix as bikers weaved their way through foot and auto traffic (all without helmets).
* Outside of the capital city of Iceland, the casual bike rider of the city was replaced by more serious road bike warriors. Piled high with camping gear and supplies, teams of these two wheel Winnebagos were interspersed along the vast stretches of the Ring Road (Route 1), the mostly two lane highway that circumscribes the country. In the parking lots of state parks and roadside shops, we had a chance to marvel at the ingenuity and care in packing ones belongings for the week.
* Copenhagen certainly lived up to its reputation as one of the friendliest bike cities in Europe. The main boulevards were lined with bike lanes that had their own special traffic lights! At most times, the number of people on bike equaled or exceeded those in cars.
Interestingly, the same maladaptive behaviors encountered with car drivers were observed by bicycle riders. This included riders merrily chatting on their cell phone or listening to their iPod nano, which they held in one hand, while steering with the other (again all without helmets).
* In the leisurely resort towns of Samso, bikes again abounded on the small, two-lane country roads that winded between towns. Here we were finally able to rent our own bikes to explore the country side and small towns of the island.