Originally Posted by Longfemur
Another recent internet-generated myth bites the dust.
Sorry about the OP's experience. I have a very good friend who lives in Copenhagen and have visited and cycled there many times. As far as it being "a nice place to live," my friend would hotly dispute that fact. As far as it being a good place to cycle, can't really agree with the OP; I've had nothing but good experiences.
There's some theft there, but considering the way people lock (or don't lock) their bikes, it's pretty light, and mostly occurs in the grittier neighborhoods (Christiania, Fredicksburg). Calling bike theft there "endemic" is a complete exaggeration: Outside of the "bad" neighborhoods (nothing compared to the bad neighborhoods of most cities), the only time bikes get stolen is outside of bars when drunk college kids stumble out and hop on the first bike they see and ride off. AFAIK
, my friend has never worried about having his bike stolen in front of his apt. building, for example. And it's considered something of the occasional concern if you don't lock up your bike at all
which some people get in the habit of doing. That's really not the behavior of a population afflicted by endemic bike thievery.
The trash? Only places I ever saw a lot of trash were in the "worse" neighborhoods I mentioned above. Generally, their immigrant and druggy areas, places where people don't follow "the rules."
As far as left turns go, you're expected to follow the local laws. IN fact, as far as everything goes, you're supposed to follow the laws--exactly. (One of the reason my friend hates it there; that, and the crap weather for 9 months of the year). Left turns must be made from the bicycling lane. I got pulled over in the evening by police for not having a light. My friend and I had to catch a metro home. (My friend hates these rules, BTW, and says the culture suffers from a lack of imagination and an inherent rigidity.)
Generally, I've always found the entire town easy and simple to bike in. I've not biked in London, but I have visited several times, and I don't think it's cleaner by any stretch of the imagination.
Any of the cycling complaints mentioned above, however, are an order of magnitude worse in NYC--drivers in the bike lane? Trash? Drivers that don't see you?
Wow. As far as I've experienced, the number one form of transportation in Denmark is a bicycle--everyone
uses a bike. The bike lane can get crowded, that's true. But Danish drivers usually look for cyclists almost immediately. They can get tickets for blocking bike lanes. On several trips of multiple weeks, I've never been blocked in a bike lane by a car, or even a pedestrian for that matter.
Every time a person rides here in NYC, the number one concern is whether drivers or pedestrians see you. Number two is how the hell you're going to make sure your bike doesn't get stolen.
Sorry the OP had a bad experience in CPH, but the only really nice experiences I've had there were on a bike.