Before deciding where to go on Erasmus, I knew very little about Copenhagen. All I had heard about it was the fact it was pretty, pretty expensive and had a pretty good name in the world of psychology. After looking at a few pictures in Pinterest, I was sold! When researching other places to go I ruled out a lot of places in the Netherlands due to its high academic rating, and the fact the everyone there cycled. I knew I didn’t need the anxiety of trying to pass exams, or the stress of trying to cycle around a city I didn’t know, especially when I hadn’t been on a bike since I was eight. Little did I know that the beautiful city of Copenhagen is the most bicycle friendly city in all of Europe.
I was shook. The thought of having to cycle around the city was enough to send me home again, I took the metro for the first week but once I realized how fast public transport drained my bank account I knew it was time to bite the bullet and cycle.
I was lucky enough that the girl whose apartment I was staying in left her bike behind for me to use. So I didn’t have the hassle of trying to find and buy/rent a bike.
Copenhagen really is catered for cyclists, there are separate bike lanes to use, different traffic lights for cyclists and once you learn the rules of the road, it’s much easier than learning to drive! (that’s a whole separate blog post.)
I finally understood the ole saying ‘it’s like riding a bike’ on a whole new level. Once I adjusted the bike to my height and gained the confidence to cycle outside my little neighbourhood I was flying it. However, I still believe ‘L-plates’ for bicycles should be brought into law.
I had a few near misses, crashing into other cyclists and even a parked car once. I’ve come up against the challenge of cycling against the wind, not expecting a downpour of rain when cycling to college, and even found my poor bike struck to the ground after a long day (see picture below.) But overall the experience has allowed me to travel around a lot faster, cheaper and healthier while on Erasmus.
I achieved a little personal goal that wasn’t even on my radar, and it’s made me wonder how many other challenges have a blocked out due to fear and the fact that I never had to overcome it.
Who knows maybe I’ll start learning piano, run a marathon or even start speaking French again!
As Julia Roberts famously said “La vie est Belle.”
How I’m Copen: 8/10
‘Life is like riding a bicycle, to stay balanced you must keep moving’