26 May 2011

Free wheels

The new Copenhagen city bike has arrived, and after testing it I was all set to nag about it. It is heavy, a pain to park and you are not allowed to bring it anywhere fun (like the bridge areas). As if anyone had the leg power to push it that far. But then I thought about it: it is free and yours with a single coin deposit, so you are not really in a position to be anything but grateful. And then I learned that the free city bikes are built and maintained locally at the City Bicycle Workshop (Bycykelværkstedet), a job training project for rehabilitees. So much goodness, who cares if it weighs a ton? The bikes are mostly for the tourists, but a some of the locals seem to find them useful too. Some even consider the coin deposit more of a purchase, buying locks to secure their new investment.

The new model in a rare upright standing position.

What this sign is telling you is basically that your ride will be bumpy, with nothing but roadwork and cobblestones ahead. That is central Copenhagen for you these days.

Meatpacking district by night: a couple of free bikes spooning on the ground. Locked. Some kids don't know how to play...

...or put the toys back where they found them. Last years model dumped at the Central Station. 

If you spot one that is out of place or need fixing drop them a mail at: info@bycyklen.dk

Link to Bycyklen København, the organization behind the free city bikes: here


  1. Hey again Sandra :)

    I agree with most of what you write about the city bikes. How lame it's only allowed to ride the bike in the old center of town like the photo of the bike map shows. Not pleasant unless you're a pedestrian in my opinion, and even then it can be quite stressful, especially if you're a tourist practicing your biking skills. The bikes should be allowed to go to Nørrebro and Islands Brygge / Christiania too, I think.
    About the wankers who buy a lock for their 'investment': Sad people. - I just think the caretakers of the bikes should be allowed to break up the locks (or cut them) and bring the bikes back to their rightful parking spots. But that may already be the case.

    On another note, I finally found an apartment, and moved to Cph Northwest last friday.
    Only one week before I was thrown out of the old place - phew!!

    PS: Come check out "Beats 2011" on Saturday at Enghave Plads. From 12PM to 8PM.
    See www.streetheart.dk

  2. How sad! To see free bikes locked up! Shame on them!
    I hold those bikes dear to my heart because they have seen me home on many a night out ;) (Disclosure: I did take them back the very next day).

  3. Hi Drumstick, congratulations on your new house! I am already planning to stop by the Streetheart thing Saturday, but keep the tips coming :-)

    There are only 2000 free bikes, so I figure that if they are spread out all over Copenhagen, none would be left for the centre. And maybe the advertisers (who finances them) like the centre-exposure? Just guessing here. Anyway, renting a real bike is not overly expensive, that's what I would do as a visitor.

    I just spotted a couple of guys yesterday with huge backpacks racing down the street on city bikes, so funny.

  4. Hi Celena, how cosy that you have fond city bike memories. And I believe you when you say you brought it back the next day. Of course. :-)

  5. Oh, I never tried the ones in Paris and hopefully my bike won't get stolen so I won't have to, but I was told they were super heavy too. Yet, it's a great thing, and tourists can see the city without crowding the metro, oh how fun!


I love comments! Go ahead, make my day. :-)