Retracing the Tour de France Route in Denmark

After making our method to Lodge Kong Arthur, situated on historic Copenhagen Lakes on a cobblestoned alley, we make just like the Danes and seize two resort bikes to go out throughout Queen Louise’s Bridge—the world’s busiest bicycle avenue. Sure, motels include bikes, and bike outlets include motels. At a café off Blagardsgade Avenue, we understand the place actually is bike loopy—particularly now with Vingegaard’s win, which is taking the game alongside for the trip. Two-wheeled journey has merely taken over. Sipping our Tuborg beers, we see bikes of all walks, from recumbents and different low-riders to breakdowns, these with carts in entrance and behind, and even these with seats suspended by bizarre webbing. It’s like a scene from Dr. Seuss, from straight-backed bike-boozas to pedal-paloozas. In the event that they’re not being ridden, they’re parked. Tons of of bikes are angled subsequent to one another in neat rows. Simply beware the domino impact in case you by chance knock one over.

2022 Tour de France champion, Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard
Courtesy Lars Moeller/VisitDenmark

Within the morning, we seize our bikes once more to tour the Tour route with Christian Hougaard from Copenhagen Biking. The explanation biking is so in style right here, he says, as we pedal away, is as a result of the nation “is completely flat, the infrastructure is nice, and the whole lot is shut.” And within the metropolis, he provides, constructed earlier than anybody even considered vehicles, “we are able to get in every single place faster by bike than by automotive.” Plus, vehicles are closely taxed and parking is pricey. “Solely 30 p.c of individuals in Copenhagen have one,” he says. “Biking is far simpler than strolling, operating, driving, getting on a bus, or catching a cab.”

Because of the foresight of metropolis architect Jan Gehl, now 80 and retired, the federal government has helped the trigger by constructing bike-specific bridges and lanes whereas decreasing automotive lanes. As we trip, Christian factors out such bike-friendly options as bike lanes having their very own curbs for defense from vehicles, their very own velocity bumps, and crosswalks and painted flip lanes. In some locations, bikers even have their very own visitors lights, in addition to ankle-high steel rails so that you don’t should disembark. Even the trash cans are positioned at a ahead angle to toss in rubbish as you trip by. Come winter, the bike lanes are plowed earlier than automotive lanes. In class, youngsters earn bike coaching certificates at ages 6 and 10—and there’s even a government-funded “bike playground” the place kids can observe, full with mini-bike paths, visitors lights, and angled trash cans.

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