Day three: Vordingborg-Copenhagen - 100km
I am in Copenhagen City, in all senses of the meaning. It is the name of the town I am in and the name of the youth hostel. Tenth floor, which gives me both a good view on the city and a nice leg workout.
There are certainly a lot of bicyclists here, but even more motorists. This picture is taken near the Tivoli, the amusement park everyone is telling me to go to (but since I get sick to my stomach easily, it is cheaper to take a car ride for five minutes - it gives me the same affect as a roller coaster)
A thing I noticed about the bike paths already: they are too narrow, so passing is difficult and prone to operator error. Sometimes they are put inside the door zone. When cars are parked on the right hand side, I tended to ride more to the left, outside the doorzone. Immediately, everybody will pass you on the right. Strange experience.
About three minutes into my first test ride, I had to slow down for a bus (the bike paths are routed so that exiting bus passengers will step right onto the bike path). I heard somebody skidding behind my, but had to concentrate on the front in order to avoid the bus people walking away.
I just looked at the video - a kid came very close to rear-ending me. Maybe I'll upload that video soon. The same kid also was riding within inches of the steep curb next to the cars while passing another cyclist - and did not look very comfortable doing this.
I don't know how or where they measured the often quoted 37 percent bike mode share, but there are certainly roads void of many cyclists, as this picture shows, as you can see from this picture taking from the tenth floor of thr youth hostel.
I mentioned yesterday that I saw about ten bicyclists over a 60km stretch - and 95 percent of those were on separate bike paths. Built it and they will come? I don't know, I think there are a lot of others factors involved in getting the bike mode share up. Like a tight inner city where not having a car is a viable and cheaper option.
Today I saw 13 people on bicycles between Vordingborg and Køge (around 55km). If I'd be trying to apply the same weird statistical conclusions that I have seen others do, I'd say this is because there were less separate facilities... But to be fair, I only saw one other rider outside a separate facility (and she's getting a honorable mention below).
I enjoyed the beginning parts of the ride, leaving the youth hostel in Vordingborg. It was nice country side, small towns and even a bit of an uphill. Soon I went onto Highway 151, the main road (besides the interstate) to head towards Copenhagen. The first 25km or so there were no separate facilities, which meant no yield signs when on the main road, no potholes, no curbs on intersections. It was nice. There was a narrow lane to the right, sometimes marked with a bicycle on it.
I mostly ignored it, since motorists then left about eight feet of passing space, rather than three or four when riding in the bike lane. At some section in the forest I saw the only cyclist on this stretch coming the other way, glued to the foot-wide buffer called a bike lane. I turned around as she had passed me, as she was about to be passed by a van, without oncoming traffic. Yep, the van did not move over one bit into the other lane.
I don't think car drivers do that intentionally, as nobody honked when I rode to the left of the bike lane. I don't think it registers with them - there is a white line, so I it doesn't need to concern me.
Anyway, as for the trip itself, it was rather uneventful. A bit of rain, a bit of sun, a lot of clouds. I managed to avoid making a right hand turn where it said Køge Havn and went straight to my destination - København.