For clarity, this is from my first day in Copenhagen, but I’ve only now prepared it. Just last night I learned I have been given a position writing the DIS Sustainability Blog, and this was one of my ideas.
It’s 10am. I’ve just returned to the hostel, and she’s still asleep. I can’t blame her; the flight took so much out of us and she’s quite sick. But as excited as I am to be in Copenhagen, after what felt like the longest summer of my life, I cannot sit around and wait. See, my friend and I arrived in Copenhagen a week early and will be traveling to London tomorrow to do so pre-semester traveling. But for now we are in Copenhagen, and my need to explore is unyielding. So about an hour ago I packed up my things and headed off to DIS where I plan to store my luggage for a few days. My first taste of the city was too exhilarating to pass up another adventure while she slept. So as I quietly sneak out of the room I can feel my heart quicken in preparation for my next adventure.
Although I have no knowledge of details I know there are free bikes in the city. I look around the front desk of the hostel but find only paid rentals and tours. I guess I will have to figure this one out on my own. I walk out the door and wander the streets for a good 15 minutes before I find myself crossing Ngotvy Kongs Square and looking upon the famous view of New Harbor. With its colorful houses and lively canal life I cannot help but pause a moment to take it all in. I am actually here. In Denmark. I walk across the street and immediately notice a tangle of rubber and metal. Are the Danes into some kind of weird modern art? No, it is just a lot of bikes. I mean, a LOT of bikes. I peer around, hoping to find something to indicate free city bikes, and I notice a touristy couple racking two bikes quite different from the rest. I wander over and see the “City Bike Logo Here” inscribed on the middle of the bike. Looks like I’ve found it!
It takes me a minute to figure out what to do, but eventually the simple image of a coin upon the handlebars leads me to believe I have to pay for the bike. I slip in my 20DKK and yank out the chain. Nice, my money does not disappear; it simply rests securely in the handlebar contraption. Curious, I re-chain the bike and out pops my coin! Excellent, because that one coin was worth about $4!
As I hop on the bike I can’t help but float back to the good old days when I was young and not yet reliant on automobiles for transportation. Back then a popped inner tube was the difference between a boring day at home or an adventure out on the streets. How far I’ve come from then, now so reliant on my car for even the shortest of trips. Back in the States I no longer have a working bike, and I rely on my car for even the shortest of journeys. Despite how I love to drive I am not even phased by the notion that as I pull out into the bike lane I am initiating a complete substitution for my usual habits. All I feel is freedom.
Note: I did not take these pics, I just downloaded them. So no, I have no clue who this lady is!