Today has been the first day in my life riding my own bicycle through a “bicycle-city” like Copenhagen, not for fun but for my new daily routine. It sounds easy: ride from home to the university, then go to the downtown to get some food, and come back home.
It’s not been so easy for a beginner like me, but it´s been a really good experience. Although I own a bicycle in my hometown (Madrid, Spain), I only had ridden twice in 2 years and I really haven’t used a bicycle since I was a child. So, how can I manage to ride a bike through a city with lots of people moving in different ways?
I still don’t know the streets and I can’t look at the map when riding. I don’t know the rules for bicycles. I don’t even know how to ride without falling or creating a big mess around me. The hardest thing has been starting again every time I stop at a traffic light. I really missed my childish training wheels because the seat was so high. Actually, it’s where it’s supposed to be, but too high for my inexperienced legs who were complaining a bit about this completely surprising hard work.
Anyway, everything has been improving as I go. My body is getting used to the new balance and my eyes to the new way of moving. It’s like a mix between walking and driving, with advantages from both. More than that, I was happy riding, even a bit proud of myself. Somehow, I’m feeling closer to the people living in this town.
Downtown, I found a reparation shop where I could borrow a “key” to tight some nuts and put up the handle a bit higher to make it more comfortable.
I had to take the bicycle there and it was downstairs, but I noticed a trail for bikes close to the stairs. It’s something simple but useful and I’ve never seen it before. Sometimes we are used to see big problems where there’s an easy solution, we just need to think a bit!
The next problem was how to carry the food back home, because I still don’t have a basket. But it was easy to put everything in a backpack and find my bicycle again among the bunch of bikes parked at the station! This was a hard job for someone who used to forget the place where she left her car the day before. I will have to pay more attention next time.
Once on the bike again, just a pair of stops to check the map (the name of the Danish streets are still impossible for me), and I was at home in a few minutes, parking the bicycle in the courtyard. Definitely, it was worth it.
It’s been pretty good for the first time. I’m sure it will get easier and easier over time!