Cycling along the lakes...and the smell of summer

Not that long ago, anyone going for a little bicycle ride along the lakes ('Søerne') in Copenhagen, which stretch from Vesterbro, past Nørrebro and all the way over to Osterbro, was greeted by very unfriendly gates and 'no cycling' signs. It looked exactly like this:

...obviously, not everyone agreed with the message

It was one of the most nonsensical cycling restriction in Copenhagen. Not only is are the lakes a great place to cycle, but with two enormously wide paths, one running right alongside the water, the other set about a meter higher set in from the water, there is more than ample enough space for both bicycles and pedestrians. But at long last, the restrictions are being lifted and finally the path along the lakes looks as it should. There are still a couple of fences up towards Osterbro, which I assume will disappear soon (or are being left to 'slow' bicycle traffic).

no more barriers or bicycle restrictions!

An amusing thing about this (above) picture is it is precisely the sight of a campaign an adamant local has been running every morning for the past few months, putting up a banner over the (former) barrier proclaiming the path along the lakes for pedestrians, then sitting herself at a chair on a table and thereby partially blocking the small entrance in the barrier where bikes and people could go through. Apparently a protest of the coming changes to along bicycles. I used to cycle by her on my way to work every morning.

Actually, I was even once (annoyingly) stopped by a tricky police officer positioned to catch the many, many people (like me) who chose to be, ahem, civilly disobedient when going along the lakes with a bicycle...the fine never did arrive in the post.

Incidentally, a fair way to judge of how the summer is going in Copenhagen, that is, if there has really been a summer at all, is to take a stroll along the lakes ('Søerne'). A hot summer not only means algae-coated green-tinged lakes, but also results in the lakes emitting a lovely stench. And judging things by this measure, it hasn't been such a bad summer around here. Fortunately the ducks seem to like it no matter what.

the lovely green Copenhagen lakes...

5 Response to "Cycling along the lakes...and the smell of summer"

  1. Congratulations on the interview. It's kind of strange that Connie and Lars's trip has brought this much attention to Copenhagen (does CNN profile many celebrity homecomings?), but it's great that the city has been given the spotlight. And that the "old" media is teaming up with the new as well.

    I love blue green algae - so pretty. :) I had no idea bikes weren't allowed - because so many rode along there, including me. I thought the barriers were there just for some annoying reason.

    Tim says:

    Thanks Matt!And I actually think it was a decent interview with Connie Neilsen. The interviewer/journalist told me the concept of the show was to take a 'cool' city and profile it by having someone 'famous' from the city talking about it. I guess Connie Neilsen wasn't such a bad choice for Copenhagen...

    And notquitedanish - I agree with you, but geez it really does smell bad some days... :-D

    Janne says:

    We live by the lakes, and my 4 year old son had a tasteful comment on the lake-situation, looking out from out 5th floor window...

    "look mom - the lake threw up!"

    Tim says:

    Perfect! I love it :-D

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