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Cycling in Denmark: Is this Europe’s most bike-friendly country?

Cycling in Denmark: Is this Europe’s most bike-friendly country?

A bike land near the canal Copenhagen, Denmark. Photograph: Agency Stock If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be treated like royalty for a…

Sunday, Aug 21

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A bike land near the canal Copenhagen, Denmark. Photograph: Agency Stock If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be treated like royalty for a few days, there’s no need to move into Versailles or even Windsor Castle. Just go leisure cycling in Denmark instead: it’s what the royal family here do most days anyway.

To leisure cycle in Denmark is to re-enact how it was to be carriage-riding nobility in the days of the cap-tipping yokel. Such is the time, grace and respect given to cyclists not only by motorists here, but pedestrians too, I swear the commoners could well have been curtsying me as I passed.

2022 is the Year of the Bike in Denmark, which hosted the first three stages of the Tour de France earlier this month, and I can’t think of a more pleasant, better equipped European country to cycle through in summer. Escaping the intense heat and tourist throngs further south, Denmark offers accessible, scenic routes, an agreeable climate and a respectful, bike-centric culture (let’s say nothing of the prices, though, for now). At least 70 per cent of people in Denmark own their own bike, and most roads have some class of cycle lane; where there are none, the calm, patient drivers pass you with as much caution and berth as to confuse you with a landmine.

With almost 5,000km of national cycle routes, the first of which was established in the 19th century, where should you begin?

I opted for a multi-day leisure cycling trip […]

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