Dear fellow cyclists (and pedestrians)…

Jun 14, 2008

Keep to the right (or left, if on foot). Keep alert. Pay attention to your surroundings. Please!

Today I was out on a training ride around Amager. On one of the many paths out here I had to pass two older ladies riding side by side talking, blocking the whole path completely. And this on a 3 m wide path, well done! I was doing about 35 km/h at that time, three times their speed, and started coasting so they could hear me approach, and they clearly did. The left lady swerved out left so I could pass between them, which is a really stupid thing to do instead of keeping to the right, but I thought “oh well, quick reaction after all” and aimed to pass between them … and then the old and slow lady started turning to look back over her right shoulder, swerving back right again, blocking my passage!

By this time I was within a bikelength of them and I just had to pass, scaring both them and myself in the process. I heard a shocked gasp as I passed between them.

I should've know they wouldn't react quickly and ridden accordingly. And I should've stopped after passing them and apologized and explained myself. Just for some closure and a chance to tell them what I'm writing now. Because I didn't do the entirely right thing myself, but they certainly didn't either.

So there…

Here's the things I see cyclists and pedestrians do wrong all. the. time.:

  • Cyclists riding two abreast and never looking back to check if they're blocking someone, neither paying attention or thinking.
  • Pedestrians using the bike path when there's a designated sidewalk or path for them right next to the bike path, just because… this is something runners often do. No idea why the fuckers think that's OK.
  • Pedestrians keeping to the right where the law actually says they should keep to the left when sharing the road/path with non-pedestrians. This is a rule I'm really surprised that almost everyone is ignorant of here in Copenhagen, because I vividly remember learning it when I was about 6 or 7. And it totally pisses me off when I get reactions from cyclists when I'm out running in the rigth (ie. left) side.

I understand that the rule about walking on the left is kind of counter-intuitive when everyone else must keep to the right according to Danish law, but it does start making sense when you visualize your situation when out walking on a completely black road at night and some guy comes racing along. You stand a much better chance at jumping successfully for your life if the car in your side of the road comes right where you can see it instead of from behind.

Last edited: May 1, 2016