'Just rude': The Danish cycling habits most annoying to foreigners

Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett - [email protected]
'Just rude': The Danish cycling habits most annoying to foreigners
Do Danish cyclists sneak to the front at red lights? Photo: Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

We asked our road-using readers in Denmark what they thought were the worst habits displayed on the country’s bike lanes.


A recent survey in Denmark has found that a significant proportion of cyclists admit to breaking traffic rules.

This might mean cycling through a red light or across a pedestrian crossing, which could land the offender with a fine if spotted by traffic police.

Having similarly asked for your thoughts about motorists in the past, we wanted to know your thoughts on the worst habits Danish cycle lane users should try to cut out.

Unusually for our reader surveys, everyone who responded and gave their location in Denmark said they live in or near Copenhagen – there were no responses from Jutland or Funen.

READ ALSO: IN NUMBERS: How much do Danes use bicycles?

The most common habit cited by readers as the worst one was ignoring red lights.


“Sometimes I feel like the only person in Denmark that actually stops at a red light,” as one reader, David, put it.

This can go as far as ignoring red lights at pedestrian crossings, according to some.

“[Cyclists] think if they don’t look at you then there’s no one coming so they can ignore the red light,” Ed from the UK, who lives and cycles in Copenhagen wrote.

“I have observed a number of cyclists pausing, then proceeding through red lights,” said Ray from the US, who mainly encounters cyclists as a driver.

The clear second-most popular choice among our readers was using a phone while riding, a habit a relatively low number of cyclists themselves have admitted to.

“Using the phone at traffic lights and being slow to start when the light turns green” is one of the problems this causes, an anonymous reader said.

Paul, a reader from the US who lives in Copenhagen’s Østerbro, said his biggest gripe was with cyclists who sneak ahead of other cyclists at red lights.

This behaviour “creates bike traffic flow problems, dangerous passing situations, and is just rude,” he said.

Two readers who responded to our survey selected the “other” option and elaborated on their choice.

Sriram from India said he most objects to smoking while cycling, while for Nicola from Italy it was “having two bikes riding together next to each other, while chatting, especially during rush hours.”


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also