Copenhagen is a bike city. More than 1 in 3 commute to work or school by bike. It’s nice, it’s fun, it’s healthy – and we do it in the winter too.
Part of this movie is from my daily commute, and pretty much what the commute is like now, except we have more snow on the ground. It’s not bad, though – note how the bike lanes are cleared of snow and salted, just like the car lanes. Cold? Well, my grandpa told me “there’s no bad weather, only inappropriate clothes” – and you can get so much better gear today. In that respect winter biking has changed a lot in the past 20 years.
The only bad part is when there’s fresh snow, or worse snow pressed into an ice sheet by cars. It can get really slippery, and bikes are not stable. A few days ago I took the car to pick up a few things, and on my way home a bike skidded and crashed to the ground just in front of me as I was entering an intersection. Luckily I was preparing a right turn and was going really slow on the slippery road, so I could stop easily. But that was one scary moment for all involved – I was literally shaking after it happened. The guy on the bike was clearly going to fast and changing lanes. No good. Be careful out there.
This morning was a fall morning like so many others. I was first person up, spending a few minutes checking mail and calendars before getting stated on breakfast, lunch packs, checking school bags, and all the rest of the morning routine. I didn’t pay much attention to my surroundings – after all, it was dark out and I was the only person up.
The family started to rise as I was finishing most of the chores. I went into the living room looking for an missing school book, and something caught my eye. Not in the room, but outside. Not only was it no longer dark, there was snow all over the lawn! In fact, snow was pelting down, covering bushes and houses. My daughter came rushing down the stairs, all excited. Snow! Finally!
The talk was immediately about snow fights, snow men, tobogans, and so on. Light in the kid’s eyes. We also talked about how we have a long winter in front of us, but we might have to wait a bit before there’s enough snow for the fun to begin. “Sure”, the kid said, jumping up and down with excitement. It’s one of the wonders of having kids about – you get to remember being excited about stuff and not think “oh, no – morning traffic in the snow”.
We walked to school in the snow – and, truly, it wasn’t much snow to speak of, melting and turning into slush as it hit the ground. Slush, slush, slush, walking to school. But never mind that; King winter will rule the land, the traffic, and the playgrounds for 3 months or so. I just hope this is a year he can make up his mind – snow that stays, or no snow. The slush get old pretty fast. Here’s looking forward to pretty white mornings and days playing in the snow. With the help of the hearts of kids I will remember to look King Winter in the eye and enjoy it.