I generally like to think that I’ve made pretty good choices in my quest to integrate myself into Danish culture. But here I want to address a huge mistake I made that could have had serious consequences: Not wearing a bike helmet.
Everyone knows you should wear a helmet when you bike, just like everyone knows you should study 10 minutes every day instead of cramming for 4 hours before a test. DIS in particular has signs all over reminding people that cycling crashes happen, and can sometimes even lead to death. The Biking in CPH page on the DIS website has a guide for helmet measurements a lot of other useful information about the laws and dangers of biking in Copenhagen.
But of course I didn’t listen. I bike one of the busiest roads to and from school every day, with no helmet. And two days ago, I crashed. I was coming down the bridge pretty fast when I hit a bump or a curb, throwing me over the handlebars and smashing, face first, directly onto the asphalt. Luckily, I was wearing jeans and a leather jacket, so I didn’t end up with any scrapes on my body, only soreness from impact, I DID get some pretty gnarly scrapes on my face, but ended up relatively unhurt.
My bike was unrideable for the time, so I locked it, left it, and walked to class with my face covered in blood, receiving some stares along the way. I had a ton of work to do, so I hadn’t really stopped to consider whether or not the accident was severe or not, but I DID ask another student to make sure I didn’t have a concussion. It wasn’t until later that evening, after I had finished a paper that was due that I realized how fortunate I had been to walk away with no broken bones, no stitches, and no head injuries.
Basically, this is my personal recommendation that if you’re going to bike a lot, especially in the city, wear a helmet. We all think that the accidents won’t happen to us, and they don’t, until they do.