3. September 2012

Biking in Stockholm - Practicalities and is it worth it?

Where to get a bike in Stockholm? Where to put the bike? And is it worth bicycling in Stockholm? While the practicalities are not easy to address, the efforts certainly pay out as a first trip indicates.

Getting an affordable bike in Stockholm is not easy. While many students sell their bike at the end of the semester, the demand is also high and the prices I saw never matched the condition and equipment of the bikes. Shipping a bike from Germany is unfortunately not possible to Sweden, at least not with Hermes. I finally ended up really lucky because a local family offered to lend me a spare bike.

The next practicality is where to store the bike. Being borrowed, it should neither be nicked nor corrode outside. The rooms in my corridor in Lappis are fortunately large enough to easily accomodate both me and the bike.

Is biking worth it? Yes, definitely. There are many bicycle paths in Stockholm, which even go over rather long bridges such as the one between Ropsten and Lidingö. Stockholm University and KTH are well-connected by bicycle paths, which go through green parks. Some bottlenecks hindered me from time to time. Among those, the most funny one was definitely a bus station, a path for pedestrians, and a lane for bikes that needed to share the narrow available strip next to the road. Here, a lovely zebra crossing allows pedestrians to orderly walk over the bike lane. Anyway, I appreciate this as a sign of good will.

The top feature of biking in Stockholm — whether for leisure or for necessity — is that bicyclists are respected by car drivers. Ha kul på cykeln!