Taking arms against a sea of spandex
The number of cyclists taking to the road to exercise has exploded in recent years, with between 300,000 and 400,000 regularly pretending that a weekend ride in Lyngby is a Tour de France qualifying leg.
Police say that many of the riders are not following the law by travelling in large groups, blocking roads and riding on expensive racing bikes that are not equipped with the required reflectors, lights and bells.
“We will start checking racing bikes up and down the country, and they will be ticketed for offences,” Henrik Suhr from North Zealand Police told Radio24syv.
Northern Zealand is a problem area, as many Copenhagen racers look north to air out their spandex and carbon-fibre bikes.
Motoring organisation FDM and the Danish Cycling Union (DCU) have been keeping track of road rage on Danish roads of late – typical offences include angry words, raised middle fingers and threats – and a recent survey showed that it is on the rise among cyclists.
Henrik Zachariassen from bicycle club ABC has first-hand experience of road rage.
“There was a car driving too fast and too close to me on a deserted road,” said Zachariassen. “There was plenty of room, so it was a clear provocation and I gave him the finger. He backed up and tried to push me off the road.”
Suhr would not comment on whether the cyclists or motorists were more at fault, but he did note that sometimes motorists do get out of line.
“We try to prosecute that kind of behaviour,” said Suhr. “Cyclists should be given room.”
The DCU is starting a campaign directed at its members.
“It’s basic advice like pulling over and letting cars by,” said Brian Samuelsson, a project leader at the DCU. “The problem is that only about 30,000 cyclists are members of clubs, so it is tough to get a message to everyone.”