Spring was fast approaching by then and I had my mind locked on the idea of owning a bike. There was no important reason behind it actually, I just wanted to own one and use one when I feel for it. I started discussing it with my better half and he asked 2 questions that almost convinced me that I should not have one. First question: When will I use the bike? Second question: It is almost always windy in Sweden and pretty sure that it will be cold, so back to the first question, when will I use the bike? He nailed it of course like always but I already told myself that I will have one so to meet halfway and not to feel too bad if I don’t get to use it, I bought a cheap but working second hand bike. The bike costed me only 200kr but the accessories was around 350kr. Not ideal I know but I soon realized that my head is a lot more important than the bike, thus, the helmet.
I looked up bike rules and requirements right after I shopped for one and found a site that details such. Here is the link but it is in Swedish so let me summarize what it says in English.
- A bicycle should have working brakes
- A bicycle should have a working bell.
When driving at night, the bike should have reflectors and lights as shown in the below picture taken from the same website above. This would be a lot easier to show than to write.
Anyone below 15 years old are required to wear a helmet when biking even in a fenced area. Anyone 15 or above has the option not to wear one but it is always safe to do so.
Gothenburg has bike lanes, a lot of them, almost everywhere. It also has bicycle traffic lights that are almost always automatic, no need to press the button when you need to cross but be mindful, some are manual still. When making a left turn, you wave your left arm so bikers behind you will know. The same thing goes when you make a right turn, you have to wave your right arm. The bike lanes have arrows that inform whether it is one way or 2 way. When in doubt, get off and walk instead on the pedestrian lane until you figure out what you need to do or where to drive. I do this a lot of time to get myself out of trouble most especially if I am new in the area.
Just like bicycle lanes, bicycle stands are also quite common. They are mostly in places close to tram/train/bus stops. Schools, buildings, supermarkets also have bicycle stands close them. When you own a bike, own a bike lock! It is good to secure your bike when you plan to leave it in a bike stand.
Are you a bicycle owner in Gothenburg? Ska vi cykla tillsammans? (Shall we bike together?)