Traveling through Europe I noticed lots of bikes, big bikes, little bikes, bikes with five seats and bikers pedaling tourist in carts. In each country the etiquette and safety of biking differs. For instance, in Munich, Germany there is a distinct bike lane which allows riders to feel safe, away from cars, whereas in Paris, France, it was nuts! Bikers shared the road with cars; while the busses did not share with the bikers. I was so nervous riding the Hop On Hop Off tour bus through Paris because the bus driver would get so close to the bikers while he laid on the horn and yelled out of the window. He was not a happy camper. The bikers were tourists, some of them families, that followed a tour guide throughout the city. Instead of admiring the beautiful scenery, I was on the edge of my seat watching the bus driver plow through the streets, only inches away from the bikers in front of him.
I believe Germany provides bikers with the most security. For instance, the distinct bike lanes are complete with curbs on both sides and there is street lights for bikes. Germany can offer Sacramento some great improvements in the biking system, starting with a wide, safe lane for bikers.
From Prague to Berlin and Paris to Barcelona you could find bike tours and/or bike rentals. It is a great way to get around and see the city. I rented a bike in Munich with my friend Anna. She’s my German friend that I met while I was in high school. We pedaled down small streets that I would have never seen if I wasn’t on a bicycle. Relying on Anna’s German skills to get us to our destination, we travelled through narrow and wide streets. When you look up at the buildings you see history and old statues and when you look around you see the modernization that has evolved. We arrived at our destination, the Englischer Garten just in time for lunch. We enjoyed a traditional Bavarian lunch with live music! It was awesome.
I always run into cool stuff when riding my bike in Sacramento. It’s a great way to learn about your surroundings, get some fresh air and exercise. I encourage everyone to get out once a day to ride a bike, take a walk or play a game of catch in your local park. We live in a beautiful city and it should be enjoyed by its inhabitants. Don’t forget your safety gear like helmet and lights. And always ride with a buddy, it’s better that way!