Although the winters in Stockholm can be very cold, many students brave through the chill on the bike. My friend Claire wrote a great piece here about how to go about it. Some of us, however, are not as strong as Claire, and leave the bike in storage for the winter time. This time of year though, with the days longer and the sun stronger, I’m always excited to get back up on the bike, to get back into cycling around the city.
In the winter you’ll find me on the metro. It’s quick, easy and most importantly, warm. It costs about 650kr per month for an unlimited travel card on all the public transport around Stockholm. When the winter leaves though, I prefer to be out in the fresh air, getting some exercise on my way to school in the mornings. I’m not alone either, the bike lanes get steadily busier and busier from this time of year.
I am not a serious cyclist, but luckily it’s quite easy to cycle in Stockholm and there are good cycle paths and facilities for cycling too. My usual path to campus takes around 20 minutes, and there are separated bike-lanes the entire way which makes the commute a lot safer and more enjoyable. The separate lane also takes me through the forests and away from the busiest roads.
At my student accommodation with SSSB, there are good storage facilities for bikes, as well as places to repair or pump-up tyres. You can find spots to pump your tyres around the city too. It’s common to cycle in Stockholm so the roads are usually well organised to allow you to travel around safely.
First you need to find yourself a bike though! At the beginning of each semester, the student marketplaces on Facebook are full of people selling and buying bikes. Usually students that arrive can get a bike from a student that is leaving for as little as 500kr. You can also find things like bike-lights, helmets and locks on the marketplace.
The Blocket marketplace is a popular place to buy most second-hand things too, and some of my friends have found bikes there. There are also a few shops around the city where you can buy second hand bikes, or you can find some that are not too expensive at outdoor sports shops. It’s usually a good idea to spend some extra money to get a good bike, because repairing it can be pretty expensive in Stockholm.
As an international student, I think it’s an essential to get a bike. Not only for the sunny exercise, but also for the fact that you get to access so much more of the city and beyond, especially all nice areas that you can’t reach by metro. This summer I’m hoping to gather some friends to go on a few longer cycling trips out to Uppsala or Västerås. I will need a few good weeks of cycling to build up some fitness first though!