North Sea Cycle Tour – Hanstholn to Lokken

1-IMG_4134I woke up after a fitful night of dreaming centring on my old house :-( for a change it was a lovely sunny morning with the flags fluttering in the breeze!

I decided not to make the same mistake as yesterday morning so, after packing, I headed up the hill for a full on breakfast at The Montra Hotel for 90 crowns followed by crossing the road to Aldi Nord and buying 1.5litres of energy drink, two Ritter bars & the obligatory banana. Plus I put my Dextrose tablets in the bar bag, just in case.

Apparently all the ferries have been stopped at Hanstholm as they are busy carrying windmill parts so be warned if you wanted to get a ferry across to Sweden. The day was mainly along rough tracks, this route is obviously designed for mountain bikers or certainly bikes with wider tyres than my Dawes Galaxy. There were a couple of sections on quite busy main roads with, unusually, no dedicated bike lanes.

1-IMG_4140There were also some unexpectedly quite short steep hills which are really quite hard on gravelly/sandy surfaces us the minute you stand up you lose traction on the rear wheel :-( I was certainly grateful for the big breakfast as I didn’t even see any cafes! so when I reached the ancient windmill at Gronnestand I sat on the beach and munched my way through a Ritter bar. Later in the day at Slettestrand I found an open cafe, although the cake was a nouveau cuisine affair so not that good.

1-IMG_4153The biggest surprise of the day is at Blokhus where the route takes you on the beach! the sand is firm enough for cars etc to bomb up and down but my poor wheels struggled until I got near the waters edge. It started as great fun but after 5 miles my poor legs were complaining so I was happy to leave the beach and finish the day on a very rough unmade track into Lokken.

I overshot the Lokken hostel on the way in so at to an about turn and found it in the sports centre car park!  A long, nearly 70 miles, but enjoyable sunny day with a manageable wind.

The Strava for the day is here and pictures here with a bonus video here:

 

1 person likes this post.

North Sea Cycle tour – Fjaltring to Hanstholm

Sea groynes!

Sea groynes!

I found this day really hard with the relentless easterly wind slowing progress down and making the riding unpleasant.

Maybe it was the poor breakfast of 4 bread rolls and garlic cheese, I didn’t see the local shop until after I had started, plus there was a complete scarcity of open cafes until 35 miles into the day & then only a simple place in a craft museum.

The marked route had quite a few changes from the gpx trail downloaded onto the phone which at times was confusing as some of the changes involved huge loops :-( and also at one point me getting into soft sand :-(

1-IMG_4116The worst part however are the long spits of land on either side of the ferry at Thyboran dead straight and flat with no protection from the gale blasting at me. It was amusing to see the smoke from the factory chimneys barely getting out before been blasted horizontal by the wind.

I then developed a poorly stomach leading to more wind problems, probably not helped by munching my way through a packet of Nellie Dellies salty liquorice (On the packet I now read, Enjoy in Moderation!!).

The end of the day was a struggle getting into Hanstholm, fortunately as the name implies the previously booked Harbour Inn was on the coast not up the hill in the village!

1-IMG_0255In the evening I managed to get a decent meal at the Montra hotel with some of the whitest and delicious fish I have ever seen  the dish was called Kogt Vesterhavstorsk.

Lets hope today brings better weather as the route now goes due east!

The Strava is here and pictures are here.

1 person likes this post.

Denmark West Coast bike ride – Noerre Nebel to Fjaltring

Red squirrel in gardenI awoke to the smell of fresh coffee and baking bread :-) Bodil had prepared a delicious breakfast, I’m totally sure if I invited a random stranger to my second home, or even my main home there wouldn’t be such a choice awaiting them next morning :-( Jens had contacted the Dans Hostel in Fjaltring which he assured me was 100km away plus he told me where to stay the following two nights all the way to Skagen, the Northern tip of Denmark so hopefully I’m all set now.

As I was leaving we caught sight of two red squirrels in their garden, they are far more attractive than the grey ones that have overrun the UK.

Typical cycle trail todayThe Number 1 cycleway to Skagen would make an ideal track for mountain bike beginners as it traverses up & down the sand dunes on loose gravel and sandy paths my bike is not well suited with it’s narrow wheels, lack of suspension & top heavy saddlebag :-( Fortunately there were very few other cyclists  so I only had one narrow escape as a couple nearly crashed into me as I skidded around the corner,

After two and half hours of biking I came across the first hotel in Hvide Sande so it was really, really good that I was rescued last night as all there was in between where I stayed and the hotel were endless holiday homes dotted around the landscape with no ‘real’ towns or villages.

Once again I had mainly headwinds coupled with the grey threatening sky meant I had my arm warmers and big yellow jacket on all day. I felt decidedly under dressed when I took a quick look around the outlet shopping village in SendervigLys and had a spot of lunch.

photo24Jens had told me to get stocked up with food for dinner & breakfast as the hostel didn’t do food. Thank goodness this is Denmark and not Germany or France those deeply religious countries which don’t allow shops to open on Sunday so I was able to get some pasta, mackerel etc to make a quick dinner at the hostel.

I arrived at the Dan Hostel in Fjaltring at 5pm with 62.1 miles or 99.5km on the clock so kudos to Jens :-)

The Strava for the day is here and the pictures here

2 people like this post.

Denmark West Coast Route 1 – Ribe to Noerre Nebel

Great hostel breakfast - before the masses arriveOnce the kids in all the rooms went to sleep at 11pm I was away with the fairies. I made sure I was one of the first to breakfast and what an incredible spread the Dan Hostel had laid out, although I guess once 30 or so teenagers had attacked it would be a different story.

I biked back to the sea and continued my way along the coast, good paths & cattle grids with sunshine made it a very pleasant trip especially seeing the Kammerslusen flood gates that have prevented Ribe being flooded in modern times.

Humans by the sea - Svend Wiig HansenI swept through Esbjerg only stopping at the local Aldi and also to admire the Man meets the Sea sculpture by Svend Wiig Hansen. I had earlier booked a place to stay but one of the problems with trying to follow a track, when you are zoomed in so you can easily see the turns is that it is easy to ‘miss’ points of the screen. So eventually when I zoomed out I was horrified that the place  I had booked was miles behind me :-( Neer mind I thought I will cancel it there must be somewhere else!

Several miles later nothing had materialised and all was woodlands and second homes :-( I eventually stopped to ask a lady where the nearest place was to stay – she pointed with a long arm back where I had come from :-( so after some thought & discussion she said I could stay the night with her husband and herself in their second home :-) Not only that she had some fresh Sole that we could have for dinner.

So a potential uncomfortable night in a hedgerow turned into a convivial evening discussing the bike route and being shown the excellent Danish bike route website , cyclistic.dk . They did the route it a few years ago and yes accommodation is difficult! We also discussed Scottish Independence. Apparently Greenland a dependency of Denmark isn’t in the EU.

I’ve now downloaded the Danhostel app which should show the distance to the next hostel and have an outline planned with my kind host.

The Strava for the day is here and pics here

2 people like this post.