North Sea Cycle Route – Saeby to Hadsund

1-IMG_4196A glorious day for a bike ride; bright sunshine and a cool eastern breeze with lovely smooth paved surfaces. I fair zoomed along with the wind definitely helping, the countryside like my breakfast at the sports hall was a bit uninspired but pleasant enough. In Hals just before the ferry I found a pleasant bakery cafe which did divine Danish pastries :-) After the ferry I was going so well I missed a small section of the 5 cycleway, I only spotted the mistake when I saw the route crossing the road I was on, this led onto a bit of dirt track before the smooth tarmac reappeared around the corner.

The main cycle route 5 - can you spot it?At the slick looking Lille Vildmose centre (of the same ilk as Welney swan visitor centre) I stopped for more coffee and cake to relax in the quiet (once the school party had left). After this Route 5 descended into grass & gravel tracks up the chalky hills (reminiscent of the Suffolk walks we have done with Cambridge Rambling Club) the poor Dawes Galaxy wasn’t built for these tracks, as you can see from my Strava when the speed plummets!

1-IMG_4215After Ostkystruten the route turns smooth again obviously running on an old railway line as you enter Hadsund there is a bike counter identical to the one recently installed on Parkers Piece in Cambridge, except this works of cause! Each side of the display shows the count of the bikes going each way, it uses four embedded sensor wires in the tarmac (just like I developed in the original Scandrive). The Cambridge one was connected up so that each bike is counted twice each way!

The Danhostel Hadsund is actually huts in a camping ground, by the school, so the showers & toilet are in a block that need a hike to get too :-( not so good for an old man in the night :-( plus the MAJOR disadvantage of no WiFi :-( although the Three 3G signal is good and the ground does have excellent views over the estuary.

In the evening I had an email from my trip advisor, Jens, :-) so I hot footed it to the da Vinci restaurant by the waters edge. Excellent food although it is turning rapidly chilly as I type this sat on the terrace.

A relatively effortless 60+ miles the Strava is here and a few pics here
Friday 19th September 2014

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Skagen to Saeby on the North Sea Cycle Route

In the bakeryToday I started the trip back south down the eastern coast of Denmark heading towards the port of Grenå where the North Sea Cycle Route expects you to head east and board a ferry to Varberg in Sweden. I will turn west and head to Esbjerg and the ferry back to Harwich.

My new found Danish travel advisor, Jens, recommended a short day and I wasn’t going to argue as my legs need one! in fact after the 36.5 mile ride to Saeby I collapsed asleep on the bed at this lovely DanHostel, only to be woken later by a Facetime call from Sally telling of her latest biking record!

The ride started in a bakery, I love the range of breads & pastries, for breakfast. Then it was of back down Route 1 fair flying along with at last the wind behind me, for a while at least!. At Hulsig you hit Route 5 which goes the full length of the east coast of Denmark, it will be my home for the next few days. :-)

The route is far more paved (90% as opposed to allegedly 70% for Route1) and certainly for today borders a very busy road :-( also the wind changed to the dreaded side wind again :-(

I made it to the DanHostel on the outskirts of Sæby just after 2pm after doing 36.5 miles from the bakery. The Strava is here 

1-IMG_0294After my siesta I walked into town, which is very pleasant not as touristy as the west coast far more a real working place. I treated myself to a fish buffet at Franks cafe in the harbour, the fish choice  was excellent but the bread was to die for real solid & heavy :-)

Tomorrow Jens is recommending Hadsunds where there is a DanHostel. I love these hostels such a neat idea especially when they are tied to a sports complex (as Sally said visiting sports teams could use the hostel) so the staff can easily run both. An idea that the YHA could do in collaboration with local councils in the UK.

Everywhere in Denmark you see neat design ideas. Tonight the room key has the WiFi key written on it! Also the bunk beds easily convert to a single bed with a simple hinge system.

1-2014-09-18 Skagen to Saeby

All the photos of the day are here.

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End of Denmark Cycleway Route 1 – Lokken to Grenen

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Zebra crossing cow

After an excellent nights sleep I awoke to a calm sunny day. I went to find the guy to pay – eventually I located him having a coffee in the enormous sports hall, swimming pool next door. They didn’t seem to do real breakfast so I went to hunt for a cafe in  the out of season ghost town that is Lokken. No wonder I had the hostel to myself last night! Eventually I found the bakery was open with a breakfast option, so a coffee, orange juice a couple of bread rolls with cheese and a Danish pastry later I was on my way. First port of call was across the road to the huge SPAR and the usual days refreshments..

The route was a total mixture of surfaces from smooth pathways to sharp descent/ascent of a sandy path (not good at all). I even came across some other cyclists, the first for several days. Plus a whole school of desultory kids obviously out for some nature walks in  another part of the forest a whole load of little kids were out on their mountain bikes. I particularly liked the cow with its zebra crossing markings.

1-IMG_0265At lunch time I found myself in the big ferry town of Hirtshals with open cafes!  I went into Cafe2 to have a coffee and some apple pie – I came out reeling at the price £10.18p at the current exchange rate :-( I think they must cater for the Norwegians from the ferries. On I progressed through forest tracks, paved towards the end with racing cyclists bombing along on their evening workout.

In Skagen I went to the Ferie På Toppen Hotel which fully deserves it’s low rating on booking.com especially as the guy charges an additional 100 crowns for the linen & towels :-( I rang booking.com to complain but apparently it’s in the small print somewhere that they charge. But no mention of 100 crowns extra on a 350 crown room :-(

1-IMG_0282It was such a lovely evening I decided to bike, leaving my saddlebag, to the end of Route 1 in Grenen and walk to the tip of the peninsular & celebrate my doing another little video.

Today I biked 67 miles, which means since leaving Cambridge 23 days ago I’ve biked 1,261miles (2016km) Now to bike part of the way down the East coast on Route 5 and then across to Esbjerg for the ferry home.

Todays Strava’s are here and here with some pictures here

With yet another bonus video here:

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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:

 

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