Our cycling trip to Edinburgh

Our Great North ride ended in Edinburgh a full 444 miles from Sally’s back door. places we stayed at and distances travelled are:-

  The whole trip was very enjoyable with reasonably kind weather a bit blowy in Yorkshire where I’m sorry to say the Esk Valley 30% hills, after the first couple, rather defeated us so we detoured onto the main A171 into Guisborough a surprisingly lovely market town with a good choice of eateries, unfortunately, the Gisborough Hall Hotel was very disappointing for Sally’s birthday. Another market town of note was Horncastle and the delightful refurbished Admiral Rodney Hotel.

Our stay on Holy Island was excellent too, so quiet when all the day trippers leave 🙂 another highlight was remeeting John & Charlotte over a lovely home cooked meal in Newcastle ( I first met them when I was biking around Cuba). Standing in front of the Angel of the North was inspiring too.

After a very cross-country ride from Holy Island we bumped into Sally friends  Cheryl & Ash whilst we were watching the live action of Netflix making the Outlaw King film in  Berwick. Amazing to see all the detail to convert the quayside back a few centuries, fortunately, we found the last remaining b&b room in the town, winners of the TripAdvisor awards last year too! The final days ride to Edinburgh saw our first punctures of the trip, one each.

Edinburgh was excellent once the rain stopped and we managed a good walk up Arthurs Seat and a visit to the cornucopia of middle Eastern rugs etc in the aptly named Nomads Tent shop. My nephew’s recommendation of Mothers India Cafe was excellent perhaps the best-organised restaurant I’ve ever been too.

The trains home worked well and I think Sally is now sold on the idea of multi-day biking carrying your own stuff!

Some pictures are here, please note more will be added later.

Up The North We Go

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Working out how to return to UK! Grenaa to Aarhus

Fly or FerryLast night was a bit of a shock when I discovered that the next Esbjerg sailing on DFDS was on Tuesday & an even bigger shock was that it was full, as well as all the next few sailings. How a huge ship can possibly be full so that one guy and a pushbike can’t be accepted is a total mystery to me & probably explains why the ferry will cease to operate at the end of the month.

The next choice was overnight rail from Aarhus vi Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Rotterdam etc to the Hook of Holland for a overnight ferry. It struck me as very long winded way of getting back and quite expensive too.

Karlsladen barn insideFlightscanner bought up my bête noire, Ryanair, flying from Aarhus for a reasonable £46 and leaving at a sensible time in the morning. Also I could take the bike for an additional  £43 and I could also could put my saddlebag in the  hold all for a total price of £111 a hell of a lot cheaper than the rail & ferry would cost and would take a couple of hours so I could be back on Tuesday.  OK their site is full of man traps etc but hopefully I avoided them.

Since the Aarhus airport is actually halfway between Grenaa and Aarhus I thought I would drop in and check out about my bike etc. Wow! the two guys couldn’t have been more helpful, plying me with coffee and insisting the bike would be well loaded (as they do it) they would even dig out some cardboard and tape so I could wrap it up on Tuesday am. They even rang the local Dabhostel at Ronde 14km away, after the website said it was closed, in fact they have withdrawn it from Danhostel to run it privately so the owners  agreed to give me the hostel keycode  and for me to leave the cash Tuesday morning. If it all works out a highly successful end for the trip and also opens up the opportunity of bringing the bike back to continue the North Sea Cycle Route to Sweden & Norway. Interestingly the airport guys said that Ryanair is becoming more reasonable when dealing with passengers now 🙂

I’m now in my tiny cabin at the CabInn Hotel in Aarhus a bit of a come down from last nights splendour but it has everything: shower, internet, power points  & bed.

So another surprisingly hilly 46 miles, with some quite bumpy stretches, on the clock see my Strava and a few pics here

PS: Unbelievably, as Victor Meldrew would say, the wind direction has flipped 180 degs to a west wind, so today it was still in my face 🙁

North Sea Cycle Route – Hadsund to Grenaa

Bogbus?Today marks my final day for this trip on The North Sea Cycle Route. From Hamburg I will have pedalled 716 miles or 1145km of the 6000km route. So 19% of the total route done leaving a lot still to do 🙂

I slept according to Fitbit an amazing 9hr 41min in my little cabin with ‘only’ two pit stops all night. Interesting thing I noticed today is that the Danish word for book is bog so the colloquial  English “going to the bog” could mean going to read a book – which I’m sure a lot of people do in the bog 🙂

Another first for this or any trip is that the little Udbyhøj Cable ferry offers free coffee in a takeaway cup – an excellent idea I thought. Certainly compared to some of the surly crew I have experienced on some of the many ferries I’ve been on.

Denmarks oldest treeIt was another pleasant sunny day although it’s taking longer each day for me to warm up. Saw a few racing cyclists busy mending punctures but another quiet day although I met two Danish elderly ladies inspecting, what the sign says, is Denmark’s oldest tree but their English was poor so I couldn’t really understand how royalty had only given up their land a couple of hundred years ago. Although the crown appears in a lot of places on my travels here. This section only had a couple of unpaved sections and no sandy ones.

I’m afraid I let my trip advisor down by not booking the hotel Jens recommended in his daily email, when I got around to doing it, it was full 🙁  So i decided to splurge a little and booked myself into The Kystvejen conference centre mega hotel, maybe a bad choice with some big truckers event going on.

Tomorrow I think I will continue on Route 5 for 75km or so down to Aarhus then get the train across Denmark to Esjberg taking just over 2 hours.

Todays Strava is here and pics here

And in other news – Oh! Someone has woken up at Google and realized all my photos are geotagged with their location and are viewable by the public. Apparently they may be seen on Google maps. Here is a link if it works – Crikey, allegedly, my 44,517 pics on Google have been viewed over ELEVEN MILLION times!!

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