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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

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 , . 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

North Sea Cycle tour – Niebull to Ribe

The day started real cold & at breakfast I felt under dressed with my cycle shorts & shirt, especially with the galaxy of expensive metal in the car park 🙁 The breakfast was a waitress pre ordained affair, not sure if this system creates more waste than buffets or not.

At last! Welcome to DenmarkI was soon on my way and the jacket soon came off as the day quickly warmed up. It didn;t take long to reach the border and surprise surprise I instanly had a 3G signal courtesy of  with their amazing Feel at Home deal – so no data charges, my bike instrument panel can now fully function again! although it has to be said Start of rant the LUMOTEC IQ2 LUXOS U USB charging system is driving me nuts. When you stop, which is frequently with all the gates etc, the lights decide to come on, which means the USB output stops, when you get going again the lights stay on and so the USB output stays off until you notice and switch the lights of manually. In fact to charge the iPhone you need to be going more than 8mph, which can be hard with hills, gravel etc. Also the iPhone 5S disagrees with the charging quite a lot, reversing the lightning connector helps also not letting the iPhone battery get to full or empty. If there is any reason to dump Apple it’s going to be the wretched lightning connector, it even gives problems when in the Air, I must have gone through about 10 of them now . Rant over

Lots of gravel roads - good job I had the new tyreOnce in Denmark I was really pleased to have the new rear tyre as a lot of the time was on rough gravel tracks, I noticed a real weird thing with the tyre though, it continually feels on bumpy ground that you have a puncture 🙁 in fact it must be the internal foam compressing, as the tyre is still pumped up at high pressure. I guess I will get used to it 🙂 since I had no punctures today. Towards the end of the day the Danes had at last discovered cattle grids, let us hope thats the end of the stupid little gates!

The villages are all very pretty but have no open shops or cafes so I was pleased when Ribe loomed into view where I had booked the Dan Hostel with, it’s in a magnificent location with my bedroom having a glorious view over Ribe, I just hope the school party will get to sleep soon!

Checking out the North Sea Cycle Route & downloading the gpx route  it looks as though the Denmark section is 478 miles from Ribe to the end in Grenaa. So if the weather stays half decent I think I will keep on pedalling and then get a train back to the ferry in Esbjerg.

The 57 mile Strava is here and the pics of the day are here

North Sea Cycle Route – Husum to Niebull

At last a fine day! the yellow Altura jacket didn’t even make a guest appearance.

Market day in HusumAfter a decent breakfast & long wait for a receptionist to appear I made my way slowly through the vast market which had popped up overnight in all the neighbouring streets. Incredibly busy streets and a laden bike make for an interesting time.

Miraculously I had the wind behind me and decent surfaces so of I flew back to the coast with blue skies.

Puncture & spoke repairHowever, outside Am Nordstrand I got the sinking feeling that the air in the back tyre had found a way out 🙁 I pumped it up and pedalled on. I spotted a supermarket and went in for the obligatory banana, water & sorry to say chocolate. When I came out the tyre was flat and also I noticed the wheel had a broken spoke. I made myself at home on some steps in the sunshine, fixed the puncture and fitted a new spoke. I trued the wheel up best I could by making sure the wobble was smaller than the gap between the brake blocks.

1-IMG_3975The ride afterwards along the water front below the dykes was superb smooth and quick, except for the stupidly annoying  gates every km or so that divide of the sheep folds 🙁 Where you have to push the bike through before the gate snaps back like a crocodile chomping the rear wheel. Obviously cattle grids are not a feature here 🙁

The whole area is a twitchers paradise especially I would imagine all the small islands just of the coast. Once you get close to Niebull you start seeing the vast wind farms, hat to laugh where they were experimenting painting them green to hide them 🙂

Entering Niebull I spotted a decent looking bike shop, Der Radladen, so while the lady booked me a room at Hotel Insel Pension, the guy fitted a super duper top rated Schwalbe Marathon Plus Smart guard tyre, tightened all the spokes in the back wheel and tightened the headset which had shaken loose. So the bike is ready for another thousand miles.

The North Sea Cycle Route looks a very interesting ride although with it going through all the most expensive countries in Europe probably quite an expensive 6000km ride 🙁 although it does go through Kings Lynn!

The day was 53 miles with the Strava here and photos here