The Grand Tour of a Small Kingdom.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Don T, May 31, 2020.

  1. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Thank you for the nice words Jim.

    The films you refer to isn't pure fiction. During the winter months when the sun only climb above the horizon a few hours every day Denmark certainly appears more sinister.

    I'm old enough to remember when there was border control between all the European countries and an iron curtain to the east.
    The closed borders right now is depressing. I'm really looking forward to things getting back to normal.
    #81
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  2. jeckyll

    jeckyll Kneedragger

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    Same here, I remember taking a school trip to look at the East German machine gun towers, high fences and shooting lanes in between the fenced areas. Later, when the first "EU border crossings" came into place and I hand made a little "E" that we had to put into the windshield of our car, so we could just drive through the Austrian border on our way to go skiing...

    But I digress. Hope things improve soon. And that there will be another new part to this ride report :D
    #82
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  3. hairnet

    hairnet will travel for cake

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    loving the tour of danish bakeries :lol3 - have you seen:imaposer what i do on holiday

    moar please :beer
    #83
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  4. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Interlude:

    I’ve been involved with the TransEuroTrail project for some years now. My main function is to be linesman for Denmark. This means that I’m responsible for the part of the trail that passes through the country. Up until now, the trail has only traversed the eastern part of the country where I live. This allows me to manage the track by myself.

    I’ve always wanted to include Jutland (the mainland) in the TET, as it offers more gravel and dirt roads than anywhere else in the country, but it wasn’t feasible for me to create and maintain a track in the opposite end of the country. I needed help to make it happen.

    From time to time people have offered to help me out, but when they discovered how much work it requires they got cold feet and jumped ship.

    Last year I was one of the organizers behind a Scandinavian TET Meet in Sweden. The event was a booming success. A number of riders from Denmark participated. Two of them approached me with a question I’ve heard many times before: Why isn’t Jutland part of the TET? I told them why. They both lived in Jutland and offered to help me out. Based on previous experience I didn’t have high expectations.

    During the year that have passed since then, they have put my skepticism to shame. Especially Lucas aka @lucsali has put in a tremendous amount of time and effort, and during the process when the scope of the task dawned on him, he didn’t throw in the towel, but just gritted his teeth and pushed on.
    #84
  5. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    We met up with Lucas the next morning on a small dirt road at the border. It was the start of the new track he had created. Over the next two days we would do the first trial run of the track. Lucas was excited to show us the result of his effort. We were in for a treat!

    Early morning at the border:
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    One of many interesting sections:

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    We had a very attentive audience at the bridge:

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    At one point we had to make a small detour to a garage in Ribe to fix Katrine’s bike after a small crash. When the BMW was back in working order and we were ready to head back to the trails, I discovered that I had a flat on the rear due to a cut from a sharp stone. 10 minutes later the puncture was fixed and we used the opportunity to grab lunch in town:
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    Right after we got back on track Lucas managed to crack the bash plate on his V-Strom.

    The 3 casualties of the day:

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    As the day went on, Katrine and I were continually impressed with the amazing track Lucas had created:

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    At the source of “Gudenåen” the longest river in Denmark:

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    We were approximately at the halfway point of the track when we passed through Vejle early in the evening. It’s where Lucas and his girlfriend live. She had dinner and cold beers ready for us. We were invited to stay for the night – an offer we couldn’t refuse.

    In the morning we continued along the track and it was just as good as the previous day.

    At noon we stopped for lunch at Himmelbjerget (The sky Mountain) – with its impressive 147 meters it’s one of the highest points in Denmark:

    [​IMG]

    Shortly after, we met up with Morten (the other guy from the Scandinavian TET Meet last year) who have been helping Lucas out from time to time with testing new tracks. He joined us for the rest of the day's ride.

    Some sections of the trail hadn’t seen traffic for a while:
    [​IMG]

    By the end of the day we reached Djursland, where the last short section of the track still needed to be finally decided. Lucas and Morten had a draft ready and I could supply some input as well. We decided to leave that for another time and call it a day. It had been a really nice couple of days in good company on a great track.

    After having said goodbye to the guys, Katrine and I stopped for dinner in a town nearby. With full bellies and a bit drowsy we got back on the bikes and rode to a B&B located in the countryside south of Skanderborg.

    [​IMG]


    The track from day 16 & 17 (604 km):
    [​IMG]


    To be continued...
    #85
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  6. jbar28

    jbar28 Been here awhile

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    I'll add to the chorus of appreciative readers amazed by the variety of landscape and tracks you have found, so much more interesting that I thought I'd see in a tour of Denmark. Thanks.
    #86
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  7. oldbeer

    oldbeer Grandadventurer

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    Great RR.

    I live about as far away from Denmark as you can get but....my daughter lives in Copenhagen:D. I went to visit and she showed me around and so I've been to many of the places on your trip. But i had no idea that there were gravel roads. Next visit i might try to hire a bike and do some Jutland exploring.

    Denmark is a lovely place and the locals super friendly. I'll be back. Looking forward to the rest of this. Thanks very much for taking the time. Nice bikes.
    #87
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  8. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    The sun was streaming through the windows when we woke the next morning - on the last day of our journey around Denmark.

    Perfect weather for what would turn out to be the longest day of the whole trip.

    Ready for the final day on the road:
    [​IMG]

    We used the old bridge to get from Jutland to Funen. There were several places and tracks we had missed out on, because of a too tight schedule, when we visited Funen earlier on the trip. Now we used the opportunity to remedy that. We spend most of the day on the island. It was early evening when we finally left Funen behind and crossed the bridge to Zealand. From the bridge we still had 1½ hours ride home, as we continued to follow the small scenic roads – the journey was almost over, and we didn’t want to rush it.

    We never get tired of roads and scenery like this:
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    Egeskov Castle:

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    Broholm Castle:

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    Not everything isn't castles and mansions on Funen:

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    Kerteminde:
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    Back on Zealand:

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    Borreby Castle:

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    We arrived back home in the driveway after 18 days and almost 5.000 km:

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    The track from day 18 (444 km):
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    The combined track from the whole trip - the red dots indicates where we spend a night:
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    To be continued...
    #88
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  9. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Stir crazy

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    Thanks very much, I enjoyed that.
    #89
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  10. oldbeer

    oldbeer Grandadventurer

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    Excellent - need to plan some time in Denmark next trip. Great photos.
    #90
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  11. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Epilogue:

    It was a great experience to explore our own little Kingdom.
    Even though we never crossed a border, we often felt like we were far away from home. We passed through areas and visited places we had never seen before and was surprised by the diversity our country has to offer. I hope that this RR have inspired others to realize that there is adventure to be found close to home – or maybe given you an appetite to come and have a closer look at Denmark..?

    Both bikes were well suited for the kind of riding we did. In some sections more knobby tires would have made life easier, but it was never really an issue - as long as we adapted our speed (and I remembered to turn off the traction control the few times we encountered deep sand).

    Katrine’s BMW leaked oil and coolant from the water pump during the trip, but it was just another small issue on a long list since she purchased the bike 7 years/60.000 km ago. The bike has never left her stranded though and the issues get fixed as they appear, so it runs great and she loves it – but will never buy another BMW…

    My T12 is almost 5 years old and have 117.000 km on the clock. Besides a blown headlight bulb (and a puncture) it performed flawless – as always. The behemoth continues to impress me. It handles everything I throw at it with gusto. Before this season I had mounted shorter dog bones in the rear to gain a bit more ground clearance, and improved the ergonomics with new foot pegs and a modification to the seat. It has made the bike suit me even better.

    I use to run hard cases on the T12, but prior to this trip I had replaced them with Mosko Moto R80 Revolver. The main reason was that Katrine and I have a multiple year/continent ride planned in a couple of years, and I wanted to try out this kind of luggage as part of the preparations for that. The advantages of this setup is less weight (partly because you don’t need a rack), a slimmer profile, better durability and increased safety in case of a crash.
    I expected that it would be more of a hassle to deal with compared to hard cases. It turned out not to be the case. It was very easy to organize, pack/unpack the bags and get to/stow away stuff during the day.
    That the R80 fits the T12 like a glove and never budged the slightest even on very bumpy tracks added to the equation. I’m extremely happy with the R80 and believe I’ve found the perfect luggage solution for my needs.


    As promised at the beginning of the RR, I've created a GPX file with a great track that will take you through the diverse areas of the country and past many interesting sites. It follows mainly surfaces roads, but there are several sections with gravel and dirt roads - nothing too difficult or technical.
    The track covers 3.900 km.
    NOTE: Remember to treat it as a track not a route - otherwise you may experience that your navigation devise recalculate/alter the intended track!
    It's possible to ride the entire track in about 2 weeks, but you could easily spend 3 weeks if you have a curious nature and wants to explore a bit.

    Besides the track I've added a few waypoints to the file. Most of them are interesting places I deem worth a visit. There are numerous other interesting places that I've left out. Do yourself a favor a spend some time investigating what would be of interest to you.
    I've marked the road to Manø with Jolly Rogers - it get flooded during high tide, so check the tide table before you head out!


    I've also marked out 3 cities that I think it would be a shame to miss: Copenhagen, Aarhus and Aalborg.
    Copenhagen can be a bit of a mouthful and should maybe rather be considered a destination in itself, but Aarhus and Aalborg is much more manageable. Spending a day exploring each of them on foot will provide you with a good sample of what they have to offer.


    That's it for now. I hope that you have enjoyed the ride.


    The end!

    Attached Files:

    #91
  12. lucsali

    lucsali Adventurer

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    ..looks at map screenshot..
    ..looks at 3 weeks holidays in calendar..
    ..looks at map screenshot..
    ...
    :happay

    So much yet to explore, thanks for the inspiration!
    #92
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  13. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    I'm the one to say thank you Lucas - and many people will share my gratitude in a few days when the new TET track in Jutland goes live :-)
    #93
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  14. Montford

    Montford Been here awhile

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    Brilliant report and pictures as always Tonny,thank you.
    You and Katrine have made the most of the situation without miles of motorway, a good lesson in less can sometimes be more !
    We are still pretty much in lockdown here in Scotland and it is not possible to do much but hopefully things will improve next month.

    Best regards
    Ian
    #94
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  15. 9w6vx

    9w6vx Pergo et Perago

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    Thanks for sharing.

    Hope to visit Denmark and rent a bike one day!
    #95
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  16. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Nice to see you aboard Ian :-)

    Hopefully things improve in Scotland soon. Having restrictions on the freedom we have come to take for grated is no fun at all.
    #96
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  17. staticPort

    staticPort Meditrider Supporter

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    Terrific report! Immersion in landscape and culture instead maximizing distance; what a concept!
    #97
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  18. jeckyll

    jeckyll Kneedragger

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    I'm sad that it's over. Great photos and excellent report.

    Especially at this time, the reminder that there is much closer to home that can, and should, be explored is important. And the scenery is amazing.

    Thank you!
    #98
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  19. Thank you. Very nice country and people. Great trip.
    #99
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  20. jeckyll

    jeckyll Kneedragger

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    I need to do better at getting comfortable stopping and getting off the bike along the way to 'somewhere'. So often it's easy to get in a groove and then not want to stop. Or, having gotten past some folks that were 'holding me up', not wanting to stop and have to re-pass after.

    Some things to work on for this year :)
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