Overheating

Denmark is flat. Really flat. Even boring if you wanted to be a sneer.

Not for me, I was delighted to be in Denmark. The manic motorway out of Germany heading north is populated by folks wanting to leave fast. You think Ebola had broken out in Europe and there was a migration to Scandinavia.

My 17 year old bike is not built to compete with a 6 series Audi estate piloted by drivers who are in the fast lane cruising at 160KPH. These guys dominate the road. Enter the fast lane with all the power you’ve got and keep it full on power till you’ve completed your overtaking. These cars may be a spot in your rear view mirror one minute and next thing they are breathing down your neck. Anticipation is everything.

It was a beautiful morning for the ride to Denmark. Sun shine and blue skies. I was delayed heading off as I wanted the tent to dry off.

Filled up with petrol and hit the road. Stopped for a cup of coffee and a break after a holiday hour and a half. I noticed my tricolour was gone. I suppose it wasn’t manufactured in China with 150KPH winds on the specification sheet.

I have a spare one which will be hoisted when I reach Norway.

I wanted to see the famous Jelling Stones. So I took a detour. Harold Bluetooth proclaimed his dominant position and Kingship of Norway & Denmark here. Also he proclaimed Christianity as the faith. I think this was their St Patrick moment when the nation was baptized. This as I understand it is the ancient heart of Denmark.

The Viking visitors center is class. Loads of interactive stuff and interesting facts.

Next stage of the trip is to Øster Hurup. Maria Gammelgaard, a niece of my good friends Pia & Paul O’Brien suggested I stay in her summer cottage. She has a wee place there so off I go.

I didn’t get too far. Coming up to the motorway I could see a long tail back before and after the motorway junction. One advantage of a flat country I suppose. So entered an alternative route into the TomTom that avoids motorway. Followed the route straight into a traffic foul up. Everyone had done the same thing.

Unfortunately the bike starts overheating in the traffic queue. So I pull over to let it cool and consider my options. I decide to do my own route. Pull out the map and head for Silkeborg then Viborg. Up the cycle lane I went. Straight to the traffic lights and turned left. Used the cycle lanes again and got out of town before the engine boiled over. Phew. Not arrested or shot at, what a relief.

The open road again. For about five km it was grand and then the heavens opened. Out with the wet suit and I did the wonderful wet suit jig. Shake a leg here bend down touch the ground and reach for the sky. Repeat several times with foul language to fulfill the experience. It was an electric storm to boot. Had visions of being struck by a bolt of lightning.

Off again and I had a great drive to Viborg. Rural Denmark is lovely. Parts at like the south of France but really green. There are no hedges or ditches, so the winter barley grows right up to the road. Every where there are copses of trees and small woods. The houses and farms are impeccably well kept. Traditional red brick houses with high vaulted roofs and a cross section vaulted piece over the front doors. Very symmetrical with the loft window over the from door apex.

Today I saw three birds of prey. I haven’t a clew what they were but I was charmed none the less.

Filed with petrol again. I’m getting the hang of the self service. Got my money back from Holten in Holland. I was much relieved. Because trying to sort out those type of problems can be stressful. Long waits on the phone to talk to a call center in New Delhi.

Last leg to my digs was a TomTom special. Single track and major road in equal measure. I loved it. Rain had gone somewhere else. Although the road was still wet the surface was good and the bends great. It was like when you pass a farm and you’ve driven through the farm yard.

Arrived in Ø Hurup tired and hungry and wet. Made a cup of coffee and thanks to Maria Gammelgaard she had a lovely brazed beef ready meal in the freezer washed down with a beer.

4 thoughts on “Overheating

  1. Another exiting day Michael. Riding abroad really sharpens your skills I think, especially those motorways! Denmark is so flat that if the dog ran away you’d still see him for two days… glad you got to your destination safely. Looking forward to the next instalment… stay safe out there.

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  2. Michael, you’re really getting ymoneys worth out of that old nail. She must be around the clock by now!
    Have been to Norway many times but never by bike. You’ll get plenty of use from that wetsuit and be warned. Speeding is up the with murder in the eyes of the POLITI and last nights beer could see you well over the limit! That aside you’ll need a mortgage to get drunk.
    It is one of the most beautiful places on earth where the scenery can literally distract you from riding. If you’re near Stavanger I’d highly recommend a visit to Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) which is a half days hike to a huge flat rocky platform overlooking a fjord. Spectacular and life affirming.
    I’m off to Galicia with David and a few colleagues next month. Keep up the commentary and ride safe.
    Brendan

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  3. Nice summer house of Maria & Jon In Horup.
    Next leg is the ferry trip to Norway.
    Have a good ferry trip its a fine ship.
    Keepong up with the action via pia’s phone.
    Festina mente
    P

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