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Cycling Holiday - Denmark

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  • 23-03-2011 11:24am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 16,050 ✭✭✭✭


    Hi Guys

    looking for some advice and help here really.

    Im thinking of doing a cycling holiday this year and have settled on denmark, specifically route 4, Søndervig-Copenhagen
    http://www.visitdenmark.com/uk/en-gb/menu/turist/inspiration/aktivferie/cykel/denmarks-national-route-no-4.htm

    Has anyone here done this before or any cycling holidays in denmark? can you tell me what it is like?

    i will be looking at taking my own bike, its probably cheaper in the long run. as i dont have one, which would be the best type to get?
    I assume a racer/road bike would be a no no, probably wouldnt be that comfortable. i was looking on chain reaction cycles but there are just hundreds of choices. i would be looking to spend in the region of €400 or so, so could anyone point me in the right direction?

    ill be taking the gear on panniers, so will look into getting a set of them as well

    any help or advice would be much appreciated


Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,361 ✭✭✭mgmt


    Get a touring bike. Something like the Trek 520 (I would buy a nice European brand instead of a trek).

    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/road/520/520/


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,604 ✭✭✭petethedrummer


    I wrote this about my trip to Denmark

    Denmark:
    Pros:
    Copenhagen is lovely, with endless amounts of talent whizzing by on bikes,
    Loads bicycle lanes everywhere in the country,
    Flat(if you don't like hills),
    Bikes allowed on trains,
    Car Drivers are very considerate of Cyclists.

    Cons:
    Beer is more expensive than Ireland,
    Flat(if you like hills),
    Apart from Copenhagen the rest of Denmark seems a bit dull but, you might find it otherwise.
    Often if you cycle through a small town, everything (including petrol stations) can be shut after 6pm. So stock up on food if you plan to cycle in the evening.


    There are marked routes with little blues signs all around the country, but at the occasional junction they are missing. So I would invest in a Cycling guide book for Denmark. We just had a rough map and at occasional points got lost because of the lack of signs and our map wasn't accurate enough to compensate.

    We were never without a bed for the night. We had the lonely planet and would just ring all the listed budget accomodation for each town we planned to visit. There were always rooms and alot of times we were quoted cheaper than the guide book stated. There is a network of danhostels and you can get a discount card, but unlike a hotel they can stop checking in a 9 or 10 pm. The cheapest hotels were equivalent in price.
    *************************************************
    To add to this.

    We cycled Copenhagen->Roskilde->Odense->Esbjerg->Romo->Hamburg(Germany). Copenhagen is great but food and beer is expensive. And to be honest there's not much going on outside of Copenhagen. The lonely planet said Romo was a holiday destination with a quiet family side and a wild side. We went to the wild side. It was so dull it was hilarious.

    What I would do if I was going back would be to cycle from Copenhagen to Berlin. It would bookend the holiday with two GREAT cities. I think its roughly the same distance as what you're planning. Plus the cheapness of the beer when you cross the border into Germany will be most appreciated.

    We did it on road bikes with thin 23C tyres, which was stupid. I would do it on the road bike again but with as wide a tyre as I could fit on it, mine can take a 32C. Most entry level road bikes would accommodate a 27 or 28C touring tyre.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,050 ✭✭✭✭event


    mgmt - thanks, but that seems a bit out of my range :). but ill look into a touring bike, see what fits

    pete - cheers, thats great info. i wanna do that route though as i might take in football match from the euro 21 championships in aalborg and a festival in roskilde. also, that route looks a bit long. i plan to just cycle for around 10 days, maybe 30k each day.

    anyone else actually done that route?

    pete, when you wre in denmark, did you use hostels or campsites much? how did you find them?

    if anyone else has done tours abroad, what are ryanair like to fly with, with your bike?


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,604 ✭✭✭petethedrummer


    event wrote: »
    pete - cheers, thats great info. i wanna do that route though as i might take in football match from the euro 21 championships in aalborg and a festival in roskilde. also, that route looks a bit long. i plan to just cycle for around 10 days, maybe 30k each day.
    If you're taking a game and the festival then it should be a good holiday. Roskilde festival is supposed to be great.
    event wrote: »
    pete, when you wre in denmark, did you use hostels or campsites much? how did you find them?
    We used cheap hotels and hostels. Get the lonely planet for Denmark and there will be a list of hotels and hostels for all towns.
    event wrote: »
    if anyone else has done tours abroad, what are ryanair like to fly with, with your bike?
    We flew with Aer Lingus and the bikes were fine. Didn't put them in a special bag or box.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,767 ✭✭✭✭tomasrojo


    I've a friend who lives in Denmark, but he finds it terrifically dull. So he and his bike usually get on the train to Germany or Switzerland when he wants to do a bit of touring.

    That's just his opinion. I've never been to Denmark.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 96 ✭✭muad_dib77


    im danish.

    as a rule of thumb we are a fairly quiet bunch.
    get some drink in us and we liven right up.

    aalborgs is a god place to go for drinks, as is aarhus.
    copenhagen is alright, but its a tad dearer than most other places.

    cycling is quite popular in denmark so people in traffic are used to peeps on two wheels, and there's a very good network bicycle lanes in most of the country.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,604 ✭✭✭petethedrummer


    muad_dib77 wrote: »
    as a rule of thumb we are a fairly quiet bunch.
    get some drink in us and we liven right up.
    I found people very friendly and willing to help when we were lost.
    muad_dib77 wrote: »
    cycling is quite popular in denmark so people in traffic are used to peeps on two wheels,.
    Yup, the drivers were very accommodating. It was a bit of a culture shock to us.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,050 ✭✭✭✭event


    so i realise ill need to spend a good bit more than €400, probably double it

    anyone any recommendations?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,119 ✭✭✭p


    Haven't cycled round mainland denmark, but travelled around a fair bit, some great lakes, canoeing etc... that you really need to try stop by. Copenhagen's great, but a lot of small towns tend to be quite quiet so choose carefully. Aarhus & Odense a good sized cities that are probably worth stopping by.

    Bike.
    I'd suggest getting a good hybrid bike with a nice upright position that can carry your gear, doesn't need to be too fancy if you're not going too fast. I know many here will disagree, but I really don't think you've any need to double your price-range to 800. Maybe look at getting a good second hand bike, but there's no need to splash out. I have friends who easily cycled across Spain in more far serious terrains on bikes that were 500 quid, and it wasn't a problem. Here's a few bikes that would easily do the job:
    http://www.cyclesuperstore.ie/shop/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=32&idproduct=36587
    http://www.cyclesuperstore.ie/shop/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=32&idproduct=36618
    http://www.cyclesuperstore.ie/shop/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=32&idproduct=39481
    http://www.cyclesuperstore.ie/shop/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=32&idproduct=39477
    If you want something a bit lighter, you could also go with a 'Road Cruiser' bike which is like a racer but with more gears and flat handle bars.
    http://www.cyclesuperstore.ie/shop/pc/showSearchResults.asp?customfield=0&SearchValues=&exact=0&iPageCurrent=1&keyword=&priceFrom=0&priceUntil=9999999&idCategory=38&IdSupplier=0&withStock=0&IDBrand=0&SKU=&quicksearch=&order=4
    Remember, people in Denmark are going to be whizzing by you on crappy old things, so you don't want anything too fancy. :D

    Sightseeing
    The north part of Seeland is very nice, so i'd consider cycling to Aarhus, and getting the ferry accross and then continuing your journey to CPH. Nice places in Seeland worth passing by are, the Frederiksværk area, which has a nice (quiet) coastal & beach area if the weather's nice, heading over to Helsingor to see Hamlet's castle, and then down via Fredensborg & Hillerod, which both have really nice castles and gardens/lakes worth visiting.
    Here's a quick map of a possible route:
    http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=206146183447658486366.00049f77a27bc8efe7fb5&ll=55.992237,11.568604&spn=3.42936,9.876709&z=7

    Distance
    Also, you said you were planning on about 30k a day. Assuming you'll do a bit of cycling before hand to improve your fitness, you could easily revise that upward to 50k+. That way you could have some days where you do more sight-seeing, and other days where you do a lot more cycling. If you're travelling lightly and want to push yourself, it would not be unreasonable to have the 70-100k day if you've trained a little bit before hand. All depend what kind of holiday cycling/sightseeing/relaxing ratio you want.

    Accommodation
    In more rural quiet areas there's lots of nice hostel/pensions that can be quite good. They're very clean and quite family orientated but great value, and very clean.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,050 ✭✭✭✭event


    so back again lads.

    im gonna head into the local bike shop this weekend, but i dont want to appear like a complete fool and for them to see me coming. should i just ask them for advice on what type of bike would be best, or would they try and flog me a more expensive one?
    wont be buying this weekend, but will look at some ideas.

    i was lookin at a bike on adverts, but not too sure if this would suit my needs, anyone able to shed any light on it?

    http://www.adverts.ie/bikes/trek-7-1-fx-hybrid-w-mudguards-and-pannier/536613


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,604 ✭✭✭petethedrummer


    event wrote: »
    i was lookin at a bike on adverts, but not too sure if this would suit my needs, anyone able to shed any light on it?

    http://www.adverts.ie/bikes/trek-7-1-fx-hybrid-w-mudguards-and-pannier/536613
    It would do the job for a week in Denmark no bother. Just needs some decent panniers. I would recommend Ortlieb, I use them every day for work but they are a bit pricey. And maybe overkill for a once off trip.

    Any set will get you through a week of touring. If they're not waterproof you can put your clothes into plastic bags to keep the rain off, which I've done before.
    I'd take a punt on the Brand-X bags here: http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Categories.aspx?CategoryID=513
    Brand-x quality can be hit and miss, but the reviews for these seem grand.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,050 ✭✭✭✭event


    i like to keep updating this.

    so i have a bike, got one today. Giant CRS 3.0, got it on adverts. took it for a small spin, seems perfect.

    So ive been looking on crc and wiggle all day, need to get all my gear. this will prob be something ill do again, so i want the panniers to be good. I was looking at this pair

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/ortlieb-bike-packer-plus-panniers/

    what are they like does anyone know?

    one other question. im flying ryanair, so it means ill have one piece of checked luggage. now obviously two panniers is not 1 piece of luggage. Anyone gotten around this before? im thinking of sorta tying them together and wrapping them in cling film for security, but also so they cant see that its two bags. would that work?


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,604 ✭✭✭petethedrummer


    I just bought the Ortlieb medium office bag today coincidentally. Ortliebs are great, thread here: http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=71592077

    Among the general ortlieb love there are some words to consider from Blorg (he's in Tibet having cycled there from Ireland, so knows a thing or two about touring).


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,108 ✭✭✭boombang


    I know you've said you've settled on Denmark, so the following comment is probably not very useful. My girlfriend was studying in Denmark last year and I went over a few times for long weekends during which I we did some cycling.

    We found the roads good, often with sensible, well surfaced bike lanes. Drivers were safe and attentive too.

    However, I would second some previous comments that the place is dull. It's pretty and neat, but not captivating. Other than Copenhagen the towns are small and uninspiring. I also agree that it is expensive (even in comparison to Ireland) and that everything shuts annoyingly early.

    Personally I would not go back to Denmark. I would sooner see more of somewhere fun like Italy, where there's always something impressive around the corner.

    Apologies to any Danes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,604 ✭✭✭petethedrummer


    They have the best looking women in the world. Reason enough to go.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,050 ✭✭✭✭event


    thamks pete, ill read that now.

    cheers boombang. i dont mind so much if it'll be dull, looking for a quiet holiday, more for sightseeing than anything else.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,989 ✭✭✭✭blorg


    event wrote:
    one other question. im flying ryanair, so it means ill have one piece of checked luggage. now obviously two panniers is not 1 piece of luggage. Anyone gotten around this before? im thinking of sorta tying them together and wrapping them in cling film for security, but also so they cant see that its two bags. would that work?
    If you wrap them together so they won't fall apart, they are 1 piece of luggage. Apart from cling film I have used bungees, ratcheting luggage straps and duck tape.

    The check-in staff don't care what it looks like, if they only have to issue one baggage tag it is one piece of luggage. As there will only be one tag it is essential you have them secured!

    Personally though I generally check one pannier and take the other as my hand baggage. Make sure liquids and pointy things like a multi tool are in the checked bag. I've had Allen keys confiscated.

    I have flown with my bike on Ryanair plenty and they are fine, no better and no worse than any other airline (indeed for a period they had a better bike weight allowance compared to Aer Lingus.)

    Arrive in plenty of time and be ready to remove the pedals/turn the bars. It generally isn't required (certainly not in Dublin) but you would want to be able to do it coming back if they insist. Also be prepared for an argument over why the bike isn't wrapped; again generally not necessary but some airlines/airports will insist on it. I've had to lie ("I was told on the phone it didn't need to be boxed"), waive responsibility for damage, and even promise that I was going to get it wrapped, honest, while I just went to oversize and handed it over. Note I dont think I ever needed to do any of this with Ryanair but it might be worth printing out their web page on the subject. It has on occasion taken a long time for ryanair to get a baggage handler up to wheel off the bike, so arriving early is essential.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,050 ✭✭✭✭event


    So, Im heading on this today.

    away for two weeks, there wont really be that much cycling on it tbh, its more of a sightseeing than doing massive amount of miles.

    Still, never done anything like it before, so hope it goes well.

    Ill take some pics and upload them when Im back.

    Cheers for everyones advise throughout this thread


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