Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Denmark for Dinner

A week's trip to Scandinavia on business could have been an excuse for putting one's feet up in the hotel bar, sinking a few local specialities rather than taking a bike out. However, Al and his Swedish Colleague Martin devised a plan straight out of the TCA handbook: Most hotel's in the area will rent you a basic city bike to get about, so rather than take a taxi into the local town, Lund for dinner we decided to cycle. However, we had sampled the limited pleasures of this town the evening before and thought it would make a change to extend our range a little. The direct train line, across Europes largest bridge, to Copenhagen proved to much of a lure so our objective for the evening was for dinner in Denmark, by bike and train.

We only had to stop a few times for directions as we used the cycle paths to make the 30 minute journey from the Scandic Hotel to the centre of Lund, where we abandoned our bikes along with the hundreds of others outside the central station. The direct train took us about 1 hour and we alighted into the glare of the lights from Tivoli gardens and the city square. A short walk across the town square (Rådhuspladsen) and down a backstreet brought us to BrewPub København, Al's favorite drinking hole. Three or four pints of their on-premises brewed ale and we staggered back to the station...

And this is where our troubles began - we missed the last direct train home and so had to change at Malmö. Our journey time was increased to about 90 minutes which got us back into Lund a little later than expected, around 11.30pm. What I have failed so far to divulge is that Martin has perhaps the worst sense of direction of anyone I have ever met: Despite the fact the Martin comes from Stockholm you would surely expect that he should take the main navigational duties in a country where the signs have the letter ö in them? However, I am often the one saying "I'm sure it's in that direction", before eventually guiding Martin around the southern Swedish towns. Martin's affliction is lethal when coupled with an unremiting sense of optimism and denial, when on a bike, in a stange town at night. At 12:00am we had to phone the hotel to talk us in, by which time we where cycling aimlessly around the grounds of a local hospital.

Once we were on the right track we set off with yet more confidence towards the Scandic in Gastelyckan. Once the hotel was insight an impromptu race ensued, Martin taking a short-cut through the petrol station and Al taking the long way round on the road. It was decided that it was a dead heat as both bikes rattled across the hotel threshold. I am sure Martin, who has a significant height advantage over Al, would have won if he could have swapped the bright red ladies bike with under-inflated tyres with the more appropriate (and larger!) gent's bike that Al bagged. Anyway, another TCA first - cycling to a different country for a beer!

Al on his 'Scandic Special' bike

(Posted by: Al)

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At 3:44 pm, October 19, 2006, Blogger TCA 2006 said...

God forbid that Martin and Biily-Bob ever go out for a ride together, we'll never see them again!


At 6:00 pm, October 19, 2006, Blogger tortoiseshell said...

Is this your best blog posting yet?? A cracking read. Wot no geocaching?

At 11:11 pm, October 19, 2006, Blogger simon said...

what was that bike like to ride after the Scott? I guess like jumping into a car that is 30 years old??

At 11:18 pm, October 19, 2006, Blogger Maalie said...

Very runcible! You didn't take in the Little Mermaid then?

Did you arrive back on the same bikes that you set off on? I hope your work didn't suffer...

At 6:32 am, October 20, 2006, Blogger TCA 2006 said...

Looks like you are posing for an album cover. An admirable TCA epic if ever there was one and I like the look of the beer list especially Schlager and Elhorn!

This Martin chap sounds decent!


At 8:24 am, October 20, 2006, Blogger TCA 2006 said...

Tortie: Thanks! I thought it was a little unremarkable but glad I posted it now!

Simon: Bonkers, no gears, no brakes (!) - well, back-pedal rear brake only, dynamo driven lights, very upright riding position. I have never driven a 30 yo car but I guess is must be similar?

MK: No little mermaid trip, it was in the plan if we had taken the bikes on the train but we decided against... maybe next time! The bikes have a simple lock on the rear wheel but there are so many bikes, and they are so cheap that I presume they are seldom stolen.

BB:The beer is slightly bonkers too: They try and brew beers representative of various around the world; their version of our IPA is 6.5%, their Sam Adams rip-off is 8%! All top stuff though, VesterWeisse is lethal. Yes, Martin is a top chap - one of those rare people you meet at work who you feel you might get on with even if you had not been forced together professionally, and he has an unpronouncable surname, Sjoberg which is a bonus!

At 12:46 pm, October 20, 2006, Anonymous The Guide from He.. said...


I am glad you made such a nice story of it! You are definitely right my sense of directions sometimes lead me way off. Did I tell you when me and my friend ended up in a farm when we were going from the 8th to the 9th hole on a golf course?

However, I do not know how you define dead race. I definitely recall you being a bit behind me when I parked the little bike...

I will pretend that I am not offended by you not even mentioning my home brew or the fish restaurant.

Look forward to see you in UK soon and try that peculiar Scottish (?)fish you keep blabbin about and some great local brew.

Förresten har jag ett övertag eftersom jag kan skriva qwäöåsterwensjerv och eckleastikminister utan att ni förstår.


At 3:09 am, October 29, 2006, Blogger simon said...

Your comment re the riding position does remind me of a 30 year old car. What is interesting when you ride a bike that is "primitive" You realise just how 'soft" a modern bike makes you. I have a mate who still rides a 16 year old Mongoose MTN bike with no suspension and basic brakes. He is SO fit from riding this thing. I hopped on it and it nearly killed me.. Kinda like riding water pipe with wheels!

At 12:30 pm, November 08, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice one guys I love it. TCA breaks new borders. Can't wait to get in on one of these major efforts.


At 5:52 am, November 12, 2006, Blogger simon said...

ummm whats going on.. where is the next adventure?


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