Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Postcard from Denmark: Probably the Best Cycle Route in the World.

Separated from his Brothers in Arms this week due to work committments Al hatched a cunning plan. Well versed in Danish cycle-hire lingo he negotiated a special rate of 100DKK for the loan of the one of the Scandic Hotel's fleet of cycles.

Probably the best Bike in town...

Cycling in a strange city is one thing, on the 'wrong' side of the road another - the back-pedal coaster brake adding to the confusion - but the really disconcerting thing about cycling in Denmark is the hand signalling used by riders to make clear their intention; clearly not sanctioned by any international committe. Great Britain having recently beat Denmark to an Olympic gold medal in 4km team pursuit Al's invoked this superiority to ignore the unwritten code.

A Danish Fountain

The TCA out-of-towner caught his breath at one of the many satues in town, about half way to his target destination. His bike was performing superbly - John would even be chuffed with the 'Fat Boy' tyres installed for superior ride with reasonable rolling resistance - on Copenhagen's combination of smooth roads punctuated with ancient cobbles!

Can't a girl get a bit of piece and quiet?

Al was hoping for some tranquility at the end of a ride but the National Symbol of Denmark, the Little Mermaid was engulfed by tourists at the peak of holiday season. Pausing for a few obligatory snaps Al quickly made for the only piece of 'off road' action the city could offer.

The little mermaid, perfectly framed
by Copenhagen's industrial backdrop

The grounds of the old army barracks near the mermaid offer a place to get away from it all and nice views of herons and signets were had from the ramparts as Al struggled to control his bike on the gravel tracks.

After what felt like hours, Al finally
mastered the self-timer on his phone

It was soon time to head back to the hotel though using the cycle paths of the city, only occasionally losing orientation. The bike was dumped and, in true TCA fashion, a b-line made for the boozer. Central Copenhagen offered the typical dross of Irish pubs, English pubs, Scottish Pubs (!) and other such nasty stuff. However, down a quiet backstreet off the main square, through an alley and down some steps is nestled a haven from the madness in the form of Brewpub København, where a tasty meal and an excellent couple of pints of (strong) brewed-on-site beer can be proccured. Al plumped for Steak pie with a couple of pints of Ellhorn ("Ellhorn is the Norwegian for elderflower, which we have added to complement the hops in this lightly refreshing, aromatic summer brew") while he read a copy of the sports section of the Guardian to see how many more Olympic gold medals Team GB had won than the Aussies...

Clearly the boys from Carlsberg haven't
been to Brewpub København...

(Posted by: Al)

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At 5:29 am, August 21, 2008, Blogger simon said...

yes I have often wondered why it took GB 20 years to get more medals than us, I mean your population is 4 (?) times that of the Aussies...

great post!

At 10:10 pm, August 21, 2008, Anonymous SPM said...

There's no avoiding the fact that the down unders are down under for once, the sound of whingeing aussies is getting louder.

Meanwhile the TCA going continental which brings to mind my idea of a few days cycling the Ypres salient taking in history, cycling and a few beers. Maybe something to discuss in Brecon Beacons next March.

At 5:19 pm, August 24, 2008, Blogger Maalie said...

Nah! There's an even better one in Austrai! Will send you a postcard!

At 7:45 pm, August 30, 2008, Blogger Merisi said...

Sounds as if you had quite a ride!

I had forgotten that the Danes kept their currency too.

I wonder how that elderflower brew tastes. My mother makes elderflower syrup, some people strongly detest it (not me, I even like elderberry soup). ;-)


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