Niva – Koge 80.7kms 331’ ascent
Everything began so well. We left the site in good time, still smarting from the fact that it had cost us the equivalent of £1.30 to take two showers! However, we had got over that and at least we smelled fresh and new as we enjoyed the sunshine and a beautiful ride along the sea shore. I have to say there is a smell which accompanies this close proximity to the sea which Alan assures me is just a sea smell. Mmm, to me it is a mixture of rotting seaweed and raw sewage! All went very well until we reached the outer reaches of Copenhagen. In common with many other European countries, Denmark is undertaking copious road repairs, the significance of which will become obvious as this blog continues. At this point in today’s journey Mr. Grumpy emerged briefly from hibernation to exhort blistering comments on the designers of the cycle routes. ‘Why must we climb the steepest hills of the entire journey?’ he complained. They were in fact so steep that with Herman the Sherman of the back we were obliged to get off and walk! ‘If they are going to dig up the road, why do they not replace the cycle track signs so that we don’t end up in the middle of a huge social housing estate?’ he moaned. (The inhabitants of which were very helpful in relocating us). The final straw took the form of a vital bridge which was fenced off and definitely NO GO. Mr. Grumpy was having none of it. He separated bike from trailer, pulled violently at the wire netting, and succeeded in crossing said bridge (with a little assistance) with both bike and trailer. On re-assembling the two, a nice dog walking lady suggested that a simpler solution might be to ride the second bike (mine) along the river for some 500 metres to another bridge. I nodded my thanks and set off and promptly sank several inches into the muddiest track of the journey, but it did, eventually, deliver me safely to the other side. Mr. Philosophical sent Mr. Grumpy back into hibernation as we continued to get lost, find ourselves again, and eventually exit Copenhagen having seen nothing at all of the centre. With some relief, we enjoyed a rather late lunch by a lake ,observing the antics of various sea birds all trying to establish their superiority. (Too much testosterone!)
By now, thoroughly fed up with the thought of another 20 kilometre detour, we finally rejoined a main road with a cycle path and went head down for the campsite at Koge. We were sharing a track with the serious bikers of the area, who gave no quarter, indication of their presence, or acknowledgement of us as they shot passed. I assume this is normal for Denmark, but I much prefer the cheery hellos of the competent bikers in the Pyrenees who overtook us at some speed as we puffed our way up to the cols.
Our destination was finally reached and we enjoyed yet another bottle of wine with our supper. (No, this will not become a habit.) Hmmm?
Note from Alan
Now those of you who know me, will be aware that I am a placid kind of bloke, rarely given to outbursts of self-opinionated twaddle . So today was no exception. I was evil. I had back ache and the beginnings of a boil in my crutch when the national cycle route 9 (this part designed by a lardy, fat arsed, cycle hater) took us away from a beautiful coast into a swamp ridden forest with little hills in excess of 12%, midgies (just done 2000kms of them) AND nettles overgrowing the track. I now have a nettle midgie sandwich of stings and bites up my shins. Not happy with that, Mr Lardy has not checked his sign posts in the last couple of years. Sprayed over in graffiti, scratched out, pulled out of the ground and thrown to one side or simply nicked leaving an empty holder, all added to the enticing image of Copenhagen suburbs. More glass on the track in one day than we’ve seen in the last 30. There were some good bits. I was almost enjoying the trip along the ramparts till they shut the bridge!