6 May 2018

6th May 2018 New 850km N8 Danish Cykel / cycle route.


Sunday 6th 60-68F, 16-20C, clear, bright and sunny with light winds. Just a short walk before getting on with my project. Have to make the most of the dry weather. As do the few cyclists out training. Don't racing cycle tyres make a racket? I keep being overtaken by weekend warriors on my walks and it sounds like a Tesla is going past!

New figure-of 8-cycle 850km cycle route N8 in south Denmark: Website with partial coverage of Aerø [an island] section in English: Some ferry rides may be involved if you take in the islands. For example:

Cycling route N8, Aeroe | Visitfyn

Further websites:

 Hop i sadlen: 840 kilometer lang cykelrute skal lokke mange turister til | Fyn | DR

Danish Cyclists' Federation: Your entry to Danish cycling | Cyklistforbundet

Danish language website:

Cykelturisme | Foreningen Dansk Cykelturisme

Some Danish websites will have a small Union Jack for an English version so do look out for it. 

The rest of the N8 [or any other] cycle route will not be entirely on official cycle paths. Many official and blue road sign marked, Danish Cycle Routes use normal roads. Some without cycle lanes marked with white lines, let alone separated cycle paths. Using the shortest or straightest route is also unlikely on a Cykel Route.

Traffic in Denmark is usually lighter than the UK and usually much better behaved towards cyclists. There are almost no [UK style] pubs or cafes on the open road. They are mostly found in cities. So food and refreshments should be carried. Or bought in a supermarket along the route. Unlike Britain, Almost every decent sized village seems to have a supermarket. Though the numbers are shrinking rapidly as economies are made due to fierce competition between the [few] chains.

There are almost  NO [UK style] public toilets in Denmark. But note: Most rural churchyards have a decent toilet. You can also ask in any supermarket. Most will allow you to use the staff toilet which is usually in the warehouse behind the scenes. Ask a shelf filler and you will usually be guided there. Except in Fakta in Svendborg harbour where I was abruptly refused.

Toilets are handy for refilling water bottles on a hot day. Because they always have a wash basin. [In case you were wondering.] Don't ask the manager of the cycle shop in Fåborg for a bottle refill though. As I did on an 85 mile ride in scorching weather after getting lost on my way back from Nyborg. [Top right on Fyn. Faaborg is bottom left of middle].]

I was on the point of collapse by then. He will point you to the filthy hose resting on the yard in front of the workshop which [ironically] does have a very visible sink with taps. Fortunately the toilet at Super Brugsens [The Coop] was only a hundred yards further into town and provided me with a desperately needed bottle refill and a second after I'd swiftly downed the first.

Nor are there many camp sites in Denmark. Not even on the coasts. Though there are B&Bs [bed and breakfasts] and [rather expensive] hotels. Coastal commercialism for tourists and 'day trippers' is almost unknown in any part of Denmark which I have visited.

Many Danes speak [at least some] English and many are fluent in a strangely accent-free dialect. You would be amazed how few English speaking Brits lack any accent at all. Even the BBC News reader has a strong accent. So don't be afraid if you are lost and need guidance: Just ask anyone you meet: Do you speak English? Speak clearly and you will usually get a useful response. The young have years of learning English at school so have no [real] excuse. Particularly since so much of the global media is in English.

BTW: A bike in Danish [cykel] is pronounced cookle. Hence I am a tri-cooklist. Not that many Danes will recognise a lightweight machine, nor its English name. Tre hjul cykle, pron: Tray-hyool cookle, Three wheel cycle, is as close as I've heard in 20 years. Or, usually, Handikap Cookle. Get used to it. I've been asked what is wrong with me so many times I just laugh now.

Above all: Do remember to cycle on the right. 2WD trikes enjoy the opposite camber better than a UK 1WD LHD. Though you'll soon begin to avoid the roadside shrubbery. If, you survive long enough!

BTW2  If you come to light controlled traffic lights you should NOT turn LEFT as if you owned the road as you would turning right across the traffic in the UK. You are expected to pull over to the right in front of the waiting traffic queue and set off only when the lights change for that lane. Daft, I know, but you'll soon get used to it. Or die trying. Odd, considering it is a cycling country to make cyclists wait twice at the lights. Some city traffic lights do have smaller cyclists-only lights. So keep an eye out for those. They usually just give you enough time to get away before the traffic practices its next 1/4 mile drag to the next lights. Speeding is the Danish national sport.

There is no traffic light sequencing to ease traffic flow as there is in the UK. You'll soon learn not to go off in a mad sprint every time you see a green light. Because the next lights, and the next, AND the next, WILL ALWAYS, ALWAYS be red! Odense should be world famous by now for the time it can take to travel only a couple of miles through umpteen red lights. Odense hasn't independently invented the mini roundabout yet. So you will just have to be patient! Or, be sensible, and avoid it completely! Though they do have a lot of cycle shops. Cookle forratninger. 😉


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