Notes : Daniel Ridings

September 19, 2013

Lindome-Odense by bike

Filed under: Bicycles,Randonneuring — at 6:08 pm

All year I have wanted to cycle to Odense, but it was difficult to fit it in. The round trip is a bit more than 540 km. Almost every weekend since the middle of April has seen brevets. The randonneur season started then. It was difficult to imagine riding 540 km in the middle of the week, having one day, Friday, as a rest day and then getting up early on Saturday to ride a long brevet. The further along in the season, the longer the brevets were. It was just hard to fit in.

The last brevet was in the latter part of August. It was a quiet 200km brevet so I was rested well enough by Tuesday when I would leave for Odense.

Half of the fun is planning the trip. I had never ridden through that part of Denmark, Dyreland, and from Aarhus to Odense, I was only superficially familiar with the route that the sportative Aarhus – Köpenhamn took. It was a bit longish and I wanted a more direct route.


I planned my route with Garmin’s Basecamp. I used Openfietsmap, a cycling map from The Netherlands. I also had Velomap from Velomap is good, but it has problems across country borders. Openfietsmap, the section called N2, has all of Scandinavia in one map. It is not updated very often, in fact I cannot see that it has ever been updated, but I would be staying on well-known roads (I thought) so it was current enough.

Playing with the trip from Grenå to Odense was the fun part. The basic way points would be Grenå, Aarhus, Horsens, Vejle, Middelfart and then Odense. Aarhus is Denmark’s second largest city, so I paid particular attention to getting from the north to the south side. There is really not much to worry about. Being a university town, bike paths and signs are well-placed.

Lindome – Varberg

The route to Varberg is more or less just a straight line down to the ferry terminal. The only thing I had to take into consideration was timing. The ferry leaves at 08:50 and latest check-in is 30 minutes before, 08:20. That was not a problem I figured it would take 2.5 hours, normally (28 km/h average) and I just added some time to account for things like a flat tire or headwind. It didn’t really matter if I pushed myself harder than I normally would on a long trip because I would have 4 hours to rest up on the ferry over to Varberg.

Grenå – Odense

My first concern was avoiding the motorways between Grenå and Aarhus. Grenåvej, route 15, turns into a motorway at one point between the two places. On other stretches, it is the only useful route. So I wanted to leave route 15, going west, at Tåstrup and take the older Grenåvej, which runs parallel with the motorway a little south. It takes you through Bjødstrup, Rønde, changes names to Århusvej, Ugelbølle, Rødskov, and then into Aarhus, after crossing route 15 a couple of times, from the north.

It was a good enough way. But when I came back, it was dark and with trucks going the same direction as me, headed for the same ferry, I decided to look for a route more to the north, on smaller roads, the next time.

I chose to get out of Aarhus on route 433. There are basically two other alternatives, to the south, through Odder or to the north, through Skanderborg. Both looked like they would be slightly longer and route 433 looked like a straight shot, a straight shot for me and all the people getting off work and leaving Aarhus. There are places where it turns into a four lane highway with a division in the middle, much like a motorway. At one point I actually asked someone if cycling was even allowed on the road. It was. It just turns into four lanes around a couple of towns.

What I now know, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure it out, is that when you are travelling south and see a bicycle sign for “Horsens”, take it. It will turn up around Tranbjerg. The same travelling north. A sign for Århus will turn up around Solbjerg. Take it. The one around Solbjerg will take you off through town, but just go with the flow.

The road between Tranbjerg and Solbjerg runs parallel with 433 but there is much less traffic and the traffic that is there is not the kind that is impatiently rushing home after work.

Once I left Solbjerg, cycling from Århus towards Horsens, the traffic became less frantic. But the first time I made the trip it sure did seem like quite a hike between Århus and Horsens; between Grenå and Århus too, for that matter.

The actual tracks got broken up. I didn’t stop the timer in Varberg, a battery went dead half-way across Dyrsland, things like that. They are still kind of interesting to see.

This is the first stretch, the first time. Lindome-Varberg:

Then from Grenå to Odense:

This could get long … I’ll break it up and stop here for now.


June 16, 2011

Bike ride to Oslo

Filed under: Bicycles — at 12:02 pm

I am working in Oslo this week and took the opportunity to ride my bike. I guess we do things like that when we’re old and in the way.

The first leg was from home, Lindome, to Halden in Norway.

I took the route through Tjörn and Orust. I had considered staying on the mainland, but didn’t feel like finding my way through Uddevalla. I wanted to make it all the way to Halden in one stretch (~215 km).

Tjörn bridge

In order to get to Halden you can choose a route with a lot of hills, up and down for about 20 km on route 22, or you can take a round-about with one big hill (more or less, Norway is never flat). I chose to get the hills out of the way and took the round-about (sign for Kornsjø). At the top, I was met with this nice view.


I stayed at the former military base, now a bed and breakfast. I didn’t feel like leaving my bike outside for the night, so I took it into the room with me.

Kasernen in Halden

From Halden I continued on the next day to Oslo.

December 13, 2009

Gåsevadholm and Li, round trip

I had a pair of wheels built for my old bike. After 130km I turned them in for fine-tuning and want to get some more distance out of them before the spring. They might need another tune-up before I do anything serious.

It was cold today, but not quite freezing. Well, acutally, it was freezing in the shadows (and there’s not much sun):

Frost in the shadows

But when you’re pedaling, you keep warm (except for that blasted metal-plate that the cleats in the shoes are fasten to. They turn to a plate of ice, right under the ball of your foot and your toes).

First stop was Gåsevadholm.


The King of Sweden’s brother-in-law owns it. The farm itself is documented back to the 1300’s but the Dutch destroyed the original buildings in 1531. This particular building was build in the mid 1700’s and was pimped up in the 1800’s. What we see now was a fidei commissum. That is a way to get around inheritance laws. The idea was to keep the property in one piece, instead of splitting it up from generation to generation. The person could access, use and profit from the property, but he (it was always a he) didn’t own it. It got passed on in its entirety to the next generation. That legal form was terminated in modern times, and it is now a “company” with one person owning all the shares.

The “vad” in Gåsevadholm is the same root as “wade” in English. This was a place where one could cross the water. The water was used for milling as well and you can find old milling stones strewn around (they’re not the kind of thing you move very far away once they’ve been worn out):


On to Li, the site of iron-age graves:

On the way to Li

Li is at the foot of a moraine, mounds of boulders and rocks that the glaciers shoved in front of them and dumped at the end of the ice-age.

There are (have been) 125 standing stones, one of them huge, a bit over 5 meters, but I don’t have a picture of it. It’s just a rock.


From here you can see the sea and in the viking age, there were canals that they used to drag their boats up this far. You can see the sea far in the background.

View of the sea, from Li

The site was used for burials for centuries. When it rains heavily, the farmers notice thin eggshell like fragments that wash down into their fields. It’s bones.

I come to this place often, strangely enough, usually in the winter. I guess it is because you get it all for yourself. This is an older photograph from a couple of years back, also in the winter.

Li in the winter

It not only looks cold, it was cold.

Today’s distance: 43km averaging 21km an hour.

November 29, 2009

Holdsworth Mistral, on the road again

Filed under: Bicycles,PAW 2009,Pentax *ist DL,Photography — at 6:52 pm

About 27 years ago I ordered a bicycle frame from Holdsworth, a touring frame called Mistral. At that time you couldn’t get a decent touring bike in Sweden. The frame I ordered was made of the same quality steel (Reynolds 531 double-butted) as the competition bikes, but the geometry was different. It was made to absorb the bumps.

I’ve ridden it for years. I installed an Ideale model 45 saddle on it way back when. It’s leather. You couldn’t get Brooks here at the time. I’ve sat on this one for 27 years. You could say it fits my butt pretty well.

Ideale model 45 after 27 years.

This year I decided to try to rejuvenate the bike. Believe me. That was not easy. Bicycles have always been close to anarchy when it comes to “standards” (the nice thing about standards is that there are so many of them), but add to that confusion 27 years of companies that disappear (Holdsworth, Sun Tour (for all practical purposes), Ideale, Mafac (a _real_ problem for me) and you end up with a puzzle that at times lookes like some of the pieces are missing, for good.

Finding a threaded free-wheel is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Well, ok, I thought. As much as I hate to, I’ll retire my Campagnolo Record hubs (threaded for free-wheels) and build up new wheels with integrated free-wheels.

Not so easy … The frame was built for, I think, 125 mm axels in the back. Actually, I think it was less. The frame is made of steel and I had been shoving in 130 mm hubs for years. Probably shouldn’t try that with an aluminum frame.

You can get 130mm hubs, but … they are intended to be used on racers. They tend to have fewer spokes than a now aging biker would like to see in his wheels.

No problem. Hubs intended for MTB bikes are easy to find with 36 spokes. … But … they’re made for 135 mm axles. I’m prepared to cold set the steel frame for a slightly wider spacing, but I’d be stretching it for over 10mm. Long story. Solved it.

The real problem is that the frame was designed for the British market, read: 27″ x 1 1/4. Even back in those days 700c was taking over the market. No problem, I thought. The brakes will just have to reach longer.

Now this is a touring bike, with spaces for fenders, so the brakes have to reach pretty far anyway. Put in smaller wheels and you’re starting to hit the limits. Back in those days I could pick up a pair of good center-pull Mafac brakes with exactly the reach I needed.

Mafac 2000 long-reach center-pull brakes

But … see that cable that straddles the brake arms? The cable that they one leading from the brake levers pulls up? If it breaks, I’m out of business. Mafac is out of business and it is well nigh impossible to 1) find a replacement straddle cable and 2) to find long reach brakes that will fit. The well-being of the whole bike rests on that little cable.

Bottom-brackets have changed, they’re now sealed and better than anything I could get back in the early 80’ies.

I’ll not go into the Cinelli stem and bars (Cinelli had a standard all to themselves … and they no longer make anything for that standard anymore. No one else ever did).


I got it up to snuff and took it out for a 50km spin today. The wind was against me and the temperature was just above freezing (but it _was_ above freezing at least) but the sun was shining.

First to Särö Västerskog, always to the sea …

Särö Västerskog looking east

The wind has been blowing very, very strongly for a couple of weeks now. All kinds of debris has been washed up on the shore:

Holdsworth Mistral at Särö Västerskog

Then around to the other side of the bay (cove ?), to Vallda Sandö. This is the road leading to Sandö (Sand Island):

Road leading to Vallda Sandö

Same road, but looking back east:

Looking east from the road leading to Vallda Sandö

My break at Vallda Sandö:

Rest stop at Vallda Sandö

With the saffron rolls (buns ?) (lussekatter) that Ewa baked right before I left. They’re traditional at Christmas and today is the first day of Advent.

Saffron rolls (lussekatter)

Never could figure out which direction the wind was blowing. I travelled 360 degrees, and it was never in my back.

October 25, 2009


Filed under: Bicycles — at 5:54 pm

I’ve been riding my bike a lot more lately. I don’t travel as much now and that leaves some time to do things I used to do when I worked locally. I hadn’t realized how much I’ve missed those things: riding my bike, being able to do things with Ewa in the evenings, being able to do things with friends in the evening. I like it. I’ve ridden over 450km this month.

Starting a project to rejuvenate an old bike (touring) from the early eighties. I just pulled it completely apart to make sure there was no rust in the frame. It’s made out of Reynolds 531 double-butted. The walls can get a little thin in the middle.

Looks ok, but modernizing an old frame is not easy and might not be economically defensible (it’s debatable the bike was economically defensible in 1982 when I ordered the frame from the UK (Holdsworth) and bought the individual parts piece-meal. There were no touring bikes in Sweden back then).

Anyway, it’s been fun. I’m trying to figure out the absolute minimum that needs to be replaced: wheels (you can’t get threaded freewheels anymore. There is nothing called a “10-speed” anymore), new crankset and bottom-bracket. Brakes are potentially a big problem.

Ewa and I ride to her work (I work from home) every day. Even in the rain and cold weather. I remember that I “rode in the costs” back in the 80’ies by riding it all year round and not buying monthly passes. Took about 3 years.

Something to do … should be pictures coming out of the trips soon.

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