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Cycle from Ringsted to Copenhagen

29 May 2011

On the final day of the ride, the rain has ceased and there are even a few breaks in the clouds. We have a wonderful buffet breakfast and then I head to the conference room to check on the bikes. Following the six punctures yesterday, caused by the lack of tread ane heavy rain, which allows debris to easily stick to the tyre, I decide to spend an hour meticulously checking every milimetre of both my tyres. I remove over 50 small pieces of glass and stone - now it seems incredible that I didn't have even more flats!

At about midday, we finally head off from the hotel and begin our final leg with a tour of Ringsted, partly to discover the town and partly to find our route back out. By 13:00, we're powering through the countryside again, and heading for the ancient city of Roskilde, in the sunshine. We've opted to take the main road to Roskilde, rather than the winding route 6, in order to save some time following our late start today.

An hour and a half later, it seems that my lengthy repairs this morning were not in vain, as we roll in to Roskilde after almost 40 km without incident. The cathedral is impressive and, in the 12th and 13th centuries, it was the first Gothic cathedral to be built of brick; it's been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995.

We head to a peaceful beach for some lunchtime sandwiches, located beside a marina and the Viking Ship Museum. It feels like quite a vibrant town, although it's Sunday and therefore the streets are quiet. Gareth finds a Danish flag on the road and promptly attaches it to his bicycle. Then we pick up route 6 again, for the final time, as we head on towards Copenhagen.

A short hop from Roskilde, we find ourselves riding through a strange adventure playground type thing. In fact, due to poor signage, we ride around this huge park for longer than we'd have liked, but eventually, after taking the same road three times, we find our way back on to route 6.

Not long after that, we're on diversion, as the regular cycle route is closed for buidling works. Luckily, the Danes do diversions well and not only is there clear signage for the length of the diversion, but also a long line of fairy lights, which stetch for kilometres on end to illuminate the temporary path by night.

At about 17:00, we find ourselves cycling through some quite depressing estates, complete with intimidating youngsters. A kind lady tries to help us with the route, but in turn she asks a passing man something in Danish. We're not quite sure what he said, but it seemed mean and certainly didn't include any directions.

We're soon out of the estates though and we continue our appraoch to the capital along a pleasant seaside path. There's even a long sandy beach to our right, as we head North to the suburbs of Copenhagen.

Then the coastline gets quite industrial and we bid farewall to cycle route 6, as we branch off towards the city on route 4. This route to the city centre takes us inland, whereas route 6 continue a few more kilometres to the airport, which lies to the south of the city. Route 4 heads northeast, through some more scary housing estates and onwards to the city itself. It starts to rain as we struggle to follow signage, which is suddenly a lot less clear.

Luckily, I've been to Copenhagen before and begin to recognise some areas, as we improvise a route towards our hostel, which is not far from the city centre. By now, the rain has intensified and we must stop to dry off for a few minutes at a bus shelter. I have to change shirts before finally putting on my rain coat. We're eager to arrive at our destination.

At just after 19:30, we roll up to our hostel in the centre of Copenhagen. We're allowed to park our bikes overnight in a secure courtyard. So secure, in fact, that we get locked in there until I find a route out through a neighbouring business.

Upstairs, our room is disappointing, and far inferior to the hostel we booked in Kolding. Let's be polite and call it "basic". A couple of matresses on the floor and a tiny fold-out table attached to the wall. The showers and toilets are communal, but acceptable. There are a lot of very young people running around and, at this point, I'm sure glad that I persuaded Gareth to at least book a room, rather than a dorm.

And so to our final evening meal of the trip. And, as a recurring theme of the trip, we're rather too late for many of the finer restaurants. So we opt for a Chinese buffet - or so we think. We're greeted with a counter of pizza, pasta, bread and other random foods. It's OK, but a strange mix. And for the second time this trip, we're the only ones eating in this establishment. To make matters worse, a couple come in and then go straight back out again after seeing the food.

After dinner, we head back to the hostel (it's a quiet Sunday night, after all). In the main shopping street we pass a huge Lego store, possibly a museum. We'll be sure to return in the morning to check it out. Meanwhile, we return to our cramped and nondescript hostel room.


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Esbjerg to Copenhagen by bike

Article location

Cathedral

Roskilde Cathedral

Gareth on beach

Lunch on the beach in Roskilde

Paul on beach

Final stretch of coast as we approach Copenhagen

Day four stats

  • Distance: 98 km
  • Time in motion: 5h05m
  • Average speed: 19.1 km/h

Round building

Copenhagen by night