A Ride West.: Hirtshals to Rubjerg and Back. - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

July 15, 2013

A Ride West.: Hirtshals to Rubjerg and Back.

I was up shortly after half five. Had a slow breakfast, then sat down to write at ten to seven. Back at the library by nine with a page ready to save. I forgot to ask the librarian for the coffee the machine didn't give me yesterday. Wrote another page and edited it complete within an hour, which is a record for me. Now the journal's up to date, I want in the afternoon to go and see this sand dune and lighthouse the Germans were on about.

Returning from the library, my usual routine, well since I arrived on Friday, is to call at the Aldi supermarket where normally I spent in the region of ninety to a hundred crowns. Today I bought a little too much food, as it's hard shopping for one when everything is packaged in family sized volumes. And because I'd so much food, back at the campsite I cooked a really big lunch. I fried two red onions together with a courgette. Then added half a can of sweet corn and three slices tomatoes; and, la piece de la resistance, finely chopped ginger, the only spice in the shop. Then put the lid on and left it steaming for ten minutes.

After eating, I when into my tent and lay down to read, but soon put the book aside and closed my eyes. I didn't sleep, I just lay listening to the waves of the shore nearby.

I set off cycling at four o'clock. It was a windy grey afternoon. I took a rain-jacket in case, which I was nearly going to wear as it felt cold in the brisk westerly I struggled off into. But the tough headwind only lasted for the first four kilometres when Is on the cycle-path along the open and exposed main road. Thereafter, the blue "Cycle Route 1" sign sent me along well sheltered trails through woodland and meandering country roads. This was the riding I'd missed when I took a short-cut in order to get to Hirtshals in time. I was making up for it today in terms of enjoyment. Unloaded, I whizzed along rapidly on the straight bits and let the Dawes steer it's way around the tricky bends. The Dawes was getting nicely covered with dust.

It was quiet a long way and Is wondering how much further it was. I was then passing a rest-place where I saw two cyclists, so I turned in thinking they may know. They were a couple with a nice Koga mountain-bike-tandem with a Bob-Trailer, the yellow flag of which had been replaced by a Dutch flag. The man had a good map in booklet form and showed me the location of Rubjerg, the sand dune, saying it was seven kilometres more. "You must walk the last bit" he said running his finger along a swigly line from the road. "You could ride" I joked, which appealed to his Dutch humour because he laughed.

The remainder of the way was along coastal sand dunes and passed through the village of Lonstrup. Then, a kilometre further I arrived at the car park, where I locked the bike and headed off in the trail into a sand storm, the wind having blown up the sand of the dune ahead of me which rained down. Close up, Is lurching forward in a brown blizzard and I only got as far as the beginning of the ridge when so much sand was getting in my eyes, I'd to turn back.

It was faster riding back to Hirtshals as the trail was familiar now. The clouds were fast clearing and the sun casted long shadows across the path. As I write this evening just after sunset, I look out at a wonderful sky of orange rags against a marine sky.

An example of todays trail.
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This cow wanted to be my friend.
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The way in.
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It was difficult to see the signs sometimes.
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You can see why goats are such appealing animals.
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The way home.
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Today's ride: 54 km (34 miles)
Total: 2,588 km (1,607 miles)

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