Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Let the good times roll

Sunday 27th of July 2008

I had 3 weeks off work and I intended on using most of that time on two wheels! My girlfriend was working her ass off all summer so I was on my own – just me and my newly washed black Kawasaki VN900 Classic.

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I had planned my trip for weeks. I was going to ride to Hamburg in Germany, Amsterdam in Holland and finish off with Brügge in Belgium. I figured the trip would take about 2 weeks. I didn’t plan the route in detail and I wasn’t sure which way to take home – I figured I’d find out while on the road. I guess I like it that way; I don’t like planning every detail of my trips, that sort of takes the fun out of being free and on the road. If I was to meet someone who said that I absolutely had to go to Düsseldorf  or someplace else I’d be free to do so and being on my own meant that I didn’t have to consider other peoples opinions – perfect!

I started my trip in my home town Kristiansand in Norway. My girlfriend had arranged free ferry tickets to Hirtshals in Denmark. The ferry left at 8pm and arrived in Denmark at 11.15pm. I topped up my tank to the maximum limit and headed for Århus. The speed limit is mostly 110km/h and the roads are good. For those of you who don’t know, Denmark is extremely flat so the roads can be built very straight. It’s not a very fun ride, but the weather was nice and I was very excited to finally be on my way on my first international trip with my motorcycle.

I had a quick stop in Aalborg to log on to some random people’s unsecured wireless network… so that I could find myself a place to pitch my tent… I also had a quick stop in Århus to… well for no reason really, just because I could! Oh and I could plot in my camping site on my new Garmin Zumo 500 Deluxe GPS. The GPS, by the way, was the perfect companion on this trip. I never had to buy a road map or anything like that, I could rely completely on the GPS alone!

I guess most people ride through Denmark in one day as it’s a fairly small country and not awfully exciting. I could have had my first stop in Hamburg but I started to get tired so I stopped closed to the border of Germany. The camping site was called Lærkelunden Camping. I parked my bike, pitched my brand new tent (took a while to figure it out…) and went hunting for food late at night. I ended up finding a pizza restaurant that had opened on that very night! A brand new pizza shop, if I remember correctly I think the owner was from Turkey. He was super friendly and the pizza was awesome!

In Denmark they were promoting lead free 95 octane petrol with 5% bio-ethanol. The sticker explains that there’s no real difference, that it won’t harm your engine and that it’s environmentally friendly. 

lærkelundencamping lærkelundencamping2 
Lærkelunden Camping in Denmark (left), What my bike looked like when fully packed (right)

Rinkenæs Church (Rinkenæs Korskirke) in Gråsten

Here’s what I brought with me on my trip (at least what I can still remember):

  • Ultra compact 2-person tent
  • Tiny sleeping bag
  • Compact inflatable camping mattress
  • A knife (which turned out to be very useful a few days later…)
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, some soap and other necessities
  • A compact emergency kit (band aids, pressure bands, anti-burn gel etc.)
  • DSLR camera (Canon EOS450D 12,2mp) with a standard 18-55mm lens
  • Compact camera – Casio Exilim 5 megapixels
  • My good old lightweight laptop (Dell Latitude X1) with an extra battery
  • Garmin Zumo 500 Deluxe GPS crammed with maps of most of Europe.
  • Pen and paper (a must)
  • My mobile phone
  • T-shirts, underwear, socks, a jumper and jeans
  • And of course standard riding gear (helmet, jacket, boots, gloves)

What I SHOULD have brought but didn’t…:

  • Water proof riding pants!
  • A pair of extra gloves for colder weather
  • A pair of comfortable sneakers
  • A bunch of those vicer protectors that you can stick on and peel off after the vicer had been bombarded with Danish bugs from hell.
  • Mosquito repellant!
  • Sandals
  • A better backpack (the one I brought sucked…)
  • A lock for the tent
  • A mobile phone charger that uses AA-batteries

Make sure you bookmark www.BikerThomas.com so that you can come back and read about the rest of the trip. Day 2 of the trip will be out real soon!


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