Currently in Chiang Mai, Thailand (06/12/2013) - 31200km cycled

24 Mar 2012

The road from Amsterdam to Copenhagen

Posted by Will

Yesterday, I cycled my bike into Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. Amsterdam is now 900 kilometers and 7 days behind me. This post aims to fill you in on what I’ve been up to for the last week and give you a sense of my daily ‘routine’. Where have I been staying? What have I been eating? How have I kept myself clean? All will be revealed in the following paragraphs.

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The trees of the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark have had the pleasure of hosting me for the past week. I have camped wild every night. It works like this: keep riding until darkness begins to set in (about 6-7pm at the moment) and then try to find a flat spot invisible to other road-users and potentially angry land-owners. Most of the time I do manage to pitch my tent in a suitable spot although a couple of nights ago saw me set-up in the dark, unaware of my surroundings, only to wake up the next day to find I was fully visible to the road. Setting up camp takes about 30-40 minutes depending on how cold it is (faster when it’s colder because I don’t faff about). The tent is pretty much always wet (and pretty grim to be honest) when I first put it up because of the dew from the morning before. Packing everything away in the morning takes between 45-60 minutes, again depending on the temperature.

Getting on the road in the morning is the best part of the day so long as the weather is nice, which so far it has been. I usually cycle to the nearest town where I buy my day’s food. This consists of the following: 2-3 baguette’s worth of bread, two packets of cheese/ham, 2-3 bars of 100g chocolate, 0.5-1L of milk, a packet of biscuits and a ‘special’ item which attempts to give my diet some variation. Yesterday, I drank a litre of banana yoghurt in one go and subsequently felt ill on the bike for the next couple of hours. Not very clever. Carbs from the bread, biscuits and chocolate. Protein from the milk, cheese and ham. Fat from the milk, cheese and chocolate. At least that is the plan – the long-term will show whether this diet is sufficient.

After eating, I get down to putting the kilometers away. Great weather and a constant breeze in the right direction has really helped keep me on the bike for long periods. It’s fun to see the countryside whizzing past you while putting in relatively low effort. I stop several times during the day to rest, to talk to anyone who shows an interest in me, to take pictures, to snack, or to fill up my water bottles in McDonalds. Normally, I find my mood dip as the afternoon wears on and I prepare to get into the squalid-looking (and smelling) tent.

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My main problem for the last week has been the state of my hygeine. As you might imagine, a long-distance cyclist is unlikely to ever be fully squeaky clean. However, I am ashamed to announce that I did not properly wash one time between Amsterdam and Copenhagen. On the 4th night I bathed with single wet-wipe and made a similar performance on the 6th night. Unfortunately, showers do not exist in the woods and the closest you can get is to tip freezing cold water over your head in an already chilly environment. I’m afraid I’m not brave enough for that yet and so I put up with being a little bit sweaty all the time. Enough detail I think, but suffice to say no medical issues or socially awkward moments have arisen and right now I am fully washed courtesy of the Copenhagen Downtown Hostel.

To sum up, I’ve had a fantastic week of travelling. All kinds of people have stopped to talk to me, I’ve basked in some glorious sunshine (even a little bit red with the sun at the moment), I’ve visited 3 different countries, I’ve spoken 3 different languages, I’ve roamed 2 beautiful capital cities and I’ve eaten a vast quantity of chocolate. Morale in camp is high!

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One Comment already on “The road from Amsterdam to Copenhagen”
  1. 7:53 pmpermalink
    24 Mar 2012

    Emma&Mike

    My goodness,I Think you are doing better than us in mileage ,as for hygeine,I also had a one wet wipe wash tonight! we are sitting in the desert in Morocco and it’s bloody
    freezing,but mighty hot by day.
    Wi-Fi (wee fee here) pretty tricky here, but we are relying on blogs for all correspondence
    hence lack of contact.
    pedal on….love from us
    ps we dont have damp but plenty of dust !