North to Gilleleje

I wanted a bicycle adventure, so I started looking up different routes. The ‘problem’ with Denmark is that it’s very bike friendly. It’s mostly flat and there are countless stretches of bicycle paths. The possibilities are endless.

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Gilleleje

I heard that the town of Gilleleje on the northern coast is very cute, so I decided that Dave and I should go there. From our house, it’s about 50 km away and we could’ve done that. 50 km is 31 miles. A couple of years ago I would’ve done it in a heartbeat. A couple of years ago 31 miles didn’t seem like a long bike trip, but these days I’m out of shape and out of practice and so I decided we should take a train to Hillerød first and then bike from there.

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Just outside of Hillerød, we came across a trail closure. I wasn’t happy. I was on my green city bike, with very few gears. This bike does not like hills, dirt roads or bumps.

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But what were we to do? Turn around?! Never.

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We got into the forest and continued on the forest roads most of the way to Gilleleje.

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Gribskov is Denmark’s largest old forest and it’s beautiful. It has charm because, besides the trees, meadows, streams, and ponds, we came across ponies!

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And charming old farmhouses.

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The forest is located on the west shores of the large Esrum Lake.

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We came across many beautiful picnic areas along the way, some crowded with people, but many were blissfully empty.

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This forest apparently has the largest wild stock of deer, but we didn’t see any. The most wildlife we saw was this giant anthill.

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When we got to the top of the lake, dark clouds had gathered and it looked like rain.

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We’ve had a hot and dry May. Hard to believe this has actually been only May. Last year the summer felt like fall, with temperatures rarely getting above 20 degrees Celsius (68 F). In May this year, we’ve hardly had any days when the temperatures have been anywhere below that! So, the rain is always welcome. Except for maybe when I’m on a bike in a middle of nowhere in northern Sjælland.

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We took a wrong turn here. Yes, we did get a little bit lost and we did get caught in the rain, but this is not the Pacific Northwest. When it rains, it rains for a little bit and then it’s done.

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At this point, we were getting really hungry too. I assumed there would be places to stop along the way, but the towns we passed through were more like little villages. Some had roadside antiques or hay for sale, but no cafes or 7-Elevens.

(As we biked through the cutie-pie village Esrum and then Villingerød, I knew I would regret it later for not stopping and taking pictures. Next time, I will be equipped with a couple of sandwiches.)

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We finally got to the coast and the town of Dronningmølle and found a restaurant!

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From Dronningmølle we had another 6 km to go. We had a choice of either biking on the side of the road or taking a dirt trail. I opted for the dirt trail (a decision I later regretted a little).

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The closer we got to the town, the narrower the path seemed to get. It would’ve been claustrophobic enough with just my bike, but there were other people biking and people walking and people with strollers and one guy actually jumped out of a sauna and onto the path. I still am so very thankful I didn’t end up colliding with him.

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But… we made it! We got to Gilleleje and met up with our neighbors, Karin and Karsten. We could’ve have biked back home from here, but opted to take the train back instead.

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  • This Ride: 31.5 km (20 miles)
  • Elevation Gain: 185 m (607 ft)
  • YTD Biking Km: 68.3 km (42 miles)

 

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