Sunday 22 July 2018

Denmark Biking Route Day 5: Odense to Fredericia

Click here for route map
Length 111 km (69 miles), terrain: light hills, gain 433 meters

Hey folks, it's #SummerFun time! This week, as a vacation from the normal blogging routine, each day we'll publish a short biking route in Denmark. Maybe it will inspire a few people to try something a bit different from their usual workouts!

On this fifth day of the bike ride through the Danish South Seas, I headed north from Odense to the long spit of land at the opening of Odense Fjord, at the northern tip of Fyn island. I then headed west to Bogense, on Fyn's west coast, then further through Middelfart (that's the real name) to the fortress town of Fredericia on the mainland.

It turned out to be the longest day of the trip, 111 kilometers, a day that seemingly wouldn't end. But it had some great contrasts, and I was glad I took the long way west instead of heading directly to Middelfart. I had expected to route to cover just 80 kilometers, but my Naviki app was showing me the distance in miles, so it ended up being more like 120 kilometers that day! I should have used my reading glasses when setting up the app ;-)
Along Odense Fjord
Leaving Odense, you have to follow regional Bike Route 32 directly along the Odense Fjord's western shore. There is a lot of industry in their harbor, but after you leave that behind you, you're biking towards the distant horizons of the widening bay.
Nimbus motorcycles on a tour
At a little harbor along the fjord, a bunch of motorcycles came in, making a lot of noise. At first, I decided to leave to get away from it, but then I noticed that the cycles were all classics. It turns out they were all Nimbus bikes, the only motorcycle brand ever built in Denmark. They had in-line four-cylinder motors, useful when pushing those sidecars that almost all of them had.
Beach houses along Hasmark Strand
Route 32 takes you right to Hasmark Strand, a Danish beach town full of nice Baltic-view bungalows. 
I missed a turn and ended up on this dirt road to nowhere. But it eventually came to a road and I found the way to Hasmark!
At the beach road, turn east and follow the beach trail out to the point of land out at the fjord entrance, Enebærode. 
Enebærode cow beach
This is a beautiful spot, with water to both sides, cows bathing in the Baltic waves, heather and pine woods, then the lighthouse out at the point. It's a great spot for a nice break and a swim. I ended up spending a lot more time there than I had planned, but it was worth it.
The Enebærode lighthouse
Once you head back west along the trail to Hasmark, you get on Regional Bike Route 31, taking you to the market town of Bogense. This route stays inland for the whole way.
Gyldensteen castle
Just before getting to Bogense, you pass a moated renaissance palace, Gyldensteen. Bogense is still a further pleasant, scenic Danish island town, with a nicely restored old-town and harbor. Another good spot for a break: you'll need it on this long day's ride.
Alleyway along a stream in Bogense
You now follow Regional Route 30 westwards from Bogense. This one goes by some nice beaches, so plan for some swimming to cool off. I think you'll enjoy the constant changes from beach to inland along this section.
The bike route went right through this manor farm
When you get to Vejlby Fed, a beach area lined with campgrounds, you'll probably want to switch to the National Bike Route 6, which takes you straight to Middelfart rather than following the coast in a wide bend on Regional Route 30. They just repaved the bike route 6 here, and it's beautiful, like a separate road through the fields and woods, just for bikes.
The new Lillebaelt bridge. The bike bridge is in the background
Middelfart is on the Lillebaelt, the strait between Fyn and the mainland of the Jutland peninsula. The bike trail comes to the water right at the giant modern suspension bridge for the freeway over the strait. But bikes can't use that bridge, so you have to circle the bay to the west to cross on the older railway/car/bike bridge, Den Gamle Lillebaeltsbro ("the old Lillebaelt bridge").
Taking a break in Middelfart on this long, hot day
So you have to bike through Middelfart, which is nice enough, and there are some nice restaurant/pubs along the water to have still another break.
The old bridge. Bridge-climbers were walking above!
Now you just ride up to the bridge, still following National Bike Route 6, and head on into Fredericia. Fredericia is an old fortress town, built to defend Jutland from the Swedes, with a thick dirt wall and moat surrounding the town, and cannons still guarding the gates. Take a look around, it's a pretty interesting place!
Because all the rooms in town were booked, I ended up staying at a motel south of town, the Medio Hotel, near the bridge. When I arrived at 7 p.m. (it had been a long day!), a lot of working men were settling in for the evening after a hot day of working in the sun. The Medio was a down-to-earth place with very helpful owners, who invited me to lock my bike in an unused conference room. They served a tasty dinner to late-arriving guests like me: I definitely didn't want to go hunting for a place to eat, so I was glad to take part. All in all, a great way to end this very long day.

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