Cycling off the Beaten Path in Denmark

This post has been delayed for the longest time but without further or do, here it is! This past August I took a “trication” to Scandinavia to compete in the KMD Ironman Copenhagen, 4:18:4 and the ITU World Olympic Triathlon Stockholm. A few days after competing in Copenhagen (race report to come soon) I took a day trip to the island of Møn to get off the beaten path and explore the Danish countryside by bike. It is quite a lot for one day but can be done.

Møn is an island south of Copenhagen that can be very easily reached by train and bus in just under 2 hrs. You can take the ICE train south to Vordingborg (a very cute little town) and transfer directly to the 660 bus to Stege outside of the train station. The buses and trains are extremely easy to use. Buses accept cash on board then you board the bus as a method of payment so you dont have to worry about getting a card.

Stege

Stege

Arriving in Møn the bus drops you off in the town of Stege which is the largest town on the island and is a base for all activities on the island. We arrived around 11:30 or so in the morning at Stege which gave us a little bit of time to explore the town. A beautiful little town filled with restaurants, craft shops and art galleries the town also features some stunning Danish architecture as well as one of the only surviving city gates in Denmark. Møn is a place that attracts a lot of artists which is evident by its stunning landscapes. Thus, if you are into the arts, I highly recommend checking out some of the galleries in Stege. Liza’s Gallery, located just off the main strip in Stege (a few blocks from the bus station) is an excellent art gallery to visit which features a nice variety of art from glass works, to textiles to painting from local artists. We spent a good hour in this place as I just wanted to buy everything. I purchased a beautiful painting of Møns Klint, the famous clay cliffs, by Rupert Sutton who is one of the co owners of the gallery .

To rent/hire a bicycle head to Point S Stege a 10 short minute walk down Storegade (the main road) past all the shops. Point S allows you to rent bikes for the day or days if you are staying longer. Opening hours are from Mon-Fri 7:30 to 17:00, Saturday 9:00 to 13:00. The shop also allows you to return the bike after hours which was fantastic for us since we wanted to maximize our day on the island.

Møn in route to Klinthomn Havn

Møn in route to Klinthom Havn

After picking up the bikes at Point S we cycled east along Klintevej stopping at Keldby Kirk for some photos in route to stop at Kaj Kok, a traditional Danish restaurant for lunch. To our disappointment the restaurant was closed. Continuing on, we took a right at Sondre Landevej (across the street from Kaj Kok) toward Klinthom Havn. Klintholm Havn is a small port town that features a beautiful beach for relaxation, a couple restaurants, and an art gallery. The town is also the launching point for boat tours to visit the popular Møns Klint. In route to Klinthom Havn we passed many beautiful traditional style houses and farms. I found myself stopping numerous times to snap photographs. The terrain is a gradual down hill to Klintholm Havn. We became aware of that on the return ride as it felt slightly harder to peddle back. For the most part the terrain here is pretty flat. If you are peddling along at a gradual pace the ride is just under 10 miles (about 15km) and will take you no longer than 45 minutes to get there from Stege. Arriving in Klintholm Havn we had lunch at Hyttefadet which features delicious seafood specials. Special note that the menu is only in Danish. The service I must say was fantastic though. Pressed for time we trying to eat quickly to make our boat tour to go to Møns Klint. The manager of the restaurant was so gracious he called the tour company and held the boat for us. Peddling over to the docks he locked up our bikes at the dock and boarded the boat.

Møns Klint

Møns Klint

Taking a boat tour of Møns Klint is a great way to see the cliffs and learn about its history if you are pressed for time. Sejlkutteren Discovery runs boat tours a couple times a day out of Klintholm Havn. The boat tour is about 2 hrs and costs 175 DKK per person. Beverages can ice cream can be purchased on-board which was a nice treat.

After the boat tour we poked around the gallery in Kintholm Havn which featured numerous paintings and photographs by local artists as well as a large antique collection on the down stairs. Definitely worth the look if you have some time.

The ride back to Stege was a little more challenging than we had anticipated. The gradual climb back to Klintevej combined with the increased cross wind was a little more challenging on the touring bike. Since the terrain is pretty much open farm land on this route it can become very susceptible to higher cross winds. It was nothing crazy just something to consider. We made a pit stop at the Elmelunde Kirk on the return to admire some traditional Danish church architecture and take a glance inside to see the ceiling paintings. Elmelunde is noted to have some of the most beautiful Sistine “chapelesque” paintings inside. We, however, arrived a little too late to take a look inside. The exterior of the church and its grounds are still quite remarkable and worth the stop to gander at.

After reaching Elmelunde the ride back is a flat 4.5 miles back to the bike shop (approximately a 20 minute ride). Arriving back in Stege I was a little surprised that everything for the most part was closed on a week day in August. It was difficult for us to find a place to eat on the return before catching the bus back. I ended up running to the supermarket (which i just made in time as it was closing) to grab some food, or so Mon-Is in my case.

I highly recommend checking out Mon and the clay cliffs if you have a free day in Copenhagen. It is definitely worth the trip to experience the Danish countryside off the beaten track.

Møn by Bicycle (Stege, Kirks and Møns Klint) Itinerary and Route – 1 Day

  • Early or mid morning train from Copenhagen to Vordingborg where you will transfer to bus to Stege. Approximately 2 hrs.
  • Arrive in Stege late morning with an 45 minutes to an hour to walk around the town and visit shops and galleries. Recommended places include; Liza’s Gallery for local Danish fine art, David’s for a morning coffee, shopping along BLANK.
  • Hire a bicycle from Point S – Stege located a 10 minute walk from downtown Stege.
  • Cycle Stege to Klintholm Havn via Keldby Kirk to stop for a photo op: 10 Miles, 45 minutes
  • Lunch in Klintholm Havn at Hyttefadet and check out the Gallery a block down the street before catching a boat for a two hour boat tour of Møn Klint.
  • Cycle Klintholm Havn to Elmelunde Kirk : 6 miles, 30 minutes
  • Cycle from Elmelunde Kirk to Stege: 4.5 Miles, 20 minutes
  • Depending on the day and time you arrive back in Stege have dinner downtown before catching the bus back to Vordingborg.
  • Catch an early evening/late afternoon bus back to Vordingborg to transfer to the train back to Copenhagen. Arrive back in Copenhagen later in the evening.

Trip Duration: 12-13 hrs (from Copenhagen)

Cycling: 21 Miles, 1h 35 min

Stay tuned for my full detailed cycling and travel guide of Møn to come soon complete with maps and more photographs!

Triathlete to Swim, Bike and Run South East Asia and Develop Endurance Travel Guides

This year I have been giving things a lot of thought and I have decided to move forward to pursue my passion with multisport and travel. I am approaching a pivotal point in my life where I will have an opportunity to try something new with my life and pursue my dream of becoming an entrepreneur. This October I will embark on a journey to south east Asia for five months where I will swim, bike and run from Singapore, through Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam and develop endurance travel guides from my experiences.

There are many travel guides out there today which provide copious amounts of fantastic information about countries and places for people who solo travel to people who travel with families. However, as an endurance athlete who loves to travel and spends a lot of time training, I often ask myself when arriving someplace where can I run?, where can I get a swim in?, where can I bike safely and where can I eat on a racing/sports diet? With my experience with travel and being an athlete it would be nice to have a guide when I am traveling to race or on vacation and need to train that can provide me with good area information on training routes, places to swim, cautions to take in a particular area, and healthy places to eat for example. These guide books will strive to answer those questions that we all have when traveling for business, to a race, or to a vacation spot and we want to train. The guides will include but not be limited to detailed route maps for cycling and running, discussion of good places to swim, cautions to take, provide recommendations of places to eat healthy on an athlete diet, and make recommendations of places to base yourself out of depending on your life style.

Thus, to make this dream into a reality I ask for your help with a small donation. Every little bit helps. The money will be used to cover necessities: international air travel, ground transportation between cities, food, lodging in guest houses, hostels or airbnb and visas.

To make a donation click here.

Thanks a lot in advance.

A New Year with New Goals

After exceeding my expectations for last year by not only completing my first full Ironman but completing it in over an hour and a half faster than what my goal, I was eager to begin to plan the 2013 season. Last year was such an incredible year, very long season but incredibly rewarding by accomplishing things I never dreamed I would be able to do. I also got to check off a couple of races I had been dreaming of doing for some time now.

Coming into 2013 I decided I wanted to go for another full (I know crazy right?). I had been thinking about it for quite sometime. Even before racing  Cozumel. One thing I have realized about myself over the years is if you think about it constantly, go for it. It is what you want and your destiny. I did however, want to make the season much shorter than my 2012 season. I had a blast last year don’t get me wrong but racing and training from February to Thanksgiving was a looooong time. I would like some more downtime this year. Thus, I made my plan for my next full.

Last spring I came a cross the KMD Challenge Copenhagen in Denmark when some other fellow DC Triathlon Club members had told me they were competing in that race later that Summer. I immediately became intrigued. Having fallen in love with Ironman and my strong desire to travel I became really interested in this race. Not to mention I have been wanting to go to Denmark for the longest time. Scandinavia has always been a place I have had a strong desire to visit and spend some time. This was my chance! I then decided to cash my Star Alliance Miles for a round trip ticket to Copenhagen to begin my quest for Ironman number two and my ultimate “trication.” Doing to prelim planning I knew I wanted to spend a bit of time in Denmark traveling, however, I was also wanting to go to Sweden and get up to Stockholm. Norway was a must for me but that would have to be a completely separate trip since there are too many thing I want to see and do there. So I planned out 2 weeks (unfortunately thats all I have…sucks) in Denmark and Sweden, ending the trip in Stockholm. I like killing two birds with one stone. Traveling to a beautiful cool new place and getting a race in. It always makes me feel better on indulging after the race as well.

After cashing the miles (60,000 miles) and getting my vacation time cleared I registered. Gulp….Im in! Here we go…number two…. Now it was time to pick some other races. After looking at my finances from last year on how much I spent in triathlon (gear, races, travel) I went a little overboard. This year I decided to scale it back. Maybe this year I will do 3 races and not 6. I stated to look for a good half ironman I could do leading up to KMD Challenge Copenhagen. I chose Rev3 Williamsburg in the end because the timing was great where I was about 7 weeks out and Williamsburg I a great place to make a nice little weekend trip.  The countryside is beautiful down there with lots of historical sights to see and fun activities to take part in like mini golf and Bush Gardens. I also wanted to get an Oly race in early in my season plan as well. I came across ITU San Diego which I thought would be cool. Our tri club got an awesome deal with tri bike transport the previous year if we got a large group of members to compete. They came back at us this year with the same deal. I was intrigued. Then I noticed that ITU Stockholm (which was linked to the San Diego website) was happening the day I was planning to be in Stockholm. Hmmm…. I started to look into it. It was a week after Challenge Copenhagen. Would I be crazy for signing up for this? An Oly a week after an Ironman? I just wanted to do it for the heck of it since I would be there. I asked around to some of our tri club coaches and they said “well your 30….you should be fine”. Done. It was only $125 for ITU Stockholm as opposed to about 250 with all the fees for ITU San Diego. Call me crazy but its the plan. Two weeks, two countries, two races. BAM! Let the training begin!