Cycle Tour Aarhus
Dag/day 3: Aarhus-Vejle
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Added on 21 Sep 2020
on 26 Sep 2020
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by Ottocolor on 21 Sep 2020
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Aarhus, Central Denmark Region, DK (36 m NHN)
Vejle, Region of Southern Denmark, DK (32 m NHN)
20 Sep 2020
Almost quiet and overcast, around 13 to 15°C. Only two hours before dusk the sun broke through.
Slope Gradient Distribution
As Alexander had his own plans for this Sunday and as his first deadline had to show up for work as soon as possible, I chose to cycle a good bit of the way home to Odense. The weather was the same quiet and hazy weather, but they promised a beautiful brightening already in the morning, so I was looking forward to hitting the asphalt. But not before a hearty breakfast in Alexander's living room that looked neat and tidy again after our little party yesterday.
I steered the bike out of Aarhus after waiting a very long time for a green light at Marselis boulevard. Traffic wasn't even heavy on such a Sunday at half-past eleven in the morning. I felt strangely feeble as I rolled past Tivoli Friheden and Ceres Park & Arena, as Aarhus Stadium is nowadays called. But the people of Århus were also somewhat sluggish, because it was pretty empty everywhere. Along Jyllands Allé and Chr. X's Vej I now trod upwards out of the city along the Aarhus-Hovedgaard-Horsens country road. I felt the cycling spirit inside me being awakened to life. It is indeed a very convenient and safe route for cyclists, because where the bike lane along the road ends in Tranbjerg, the route continues on first an independent bike path ("in its own route", as it is called with a cyclist's term) and then on the old country road, which has been downgraded since the new bypass around the southern Aarhus suburbs was built. You cycle through Tingskoven, past Tiset church and through Solbjerg, where I saw a large group of racing cyclists in uniformed cycling suits deliberating outside a pub next to a petrol station. I felt an urge to shout at them across the road, "Well, I hope you have refuelled properly." Several of them had good paunches in their cycling jerseys. But I cut it out. I would need my breath a little later when the hill out of Solbjerg had to be negotiated. And my own paunch isn't invisible either. However, I try to keep cycling and beer drinking separate before at least only 10-15 km are missing. It's as if beer signals to my body that it may well relax and it reacts reluctantly to hills and the like. And I definitely needed a good body today, because East Jutland is like life itself: It goes up, and it goes down. At Hvilsted ("resting place") I found that the name fit so well that I followed the advice and held a short rest. At the church where I drank a lot of water. The sun did not peep through. It was still cloudy, hazy and completely quiet with a comfortable biking temperature of approx. 13° C.
As many as two asphalt roads lead from Hvilsted to Torrild. Just two small East Jutland villages are so lavishly connected, so they must be power centres, right? I mention it only because some politicians who love long and expensive bridges and tunnels always use the argument that two cities connected by an asphalt road (instead of an existing ferry) necessarily become power centers. Hvilsted and Torrild are thus proof that they are not right. Those villages have been double connected by roads for centuries, but are they power centres? No!
Instead of a power center, I saw a bunch of runner ducks on the roadside, which, quite correctly according to their name, came running in my direction. They have their long necks raised vertically up in the air as they buckle off on their relatively long legs. Where common ducks more waddle away. I have read that this domestic duck species is bred by mallards in India. In English it is also called Indian runner duck. In Russian (translated) Indian Runner. They were not afraid of being run over by my bicycle wheel, but the traffic on the roads between Hvilsted and Torrild is not at alle bad either. You drive down into something of a hole, where you leave Aarhus municipality by a stream, and then up again on the other side.
After Torrild, the only bad stretch of my bike route follows. First there is the road to Assendrup, which many cars, including the heavy ones, take as a shortcut from Horsens to Odder and on to Hou and the ferry to Samsoe. And then there is a short stretch on the Hovedgaard-Horsens road without a cycle lane. But on such a early Sunday afternoon, there was now no cow on the ice. And no cyclist into the hospital. In the neighboring village of Vedslet, I was again out on the small calm and hilly minor roads that I love.
The goal was now once again Husodde near Horsens. This time I would definitely have a swim, because I was sweating like a horse in the humid and clammy air despite the moderate temperatures. Via Gangsted I reached the top of the day in approx. 110 meters altitude just after Aaes. Now it was easy the rest of the way to Husodden. First at full speed down to Halsted and then, with a bit of orientational difficulty, as I had not drawn the day's route on my Garmin GPS, out on the nature trail all the way down to Horsens fjord. Here quite a few people were out enjoying a quiet Sunday in nature. I also slowed down significantly. Also because a violent hunger had struck me. The bike computer also told me that I had cycled 45 km on Alexander's breakfast plus a muesli bar on the way, so it wasn't strange. Still, I enjoyed the beautiful ride through the forest in between with a view of the smal islet of Vorsoe, where there had once been a mighty cormorant colony. But now I did not see any of the black eel crows or of their nesting trees over there. They are easy to recognize because they always die because of the corrosive excrement of the birds. At Husodden a merry life went on, so I duly put on swimming trunks. The swing set was full of children. And down on the jetty they fished crabs. But there was only one more who bathed. A woman who found that the water had turned quite cold. I could not agree with her. But I'm also a winter swimmer, so don't mind.
After the bath, my hunger became unbearable, and I found a couple of old and rock-hard cinnamon cookies out of the handlebar bag, in order not to fall off the bike during the five kilometers into the center of Horsens, where I wanted to find a grill bar to have lunch in. And both plans went nicely, the latter in the grill bar with the outrageous name "Havnen" ("The harbour"). But the huge portion of kebab mix with homemade chive-sour cream dressing which the smiling young girl served to me outside certainly was satisfying. At the table I could eat freely, but inside the grill bar, a large sign in front of the door stated that there was only access wearing a face mask. Again I was happy to be equipped with one. I think I would have become very surly if she had refused to serve food to me for that reason. But be happy, because another guest kindly got one handed out for free, when he, standing in the doorway, nicely asked for permission to be served. That way, the forced use of a face mask is not so bad. People will probably get used to it. For the corona threat does not seem to evaporate any soon. Personally, I think we must live with this new virus forever. For the vaccine we were all desperately waiting for at the time of writing will probably not be effective for more than a few months or maybe half a year. By then this fucking virus will probably have mutated into other forms as it loses its infectious effect. This is how it is with the flu virus. The vaccine always works only for a maximum of one winter. And herd immunity is obviously no weapon against this virus either. Antibodies to the infection do not necessarily form, and it's heard that COVID-19 has struck the same person twice. What a pretty kettle of fish humanity sits in, but life goes on. Until they turn off the ventilator, one may add. Well, for now, I'm breathing pretty well myself.
The delicious meal at "Havnen" at the harbour gave me new strength, but before the fuel reached my legs, my going was heavy and slow on the busy cycle path along Høegh Guldbergs Gade. A busy woman on a pedelec apparently got annoyed after she overtook me three times. But every time she had to stop for a red light, I slipped past her as I still had some speed in the bike when it switched to green. And I teased her a little by taking just two inches too much room. And then I got right back, when she, very slowly, turned right, right in front of me. Do we cyclists not have a great time in traffic?
Shortly after, I myself turned off from the busy, also on the roadway, street, and was incredibly suddenly out in nature. This was the Boller trail, which is paved with really good gravel, almost a kind of sticky sand. And then the first three km of it is designed as a planetary path, ie a model of our solar system, approx. 1.5 billion times smaller than in reality. It's by no means unique, but I always find it funny that the Sun and the inner planets until Mars follow almost on top of each other and the latter are so small in relation to the Sun of maybe one meter in diameter that they can not be detected from the bicycle saddle in the copper plates they are mounted in on large stones. Afterwards there is almost half a kilometer between Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Which are also no bigger than a grapefruit, a ringed orange and two apples. While treading your bike outbound, you have the fjord on the left hand side, while first there are detached houses on the right and later, in outer space, so to speak, nature with wetlands and forest reigns. After Neptune, which, one is told, is a gas planet like all four outer planets opposite the four inner rocky ones, my rocket took a break. Incredibly oxygen-poor, dark and cold out there!
No, I just strolled out on Boller headland, where I chatted a bit with a father who had been on a fishing trip with his son and was now packing up. They had not had a bite, but a nice Sunday together. And that's not bad at all. But neither is fish, according to an old Danish TV commercial starring Niels Olsen and Kirsten Lehfeldt.
I was staring out over the fjord for a while when I saw a red rose lying on a stone at the water's edge. Out in the water floated at least ten others. At first I wanted to go down to take the one on the stone, but then it dawned on me that someone must have put the whole bouquet there, and then a wave after a boat on the fjord had washed the others onto the water surface. I wondered what the reason for laying the roses might have been, and thought it might be to commemorate a victim (or several?) of an accident, perhaps a drowning accident, on the spot. With the matter unresolved, I trudged back to my iron horse.
Already during the rest in Hvilsted I had decided to cycle to Vejle and take a train home there. To my wife I had said I would be home at six, but I now realized that my schedule would bust. I wanted to follow the Bjerrelide route, cycle route 53, down to Daugaard and then along known roads via Bredballe into Vejle. It is signposted, so I should be able to do it even without GPS help.
First I rounded Boller castle, a beautiful old manor from the 16th century, which for a long time was a nursing home. Back then there was a nature camp site opposite of it, but now the manor is made into private apartments, and many signs tell you to stay away from private area. Probably needed when the locals have been used to strolling around in the beautiful surroundings. I was now on my way out on Bjerre Herred, as the peninsula between the fjords of Horsens and Vejle is called. The north bank rises quite steeply towards the distinctive esker of Bjerrelide, where a group of trees on the highest peak of Purhoej (121 m) is recognizable. I wanted to slog all the way up there, but my home called out for me. The view was nothing special today either, but soon after the sun peeped through the haze anyway. Unfortunately I missed my way a couple of times on the way to Daugaard. I must admit, I've become used to the fucking GPS (my little brother would say) telling me where to go. When I have not drawn any route as now, I am quite helpless. One trick is that it tells the true direction you are cycling in. And then you have to react if it does not fit. And I should have done that at Roede Moelle, when I suddenly rode to the southeast for several kilometers. South was fine, but east would only bring me farer away from Vejle. So I ended up down in Oerum and had to slog my way up to Daugaard again, where I refueled my water bottle at the church. The sweat hailed from me in the sun, and now I really just wanted to arrive at Vejle station soon to take the train home. And after the descent from Assendrup down to Tirsbaek, up to Bredballe again, steeply down to Vejle fjord and along this into the city, I could finally don a face mask and enter a train towards CPH Airport, also called Copenhagen Airport. Fortunately, I did not have to go that far, and at 6.50 the intercity train spat me out on the platform in Odense.
Shortly after, I was home for a nice dinner in homely surroundings after a wonderful cycling weekend in the most beautiful late summer weather.