Day 12

The day's route (43 miles):

And the completed ride (572 miles):

We'd both checked the weather forecast, and it was dry and sunny today, wet tomorrow. Plan A, then: complete the ride to Esbjerg today. Finding a sensibly-priced place to stay there was fairly challenging, but we didn't do too badly in the end.

Speaking of hotels, I checked the name outside the one we were leaving just to see whether it was labelled as a prison or army camp, but it did claim to be a hotel.

The sky was the correct blue colour, while the wind was operating rather incorrectly.

The initial piece of route-finding off the island wasn't too tricky as there was exactly one road where we were.

Which we followed to the causeway that led back to the mainland. Unfortunately, we hadn't manage to cure ourselves of our rather inconvenient habit of cycling causeways into the wind.

The cycle paths, although just at the side of the road, were wide, and drivers gave us plenty of room when overtaking.

We'd tried Bikeroutetoaster again, but this time the path it wanted to take us on didn't exist in Basecamp. I copied it to the GPS as a track, which would at least show visually where it went, and then set a Basecamp route, but with auto-calculation off so that too would merely act as a visual guide. We would use the two as seemed best.

At the far side of the causeway, the Bikeroutetoaster track took a familiar-looking turn. We ignored it.

We ended up on a road between the track and the Basecamp route, which was very pleasant.

As it was a rather rural route, we decided to take tea-stops wherever we found them. The first was a rather ordinary-looking bar.

With a somewhat less ordinary ceiling ornament.

I'd asked if they did cake, and was told yes. I asked which ones and was told by the woman who ran the place "My cakes." I decided to leave it to her, and we weren't disappointed.

(The Distance to destination field here doesn't mean too much, by the way, as it was for a route we weren't following.)

Rather surprisingly, considering the made-up nature of the route we were taking, we turned out to be on the official route.

The usual mix followed of decent cycle paths, minor roads, small villages ... and that damned headwind!

Eventually, we reached Ribe, the only significant town en-route before Esbjerg. This was very pretty.

But also very cobbled.

I then had a mechanical snag. I was trying to cycle past an ice-cream bar when, without warning, the trike swerved to the side of the road and both brakes jammed on.

My mechanical skills are limited, so I figured the best plan was to sit there for a while and hope it resolved itself.

That's just the GPS. Nothing to see here, move along.

I'd always thought the blue colouring of what London laughingly calls Cycle Superhighways was from the Barclays sponsorship, but perhaps not: the exact same shade was used here to mark bike paths where they crossed junctions (where cyclists have priority, naturally).

We were seeing regular signs to Esbjerg.

Eric spotted a curious little layby at the edge of the cycle path, which turned out to be an air-compressor for tyres and a water supply for refilling bottles. How civilised is that?

The compressor had to be tested, though as it lacked a gauge we weren't sure whether we added air or removed some.

There was some pretty mountainous terrain along the way.

But we persisted.

We did manage to lose a cycle path at one point, which is admittedly a trifle careless, and had to take a short detour to return to the road.

And then we started hitting the outskirts of Esbjerg.

We'll be heading that way, then.

And there it was:

A marching band might have been nice. A 21-gun salute. Some fireworks. Something like that. But a sign would have to do.

A little more wiggling through back-streets, and we reached our hotel where we had the luxury of two nights: when everything is packed tightly into cycle bags, you pretty much have to fully unpack every night and then fully repack every morning. Having a day off from that was appreciated.

And that was the ride.

We'd planned to round off the day with a little cycle ride a few miles outside the town to see Man Meets the Sea, but after an Argentinian steak the size of the country and a bottle of wine, we decided to postpone the visit to the following night. So technically these photos are day 13, but who's counting?

The sunset was kind of ok.

And that was the end of the trip. No speed records were broken. The Tour de France people aren't going to be calling. But we had cycled from Holland to Denmark, and pretty much all of it had been fun.