The Hansen's Cykelløb - Ice Cream, Gravel and Good Friends

Good friends, great ice cream and gravel adventures. The Hansen's Cykelløb was a unique and special Danish experience, with the fantastic team from GripGrab.

Riding your bike should be fun, revitalising and memorable . It should bring excitement, adventure and reward, in equal measure. A gravel ride in the Danish countryside; with ice cream, fresh coffee and great company, sounded like the perfect warm-up ride before my #7Countries7Passes tour.

A Danish celebration

Hansen's are one of Denmark's most famous ice cream producers; creating beautiful fresh dairy ice cream, from the local herds of cattle that graze on the country's fertile grasslands.

The Cykelløb highlights Hansen's love of the Danish countryside, and of their prized ice-cream. 130 kilometres of gravel tracks; taking you through the green pastures just north of Copenhagen. With fuel stops featuring fresh 'Hansen's Ice', coffee, Danish sandwiches, and plenty of friendly conversation.

This isn't so much a race... more an end of summer celebration, of many great Danish virtues. My kind of event.

Good friends = A great team

The team from GripGrab have become special friends over the past six years that I have known them. I was the UK's first 'GripGrab Local Hero', and it has always been a pleasure to champion their products, and the brand's genuine passion for the sport.

I travelled to Denmark to join the GripGrab crew, along with another great friend - fellow Isle of Wight rider, Jack Elton-Walters. We both grew up in the same town, and now both work in the world of cycling media.

Our 'Band of Brothers' was the perfect group for a fun and fast day in the saddle.

The 'Race'

Rolling out from the HQ at Hansen's dairy parlour, there was a fun and chatty atmosphere in the peloton.

We headed north, escorted by the company's shining milk tanker.

Unfortunately, the relaxed atmosphere and big bunch on these early roads led to a crash at about kilometres five. I came off unharmed physically, but the bike suffered a bit of a hit, which reduced me to just three usable gears for the rest of the race.

Strength training for the mountains, I guess...

After the small hiccup, we pedalled on. A fast GripGrab mini-peloton, chasing down the main group.

Before long the tarmac led us to gravel, and then into the secluded and sunlit forest.

We soon approached the first 'feed station'; and were treated to a Hansen's nougat choc-ice, and fresh fruit.

Fuel for the ride... which suddenly became a lot more vertical... with an uphill timed hill sprint!

After heart rates had fallen back to a reasonable level, we pedalled on through the beautiful green forests and open farmland of the Danish countryside. Alongside deserted railway tracks, and quiet villages.

The lunchtime feed stop arrived just in time to kick away a looming blood sugar slump. Fresh sandwiches, coffee, and the biggest and most delicious ice cream I have ever had. I opted for the 'Rocky Road' - it seemed appropriate.

Sugar levels elevated, we raced through the final third of the course. Smiles and laughter a-plenty.

On arrival back at the Hansen's HQ, we enjoyed milkshakes, fresh beef salad, and beers.

Stories and plans for future gravel adventures were shared.

Then, we headed back to Copenhagen for a celebratory meal with the team. A great day in the saddle with the GripGrab crew.


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