Denmark to England by bike in January
When Denmark is mentioned some people first think of Vikings, butter, bacon and mid century wooden furniture. Not us though, we think of super cool bicycles and world leading craft beer.
Back in the summer when it was warm we decided to order modern cargo bicycles with electric assist motors to help us ship our orders to the Post Office. You still have to pedal the same as with an ordinary bike, the electric bit acts like a hand of god, giving a bit of help to get the loaded bike off the line or up a hill, and will keep helping as long as you keep pedalling up to about 13mph. After that you’re on your own. They’re stupidly good fun to ride and you can carry shit loads of stuff without sacrificing stability. 100kg of cargo can be carried, but these bikes are tough as hell and can probably cope with more, the limit being the wheels and tyres. When we had a demo bike it carried lots of orders as well as passengers, dogs, beer and even other bikes.
We come from a background of high end bicycles, brant designing them and Ed teaching people how to stop falling off them. In our new lives as menswear brand owners we have developed a love for more utilitarian bikes. We’ve been riding around on a pair of old cargo bikes: joy riding, commuting and carrying orders to the Post Office. The cargo bike is an oddball thing, it’s heavier than an ordinary bike, but even though it might take a bit longer to get there, the journey is really fun and there’s the added bonus that you can carry loads of stuff if you need to. With a decent pair of legs and a love of doing daft stuff you can often use one of these bikes instead of a car. You can do the weekly shop no problem, or carry all you need to fit a new boiler if that’s your thing. Tyres are big enough to allow you to ride on most surfaces rather than just smooth tarmac. Gravel tracks, along the canal or even a bit of singletrack walking path are all fair game and mean that you can choose traffic free routes much of the time. Riding position is upright and comfortable so you can have a good look around as you travel. It’s an adventure machine, all you need is a bit of imagination. A great side effect of bike riding is that it makes you strong as an ox and you’re not polluting the air and causing traffic jams.
The Bullitt bikes that we have ordered, come from a Danish company and are considered by many, including bicycle messengers around the globe, to be the best load carriers in the world. Now that it’s dark and cold and very much the winter, the bikes that we ordered in the summer are ready for us.
brant has to stay at home to look after his kids and keep the business ticking over, so his bike will be delivered to the UK in the conventional manner. Ed is going to go to Copenhagen to collect his bike in person and then ride it home. Making good use of the cargo capacity, he will carry some HebTroCo jackets, trousers, belts and boots and run a few pop up events in bars on the way back to Yorkshire. Events will be in Copenhagen, Berlin, Rotterdam and finally Shipley. Avoiding the autobahn he will be following cycle paths and quiet roads. We’ve hooked up with Mikkeller, one of the world’s most exciting breweries and Ed will be carrying four rare bottles of their highly desirable beer on his journey. He won’t drink these beers. No he won’t. At each pop event one bottle of beer and an individual HebTroCo item (jacket, pair of trousers, belt and pair of boots) will be auctioned off for charity. We’re going to give all the money raised in a 50/50 split to Danish charity Hjernebarnet, founded by parents of children with brain injuries and British charity Candlelighters who help children with cancer. Both charities are grass roots organisations who emphasise real world help for families as well as the children.
How far is the journey? About 1000 miles.
Will it not be really cold and dark? Yes.
How long will it take? About two weeks.
Will he make it? We’ll see. He said he’s going to do it, so he’s got to now, otherwise he’ll look like a nob.