All posts by Michael Hammel

The Western Fortifications of Copenhagen

In the aftermath of the defeat to the Prussian army in 1864, and loss of a huge chunk of the southern part of Jutland, danish politicians decided to build the third fortifications of the Capital to be able to at least save the government, royals, and culture if aggressors again should succeed in overrunning the Danish military.

Today the fortififications provide the backdrop for a recreational ride around Copenhagen. Continue reading The Western Fortifications of Copenhagen


Traveling on bike means you are exposed to all kinds of weather. Usually, weather-worries tend to focus on the possibility of wet conditions, making waterproof bags and panniers the cyclists’ “wet dream”. Waterproof panniers made from PVC/PU-lined fabric with welded seams by german Ortlieb have long been the prefered kit for bike world travelers and rain-or-shine commuters.

The hole in the pannier
The hole. Previously patched with gaffer-tape. It worked a while, but also left a not-so-nice gooey mark.

Continue reading Pannier-repair

The North Sea Coastal route

The North Sea Cycle Route follows a 6000 km long path from the city of Bergen in Norway all the way along the coast around the North Sea to the village Norwick on the Shetland Islands.

Cyclists on grass tracks
Grass track are relatively fast to go on, with treacherous pits of lose sand.

500-some km of the great North Sea Cycle Route’s 6000 km go along the North Sea Coast of Jutland. In Denmark known as the Westcoast, hence the routes Danish name, Vestkystruten (Westcoast Route). The danish westcoast is famed for its strong winds, great waves and wide, sandy beaches, in the north and the Wadden Sea in the south. Continue reading The North Sea Coastal route

Central Otago Rail Trail

New Zealand has a magnificient landscape of which you can assure yourself by watching Lord of the Rings. So the prospect of cycling in a landscape of that diversity and grandeur is a dream come true.

The trail ahead. Photo: Michael Hammel
The trail ahead. Photo: Michael Hammel

While planning the trip, I noted that the only cycling guide from Lonely Planet acctually was on New Zealand, so: “a perfect spot for a cycling vacation with the family”, was my initial thought.

Luckily, we added up the kms needed to visit the sights we wanted to see on the South Island, and realized that renting a car would be more sensible as we were going the whole family. So we picked the one “unmissable” trek for our cycling needs, following the advice from Lonely Planet – and numerous online sources – and went for the Central Otago Rail Trail. Continue reading Central Otago Rail Trail