Anders Lyk-Jensen on the European Divide Trail
Friend of ours, Anders Lyk-Jensen, 21 years of age has begun a journey that will inspire others and which we can only dream of.
He has taken off for the ride of a lifetime. The European divide trail will be his home for the next 4 months.
Anders Lyk-Jensen is an explorer and adventourist by heart. He found his way to CCC a year ago, and has been part of our regular training rides and events. Almost every week Anders also found his way to the shop before or after work. A coffee stop and a chat about gear and stuff, everyday life and off course adventures. At 21 years of age and ready to tackle the unknown, with excitement but without fear he is an inspiration for us - and for others we are sure. Anders is kind and friendly and we are sure that he will bring home so many positive experiences. We will follow his journey and along the way we will bring you the insights seen through Anders’s eyes when he travels from south to north
Anders has travelled to Capo St. Vincent in Portugal with his father, who will be his travel partner for the first week
The European Divide trail
From Grense Jakobselv in Norway to Cabo St Vincent in Portugal, this is the longest predominantly off-road bikepacking route in the world, put together by Andy Cox. Anders will tackle this route from south to north
The European Divide Trail is a continent spanning collection of trails linking the far edges of Europe together. On its way following off road tracks and trails, traffic free cycle routes and small bits of single track, with various minor roads along the way.
The trail i created and connected by Andy Cox. Andy’s goal was to create various spines of routes, where people can explore this fascinating and diverse continent, while keeping away from major population centres and exploring the lesser known areas and trails.
The route will cross many borders but more important it will cross numerous cultural, political, economic and environmental divides in its crossings of Europe. This is by the spirit and idea of Andy Cox. Furthermore it is in the philosophy that you will leave no trace in nature and if possible leave it better. Sleep outside if possible and do the ride self supported. Simple and easy
The route passes through the seemingly endless forests, alongside lakes, rivers and on the dirt roads of Scandinavia, through the patchwork of farmland, woodland, heathlands and grasslands of Central Europe, then into the south and eventually the Iberian Peninsula where the diversity of landscapes will surprise you, and the trails are often loose and rocky.
The inspiration for this route came from a need for a dirt road touring route exploring an alternative side of Europe, mostly away from the popular tourist destinations. While more challenging bikepacking routes can be great fun, following them for months on end is perhaps less sustainable. Here, easier tracks and trails have been linked together into a route that’s greater than the sum of its parts. The challenges will come from the logistics of finding water, food and accommodation, the weather throughout the multiple seasons it’ll doubtless take to ride it, and the act of riding a heavy bike, off-road, more than 7,500 km across Europe.
Read more in dept about The European Divide Trail here
First message from Anders
Saturday, April 1st Once the bus arrives in Lagos, my biggest endeavour on a bike will begin. For the next four months I'll be tackling the European Divide Trail, a bikepacking route reaching all the way from Cabo St Vincent in Portugal to Kirkenes in Norway. This adds up to more than 7,500 km through the varied landscapes of the European continent. Most of which will be off-road.
My name is Anders Lyk-Jensen, I'm 21 years old and I ride bikes whenever I get the chance. Until a few days ago I worked as an assistant teacher at Ordrup Skole as well as a supervisor at Hovedstadens Svømmeklub. Being a bit resourceful, this has allowed me to save up for big adventures like this one.
It's not the first time I'm bike touring. I've done it with my family as a child and by myself as an adult. From short trips to Sweden to long tours across Europe. But this time is different as it's longer and will take me through more desolate places than I've been before. However, my interest in cycling as a sport was only awakened a few years ago. I'd bought a used road bike for cross training since I was battling an injury from running which was my main focus at the time. I slowly transitioned from one to the other, lured by the sensation of speed and independence. The idea for this journey came about last summer when I cycled home to Copenhagen from Nice, France. This was on a flat bar touring bike with racks and panniers - the more traditional way of bike touring. Along the way I found that the riding I enjoyed the most was on gravel roads. So I decided that any leftover money from this trip was to be spent on a gravel bike once I arrived back home. It had to be sturdy enough for hauling everything I'd need for months of traveling.
For the frameset I chose a Standert Erdgeschoss, a stainless steel frame with a carbon fork from Columbus.
The groupsets is a mix of SRAM road and MTB components - a so-called mullet. The shifters, brakes and crankset are Force and the rear derailleur is XO1. With an oval 40 tooth chainring from Garbaruk I have a gear range of 40/10 to 52/40.
The wheels I've had imported from the USA from a smaller company called Lōgōs. The rims are 28mm wide internally, 27.5" in diameter, made of carbon and laced to a hub with DT Swiss internals. I've abused and raced this wheelset enough to fully trust them to be up for task like this one. For tires, I run 2" Continental Race Kings setup tubeless with Silca sealant.
Finally, the finishing kit consists of a Ritchey seatpost and stem and a Zipp 70SL XPLR handlebar.
For bags, I've got two Ortlieb fork packs, an Apidura top tube bag and a Tailfin Aeropack with two 10L panniers. But the crown jewels of the setup are two custom made bags. One is the handlebar bag which is made by 7roads, a small family business in Ukraine. The other is the frame bag made by L'Ateljé based in Sweden. All of this will hopefully prove to be a tough and reliable setup with plenty of gears to get over whatever mountain I'd come across.
From the CCC Team we wish you all the best and are looking forward to following your journey and eventually welcoming you home. Coffee is on the house :-)
Niels B Sørensen —
Happy ride Anders. I will follow you i my mind and on this blog untill your safe arrival in Kirkenes.