Grab a Beer Tour. Copenhagen-Gothenburg
In the first weekend of August two packs of riders started out from Warpigs, Copenhagen and Moriskan, Malmoe respectively. The Copenhagen group consisted of Mikkeller CC riders and their regular road captains from Argon 18. The two groups met up in Helsingborg and rode together towards Gothenburg. Meeting the Argon 18 dealer ART-V group 80km from Gothenburg, riding in the opposite direction. A 310 K ride with partnership, wild nature, high spirits and likewise speed. Just heading up to Gothenburg to grab a beer! Hosted by Mikkeller friends 'Stigbergets Bryggeri'
And now it was time for the trip to Gothenburg – bridging the gap to a new chapter in the Swedish archipelago.
The Gothenburg trip: A review – and a strong recommendation!
Saturday at 6:30 a.m. the Malmoe group met by the Mikkeller pop up pavilion Moriskan and half an hour later the Danish group met at Warpigs. Summer had finally and suddenly appeared after 2-3 weeks of just grey tones. We started out in sunshine and with a positive wind from Southeast – and with an unpredictable sea wind waiting.
The kilometres in Denmark flew by. With a healthy respect for the long distance we kept the chain semi tight towards the ferry Elsinore-Helsingborg. The service car with our favourite photographer Emil Brandt was comfortably following the team along Strandvejen (the coastal road north of Copenhagen). With an average of 34 km/h we reached the ferry just 5 minutes before departure. Perfect timing. The first break was accompanied by poor coffee on the ferry.
The Danish group consisted of Oliver (@BehindHandlebars), Kristian Gregersen, Søren Runge from Mikkeller and Jacob Ørholm from Argon 18. Oliver is relatively new in the game had never been on the other side of 140 K before. He was excited. However, a bit of the excitement disappeared when he realised that the speed of the ferry (app. 15 km/h) had overruled the auto stop on his bike computer, which meant a bad overall average.
In Helsingborg the Malmoe group joined in. Among the riders was the Swedish manager of Argon 18, Patrik Eriksson and his crew. Patrik is a former continental rider on several Danish teams and is now an elite level triathlete.
The Swede and his team had kept a good speed, too, so it was easy to continue our concept: Enjoyment with a slight leg pain. Patrik had planned an absolutely fantastic seaside route and the straight and boring commute road to our right reminded us how important a careful route planning is.
We rode on winding roads with great tarmac and a fabulous scenery. The trip went through beach areas and idyllic small cottage towns.
We reached Ängelholm, then Båstad and headed towards Halmstad, a place where many (Danish) riders go to get some long wanted vertical metres. Patrik had picked the easy route via Hallandsåsen – slightly rising over 4-5 kilometers, and the pulse was (too) high for the first time. We decided to take a break and had lunch at the top of the hill. We evaluated time, pace and distance in order to be able to meet up with the ART-V Gothenburg group, which came towards us from the opposite side. The pace was high. The bike computer showed 130 K and an average of 35 km/h. We continued towards Halmstad.
In Halmstad we reached 145 kilometres, which meant we were almost halfway. After Halmstad we distanced us further from the commute road and our route became even more narrow and winding. The villages Gullbrandstorp and Veka and particularly Falkenberg were overwhelmingly picturesque as we passed by with the afternoon sun rising above the beautiful west coast. “Riders high” may have hit us right there.
During the next stage we stopped for food, and Emil shot some photos while the glow of the sun was perfect. We rested at Falkenberg Golf Resort and Strandbad. The surroundings made us instinctively grab our phones for photos and tagging: “must-see-again” – with family and friends. The huge grin on Kristian’s face along with a “sandwich in the mouth”-high five said it all. The area is intoxicatingly beautiful. We had asked Kristian to join us just a few days before the event on a day with greyish weather. As a pure adventure rider he was all game. The trip was almost at its peak now with the nature surrounding us, the conversations along the way and the physical drainage. We all started to feel the trip – bunt skin, tired jerseys and a few extra lines in the faces.
Leaving Falkenberg we rode towards Varberg, where we were meeting an Argon 18 dealer, ART-V. We went through Langås and Träslövsläge both typically Swedish towns in the eyes of a Dane: Redpainted wooden houses with huge lands in the countryside. Lots of American cars in the driveways and Swedish flags everywhere. We were now close to the 200 K mark in our heads. The average speed was around 35 km/h.
We met up with the ART-V Gothenburg team after a bit of phone and traffic chaos in Varberg. They were a group of about 20 riders – some were just there to greet us and did not come along with us to Gothenburg. What a welcome! Starting again after the break there was an equal focus on talking and pedalling.
There were three young team riders in the new group. One of them is stagiere and is to compete in Tour of Slovenia later this year. It was easy to keep momentum. We did not concentrate too much on the average speed but kept a good pace. You need to stick to schedule on such a long ride – especially in the last phase. You tend to miss focus once in a while like we did during one of our only two punctures. When 25 guys are having an unexpected break the discipline was challenged. At that time we had been on the bikes for 7 hours and 250 K. We pulled ourselves up again and rode towards Frillesås, Torkelstrup and the last big town before Gothenburg Kungsbacka (275 K).
The group was now homogeneous in terms of tiredness. It had been a long day for everyone, but somehow the energy rose and we couldn’t help stepping up the pace when taking turns. Boys will be boys. We just wanted to keep going. And at the same time we could almost taste the beer. We could now see Gothenburg in the distance.
You could not have imagined it any better. The entry to Gothenburg was magnificent. The city in the horizon while the sun was setting. The first thing that catches your eye is the theme park Liseberg with its gigantic ferriswheel and Sweden’s highest rollercoaster with a drop of 50 metres.
We arrived at ART-V at 6:30 p.m. with 7 hours Swedish and 1:20 hours Danish saddle time. The computer showed an average of 34.7 km/h, and we were intoxicated even before the beers were served.
ART-V hosted a Mikkeller beer Friday bar. The colleagues from the shop arrived and there was a lively atmosphere both in front of and inside the shop. The whole ART-V crew lead by David and Adam seemed impressed with the initiative, and they will carry that feeling with them when they start up MCC rides in Gothenburg. The magic happens when reality beats the posts on Instagram.
We said goodbye, found our hotel and got ready for the next event. Mikkeller Friends 'Stigbergets Bryggeri' had invited us for dinner at the local restaurant and cultural centre Kino. We were treated with a delicious meal accompanied by generous amounts of various beers.
The night was filled with great stories - both with and without two wheels and suffering and we all left with a feeling of community. The advantages of a bounding experience like this are countless when your future collaboration is from a distance.
Wauw! The car trip back to Denmark – now with the all too known grey sky above us - made us long for new adventures. Two wheels, sunshine and new routes on unknown winding roads. We feel a new trip coming up soon.
En Route - DIY.
Here is a visual of both the Danish and the Swedish part of the trip. Feel free to follow the path. Join the Ride.
A Collaborative Community
The trip marked the global expansion of Mikkeller CC’s community and the professional Argon 18 friendship. Mikkeller is known as a highly skilled, energetic and yet crazy brewery. Mikkeller beers are served all around the world – where culture lives.
For many people Mikkeller is associated with an active lifestyle, and that is a strong cornerstone in the marketing concept. Exercise – and enjoy great beer in great company. It is the DNA of the company. And it is not only talking. The founder and owner Mikkel Borg Bjergsø was a part of the Danish national junior running team and The Mikkeller Running Community (MRC) has no less than 290 international chapters.
In Summer 2019 Mikkel Borg Bjergsø teamed up with one of the most powerful domestic riders in Denmark Brian Holm and the Argon 18 team. They formed MCC (Mikkeller Cycling Club) – a global Mikkeller community which offers great rides and always with a beer as a bonus.
For Argon 18 this project was a gift. The Argon 18 bike was already known as the bike of the pro team Team Astana, as the Olympic and WC gold medal bike of the Danish track team and as Michelle Vesterby’s beloved companion in triathlon races. In other words a high-end brand. The partnership with Mikkeller CC gave Argon 18 the possibility of telling other stories and thereby getting a broader appeal. At the same time a new collaboration with Parentini concerning a Mikkeller cycling clothes collection was established.
Mikkeller and Friends x Argon 18
Mikkeller Cycling Club started up with relaxed group rides from Mikkeller & Friends in Stefansgade (a street in Copenhagen) organised by Argon 18’s road captains and Mikkeller and with the popular guest visitor Brian Holm. Relaxed group rides in the sense of: No dresscode and your own bike regardless of brand.
Argon 18 simply saw an opportunity to reach another audience where hunting podiums is not the primary goal. The Mikkeller cycling community has gradually expanded to several destinations in Germany, UK and US.