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A long awaited fresh start

Henrik Jordahn

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Henrik Jordahn

I has been a while since I last rode any significant distance, back in 2016, in fact. Bike has been garaged and looked after at a dealer, so it is in good condition.


Took it home two weeks ago, and got a license plate for it on Thursday, just in the nick of time for THE big bike event of the spring in Denmark: The opening of Bakken, the worlds oldest operating amusement park (Dating back to 1583, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyrehavsbakken)

I is a tradition that motorcyclists from all over the country congregate at a train station in Copenhagen and depart at 7 pm. It is not, and has never been, an organised event, it has just grown over the years, and the police know that it will happen, so they show up to regulate traffic as if it was an organised event.

The largest number of bikes I have heard of at these gatherings is 10000, yesterday I heard 6~7000 attended.


My ride started from work, where I keep the bike, and shortly after I ran into a shower with big, wet, snowflakes, but it cleared when I had crossed the Great Belt Bridge. Went by to say a brief hello to my daughter, who had picked her friends over her dad this evening (and as it was very cold, just slightly over freezing, and we had to go get her new riding gear, I understand her, but she did miss out on a fantastic event) and after 180 km I got into Copenhagen.

The first bikes arrive at the Nørrebro Station at 5 pm, and then Nørrebrogade starts filling up. Traffic is blocked, and when I arrived at 6:20 the street was blocked for 1.1 KM curb to curb with bikes, and a fair few bikes in the side streets as well. Police started to block part of Jagtvej as well, and I guestimate that the line of bikes at 7 pm was 1.6 KM (or a mile, for you over there on the other side of the Atlantic ;-) )

Arriving late, and trying to find another biker, I hadn't met before, didn't give me much time to wander up and down and look at the bikes, but it was quite plain that, as usual, there were bikes of all kinds, colours and classes, even mopeds, over oldtimers, like the Danish Nimbus, to dirtbikes, cafe racers, sports bikes, touring bikes, trikes ... OK, think of a bike, and it was probably there ;-)

Riders of all kinds, young, old, alone, or from clubs, all there to have a good time. And of course loads of spectators, some more reluctant that others, as they find the road blocked. But most people looking in awe and wonder, especially the kids of course, some with very big eyes and smiles :-)

At 7, people start to get anxious to go, the bikes are fired up, even if it will take a good 20 minutes before we start to move at our place in the queue, but what a tremenouds noise! From little itty-bitty 1-cylinder bikes getting drowned out by 8-cylindered Boss Hoss, loud pipes a-plenty. 

The first couple of kms are quite slow, but then a couple of stretches allow for a bit of speeding up, and all along the 15 km route, police have blocked all intersections, so we get to run all the red lights, strange feeling.


Under the bridges, people tend to rev the bikes a bit to make some noise, I think the people living along the route are happy that it only happens twice a year (there is a smaller gathering when Bakken closes in the autumn)

Riding in the middle of all these different bikes, varying speeds, revving engines, thunderous noise, waving spectators, police bikes going back and forth really fast (I have a faint suspicion that they REALLY enjoy this event) just brought so many smiles to my face. It was great, even if the air was thick with exhaust, and I can sort of still taste it today :-p


Arriving at Bakken the bikes are parked, some people just leave straight away and go home, but most will at least just take a stroll through the amusement park, get a coffee or something to eat, which was what we did.

After a bit of talking and warming up, it was time to head home. Another 180 km on the motorway, stopped for a much needed cup of tea just before the bridge, it was really cold, and I should have worn more layer of clothing, well live and learn. 'Home' at the airport, put the bike in the hangar, and in the car I noticed that the temperature was -1 C, no wonder I was cold, and boy, am I happy for having heated handlebars :-D


Next year I want to arrive earlier to have more time to look around, we will probably be a group of friends going, and I would like to mount a GoPro-camera, to capture some images from the ride itself.



The start of the parade is 1100 meters further up the street




Danish Nimbus, a design from the early '30s, produced until early '50s, used by postal service and military to mid '70s. Telescopic front forks a year before BMW :-p





How do you go around corners with that one?












And finally at the parking at Bakken :)

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Henrik Jordahn

Just found a video from the start of the ride, narrated in Danish, but it does give an impression of the number of bikes passing.
The guy will upload the full length unedited video once he has 1000 views, so please give it a view ;)




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Henrik Jordahn

Thanks, TEWKS, I certainly plan to stick around, and with any luck have a few tales to share during summer, hopefully a longer ride with my daughter.

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Henrik Jordahn

And now the whole video is up, who starts counting? :4322: 25 minutes of bikes going by, you will see me at 23:02 - 23:23.



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