Racing Bikes and Red Wine

They call themselves Bikebodys, a group of 18 men aged 40-67 who have got together on Samsø to ride their bikes. The name that holds a good deal of irony, but also a touch of gravity, was contrived in a fitness centre on the island of Zealand, Denmark, at the beginning of the new millenium. Let’s turn back the time …

 
Pedal Enthusiasm
”So we were each sitting on our exercise bikes in the fitness centre sweating and dressed in spandex,” Lars Bager recalls, host of the race on Samsø. ”And one day somebody cried, ’Of course, we should go out into the open on our bikes ’. This kicked off the team that is still having a splendid time 15 years later.”

Bicycle riding was and is the shared interest that makes grown-up men wear tight clothes and pedal around home and abroad. ”As a team, we have taken part in many amateur bicycle races in Spain, France, Sweden and Denmark, and it is made even more fun because our performance levels are miles apart. A few of the young chaps have a somewhat different pace and higher ambitions than those who are approaching 70, but that is not really important. The important thing is the cheerful atmosphere and our solidarity,” Lars points out.

Companionship for Grown-up Men

A great deal of the team’s success is a result of the companionship created both with and without a bicycle saddle under one’s behind, Lars explains: ” We make something special out of getting together in different situations. We travel, drive go-carts, eat steak and drink red wine and other things like that. Quality activities for men appealing to all from a blacksmith to a CEO. All of us have reached an age where we respect each other’s need to do many different things.”

Tour de Samsø
When Bikebodys go to Samsø for the weekend, their wives and girlfriends are invited to join them, and that’s really very nice. ”A few of the boys will plan to go to the island early on Friday in order to get a chance to test the route on their bikes. Then by Friday afternoon, after everybody has arrived on the island, we’ll have dinner together and spend the evening together. One year we even salsa danced.” On Saturday, the great bicycle race takes place, which, of course, is the culmination.

Race with Moderation
The bicycle route created by Lars is 83 kilometres long taking you round almost the whole of Samsø. ”The fantastic thing about riding a bike on Samsø is that even though the size of the island is quite manageable, it is possible to arrange long rides where you generally don’t have to cross the same point twice. There is a change in the surrounding nature, the scenery and the ground in almost every kilometre. The roads are good and the relatively few cars we meet are extremely friendly to us as bikers. It is not like in the North of Zealand where bicycle riders quite often are greeted with a rude hand gesture,” Lars explains.

On the route there are a number of sign-, mountain- and sprint spurts, and you win points by arriving first at these spurts. ”Of course, you’ll win it all if you just boom ahead from start to end, but this is not what it is all about. On the whole, we ride together most of the way, and then we go flat out when we get closer to the spurts,” Lars explains.

The Yellow, the Green, the Dotted

Even though the Samsø race is largely a friendly one, there are, of course, winners who are then celebrated on the Saturday evening. ”Once we have had a rest and have got changed, there is a gala dinner at the SAK restaurant, during which we award yellow, green, and dotted jerseys to the different winners, and after that it’s time for a full-scale party,” Lars says. He is already looking forward to next year when Bikebodys will zoom around the highways of Samsø once again.

Facts

• Bikebodys is based in North Zealand
• The oldest member of the club is 72
• Every spring the team goes to Spain
• There have been two cycling weekends on Samsø to date, but, there are plans to make it an annual event in the future.
• In the 2017 race on Samsø, Bikebodys will compete with a club from Jutland, Denmark

Last updated: 31. Mar. 2017 11:20

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