When I have the time, I love long bike rides. On this route, you’ll see some of the most beautiful and unique scenery in Denmark. You’ll ride to Stevns Klint, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, where you can enjoy beautiful views of the tranquil sea and white chalf cliffs. I always think on this route that I’m riding into another country - or at least very far away!
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Sofie Bentzen is fond of cycling around the island of Amager in Copenhagen. She loves the ocean, and hates cars. Last summer she held a girls-only introduction to bike mechanics with rosé wine and a philosophy of ‘there is no such thing as a stupid question’. Now she has a committed group of 80 female riders on Facebook, and it will be the starting point in her effort to encourage more women to join the Rapha’s Cycling Club in Copenhagen. Sofie is one of those people who is absolutely uninterested in gear groups, wheelsets and frame materials.
When she enters a bicycle shop, she notices colours and beautiful shapes. And she’ll pray that the mechanics don’t make fun of her because she doesn’t know why her bike makes a weird sound.
The co-founder of MÄT Foods, 28-year-old Sophie believes there are more women like her out there – women who have a dream of riding a road bike, but never do so because they are afraid of not being able to keep up with the men, or because they don’t know anything about bicycles.
“For many years, I have found cycling quite exciting from the outside looking in. I was envious of those who rode, but I’ve always thought it seemed a bit too difficult and complicated,” says Sofie, when we meet her at Café Dyrehaven on Vesterbro in Copenhagen, a few streets away from her flat.
Her own cycling adventure started two years ago with a real baptism of fire when a good friend working for the KidsAid charity asked Sofie if she wanted to join their ride across America.
“When riding your bike you experience things in a completely different way than in a car,” she says. “You get all the sounds and smells, and you have time to see and observe everything. I especially remember that we cycled in some beautiful mountains, the Green Mountains, and really came together within the group.”
For Sofie Bentzen you don’t have to be on first name terms with the likes of Eddy Merckx or Jakob Fuglsang to be part of the cycling universe – heroes can also be found elsewhere. ”I know the names of the big riders, but my role model is my grandfather, who used to be a cycling postman on the Danish island Møn. He has ridden countless miles in all kinds of weather throughout his life. He is 91 years old today, and I think that the bicycle is one of the reasons he has grown so old.”