A passion for photography and riding

GripGrab staff photographer

A ride with a mission 

We all go riding with a ´mission´. The key thing that motivates us to go out the door and hit the roads. It might be hard interval sessions for improving performance. Or the joy of socializing with fellow companions, while getting some miles done. Or it might be, like in GripGrab staff photographer Martin Paldan´s case, the mission of exploring both new and well-known roads, armed with a camera and alert senses.

On a rainy Saturday, he set out to explore sections of the Hansens Cykelløb (Hansen´s Bike Race) course. A gravel race he plans to photograph in August.

Photo: Martin Paldan | GripGrab Media Crew

“The sweet, humming sound of the 36 mm tyres on the paved road, switches to a grinding, satisfying buzz when hitting the first gravel sections. Cars, traffic and urbanity magically dissapears. It´s like entering ´Platform nine and three-quarters´ when entering the forest. I love that moment and often think about what my roadie friends misses out on.”

Photo: Martin Paldan | GripGrab Media Crew

“On my way north, I pass the old airfield. An exposed, but atmospheric destination for a variety of cyclists; serious triathletes testing their aero position, cycling clubs training paceline riding and elite riders doing intervals. This Saturday it´s desolate. Not a soul in sight. I quickly snap a few photos and continue onwards.”

Photo: Martin Paldan | GripGrab Media Crew
“I consider the weather to be a circumstance – and not a parameter for going/not going. There´s an honesty I like about the conditions. The quality of my experience is at stake. Keeping myself comfortable during a ride is almost like a survival craft – the art of making it through the element´s furor, without losing my motivation along the way. ” 
Photo: Martin Paldan | GripGrab Media Crew
Photo: Martin Paldan | GripGrab Media Crew

Chat stop

In the village of Slangerup, Martin stops for picking up the Hansen´s Bike Race route on his gps. He gets a chat going with Erling and his wife. They´re out with their two majestic dogs. Erling reveals himself as a bike rider, and the talk continues about cycling – 19% ascents, gps devices and the 7.500 kilometers that Erling has covered this year – so far.

Photo: Martin Paldan | GripGrab Media Crew

The Hansen Bike Race is guiding the participants through small treasures of pathways along the route. Being a ´Rouleur Cross´the race is defined as a gravel race with connecting sections on paved road and supplemental zones of singletrails to complete the gravel adventure. 

“I might stop for taking a photo – or at least make a mental note about a striking location, so when I´m back in August for the 2017 edition of the race, I will have a handful of ideas on where to get some cool captures.”

Photo: Martin Paldan | GripGrab Media Crew
Photo: Martin Paldan | GripGrab Media Crew

“I carry a Canon M6 camera and a small tripod for doing self timer shots. In the backpack is also a pair of Leg Warmers AquaRepel in case of a temperature drop. I store energy (bars and gels) in the two feedbags on the handlebars. Next on my list is getting a small framebag for my Ridley X-Trail, so I can get rid of the backpack.”

Photo: Martin Paldan | GripGrab Media Crew
Photo: Martin Paldan | GripGrab Media Crew

The factory

“As I reach my point of return, the rains starts pouring down. I take shelter in the Hansen´s Diary, and is greeted by two women, ready to close down for the day. I´m just in time. I ask permission to photograph them, but they´re reluctant at first. Only when they understand my purpose their refusal changes to compliance, and one of them – being both a mountain biker and a road cyclist, is quickly keen to participate in the race in August.”

Photo: Martin Paldan | GripGrab Media Crew
Photo: Martin Paldan | GripGrab Media Crew
Photo: Martin Paldan | GripGrab Media Crew

Back in 1922

The first edition of Hansens Cykelløb (Hansen´s Bike Race), was held last year (2016), but the passion for cycling dates further back. The saying goes that is was the founder Mr. Hans Hansen that back in days was an avid fan of cycling, who indeed supported and arranged several bike races in his local community. This tradition is now carried on by the 3rd. generation of Hansens, with race start and finish in front of the Hansen Factory. 

Photo: Martin Paldan | GripGrab Media Crew
Photo: Martin Paldan | GripGrab Media Crew
“It´s time to find my way back to Copenhagen. As the rains pours down, I get out the phone and snap a selfie, thinking that surely the weather will be much more suited for ice cream on raceday in August.”


Martin was riding with Roadster gloves and RaceAqua X shoe covers. 

The Roadster is the choice for riders in need for a breathable and ultra lightweight glove, that on top of that provides a tan-through material.

It is the preferred choice for racing in both average and hot conditions.

The Roadster comes with 2 mm DoctorGel padding and offers a perfect balance between control and comfort.

The slip-in cuff makes it easy to put these gloves on, while the pull-off system allows to take them off after the training or for a coffee stop. Its Air Flow Mesh back is highly breathable and can be used to wipe away sweat. This is a glove that will protect your hands in a fast race or on long days climbing mountain passes in the sun.

The RaceAqua X is a lightweight, waterproof and aerodynamic shoe cover which has been especially designed for off-road use. Waterproof stretch fabric gives a tight fit and reflective logos add an extra element of safety.

This special version of the RaceAqua has an open sole design with large heel and cleat hole to suit cross-country shoes. The base itself is made from Kevlar for maximum durability. This allows you to dismount your bike in difficult sections and run, without compromising the functionality of your shoes or slipping the shoe covers.

The Leg Warmers AquaRepel feature excellent water repellent properties and in addition have the same insulating effect as our Leg Warmers Classic.

The front panel has an additional windproof membrane to protect the knees and shins from the cooling effect of rain and wind. This feature makes the warmers a perfect companion to windproof bib shorts in harsh riding conditions.

Silicon elastic grippers at the top keep the warmers in place, while a second silicon gripper at the base makes it possible to position the water-repellent warmer over a waterproof overshoe to prevent wet feet. Reflective logos add to your visibility and safety.

In contrast to classic warmers, these AquaRepel warmers don’t get soaked in water as much and therefore are lighter and more comfortable to wear in rain.


More info about the Hansens Cykelløb

 Photo credits: Martin Paldan
Denmark, July 2017

More gravel? Read our previous post about the Hansens Cykelløb in 2016.


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GripGrab is based on a passion for cycling and running and the dream of building a brand of products that makes these sports enjoyable no matter how cold, wet or windy it is. Great quality accessories make the difference between being too hot, or too cold, between being wet or dry, aerodynamic or flappy and between being seen or not seen.These are the products we live and breathe for.