It is a typical late summer day in North Zealand. Typical in an unpredictable way. The sun battles intensely with heavy clouds, which periodically dump violent showers onto the landscape. This dampens the warm air, which is thick with the scent of fresh rain.

Jesper Grundahl’s home offers welcome shelter. His dog, Cooper, lies by the window enjoying the sporadic sunlight through the window, his labradoodle playfulness given way to a moment of slumber on the warm blanket.

In the garden, the parasol has been closed and fallen plums and apples lie in the wet grass, as if signalling the last gasp of summer. Autumn is on its way. 


Jesper is in the kitchen brewing an afternoon coffee. His sharp posture and slick dress sense could be from the pages of a fashion magazine. His outfit is simple yet considered - training pants and crewneck sweat. His past abroad and in the fashion industry are evident in his effortless sense of style.

Jesper lived in London for more than a decade, and one still senses a hint of this period in his accent, which has a subtle British edge. He was employed as a marketing manager, representing major brands such as Giorgio Armani and Valentino in the UK. 


But fashion was not the only thing that caught his interest at the time. Music has been a point of reference for Jesper since childhood. He clearly remembers laying on his bed in Esbjerg and watching the Tour de France in black and white.

Radio Luxembourg played loud in the background while Eddy Merckx rode to victory over the high mountains. Often, he would turn off the radio long after his bedtime, the music working its subliminal magic while he slept. 


“Music has always meant a lot to me, it has been a huge part of my life.
I worked as a professional producer and DJ in England and ever since I was a child I did not know the times tables - but I could memorize the entire Top 20 of the UK Chart. So the music has always been there, ” he says.

Jesper was already playing music before moving to England, but the buzz around the music scene in London was difficult to ignore, and it soon became an integral part of his life.
He started as a DJ in London in 1988, the year of the second summer of love, when a fresh new type of electronic music was sweeping the nation and the rave scene was exploding.

After being a DJ, it was easy to start producing music: "Yes, for the one or two seconds between changing LPs, you mix your very own piece of unique music - to your own taste".
When he moved back home to Denmark after 10 good years in the British capital, Jesper continued to produce music, and he has remixed for names such as Carpark North and Swan Lee among many others.

At home in North Zealand, there is no doubt that Jesper’s passion for music remains completely intact. He has his very own studio which holds more than 15,000 records alongside professional DJ equipment. This studio has a kind of club atmosphere. Low ceilings, spotlights and loud music - and a scent of vinyl. Quickly he pulls out a few records and starts playing. It’s all electronic music, but Jesper says his taste has become broader over the years.
"Now I listen to both hard electronic club [music] but also hip-hop, which my son has introduced me to". 


One can not help but be impressed when one sees a music collection of this calibre. The collection evokes memories of good times, while at the same time providing an opportunity for contemplation.

“Well, several of my friends often ask why you do not just throw the records out, then you get a little more space. But that's not how I see it at all. The listening experience is something very special with a real vinyl record. I do listen to Spotify, but it no way compares to the experience of putting a record on. Vinyl has a smell, and then there is the sound - which is more present in a way. And then the record cover. It is as if the experience becomes three-dimensional.

When I was younger, I often sat and looked at record covers, who had made and photographed them", he says.


The significance of the record cover brings us on to Jesper's next big interest - photography.
The desk and bookcase in his study are adorned with large thick photo books, and he enjoys sitting down and studying the colorful pictures, capturing the story they can tell.

There is no doubt that he finds inspiration from the best - old photographs and photographers fascinate him. It is the story in the picture that matters to Jesper, rather than the sharpness or whether it is shot on the absolute latest camera. 


“When I got older and started cycling, I suddenly discovered the joy of having a camera with me. I do not take pictures on a mobile phone, I always have a camera with me”, Says Jesper while sitting in front of his computer, in the process of editing a picture. 


Over the past few years, he has worked in the bicycle industry, within storytelling, brand-building and strategy. His passion for cycling is evident, with La Vuelta running in the background on the television.

Like so many others, he has his own Instagram profile, but this is not strictly for selfies or to live out a late dream as an influencer. His feed serves as a kind of roadmap for him. When he rides his bike, he loves to stop and capture some of the beautiful or interesting things he discovers on his journey with his camera. 


When he arrives home, he touches up the picture until he feels it tells the best possible story about the moment he just experienced.

He might spice it up with lines and references from music - and in that way his interests fuse together in the most beautiful way. 


“To me, cycling is not just about getting from A to B or training. For me, it's more of a trip - a kind of experience. So therefore it is to stop, look - and also listen to - where you are. That is an equally great experience. Often I ride somewhere to experience what is there,” he says.

This is exactly what we are experiencing ourselves this late summer evening. Jesper has planned a ride to show us a military training area a little north of his home.
The land is rugged, and offers a good mix of rolling country road and gravel. “The area is positioned on a hilltop and has a fantastic view of Sjælsø, and sunset will be setting in the background. It's quite unique,” he says as we roll out.
When we arrive, The sun is hidden behind a dark layer of clouds, emerging sporadically and giving us hope that we will experience this particular, unique sunset.

The roads alternate between wet and dry, while water flows under the viaducts and on the gravel. It is still quite hot, while the sun is up. 


Tonight, the weather gods are with us, and despite one or two drops of rain, we get the most beautiful sunset over the military range. Jesper was right, the sky seems to pulse in shades of pink, the clouds an integral element of this lightshow. Out here, immersed in nature and under a blanket of warm shades, you feel a little smaller than usual. Part of something bigger.

Late summer can be something very special - you appreciate these evenings at the edge of the season. You no longer take them for granted. 


We head home through the forest, mostly downhill - which is appropriate, with the sun sinking. With it goes the heat, both from the sky and the air.


“I like it when you get to the point where you can actually sit alone and work on a picture or listen to some music or even produce some music. And then comes that moment - which can also occur when you ride a bike - where you say: ‘Whoah - this, this is cool.’  and it hits you. That’s when you become affected by it,” says Jesper.

Tonight, one can only agree with that sentiment. Cycling can be something very special, and that is the feeling we all chase. We all wish for the moments on a trip where we can reflect on what it means to be a part of something much bigger.

Bigger, but still individual. 

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