Author Archives: HansP@RideNorway

About HansP@RideNorway

I was riding my Guzzi over the Atlantic Road in the North West of Norway a while ago. Even though the weather wasn't bright and shiny, the scenery was absolutely stunning, as were the roads. I concluded that I live in something which must be close to motorcycle heaven, and that more riders should know about this. Hence this blog. My goal is to inspire you to ride Norway, and to help you do so without breaking your bank account. See you on the road somewhere!

Wait for it, wait for it…

Spend your Corona quarantine time wisely, and plan for better days. See you at the other end!

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(Image is shamelessly stolen from the Visit Norway homepage.)

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Planning time!

Winter is about planning bike trips. Hardanger is where you want to go in May.

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Ulvik in Hardanger. (Image: RideNorway)

May is a great time of year to ride in Norway. The trees are in full blossom and it is lush green wherever you look. The apple orchards of Hardanger in the West are in full bloom. The farmers usually present last year’s harvest in bottles of apple cider. They have been making cider in this area since the 14th century, so they know what they are doing. The scenery around the Hardanger fjord is of course out of this world. Our go-to place to stay is the small camp site in Ulvik, which we then use as a base camp while touring the area. Learn more by visiting this site. You can easily spend a whole week roaming around – and you will not regret it! Oh, and the Constitution Day is on 17 May, which is a Sunday this year, so you might as well take part in the – errr… – “warm-up” on Saturday the 16th. Calculate some 6 hrs effective riding time from Oslo to Ulvik. If you arrive in Kristiansand, expect the same. All roads are great, especially the Road 15, which takes you to sights such as Låtefoss. At this time of year, it is not too crowded with campervans, so it should be a pleasure to ride.

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May is the month of apple orchard blooming in Hardanger. Be there! (Image: RideNorway)

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Some of the roads leading to Hardanger is high enough to still have snow for you to bask in. (Image: RideNorway)

 

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Happy 2020!

What will you do? Where will you go?

A big shout-out to followers and readers of your one stop shop (although everything is for free) for motorcycle touring in Norway, RideNorway.com, wishing you an exciting 2020 with lots of great roads, nice weather and wondeful experiences on two (sometimes three) wheels.

See you around in Norway somewhere!

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

24 December: God jul!

Thank you for following the countdown to Winter Solstice and the Jul Celebration – which in Norway is on the 24 December – on RideNorway.com. No list today – we just want to wish you all a fantastic Season’s Holiday, God Jul, and a Happy New Riding Year. Maybe we’ll see each other on the road somewhere in Norway soon!

Julekort

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23 December: Top 3 fun facts about Norway

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

23 December: Top 3 fun facts about Norway

We have our oddities and funny facts about this country too. Here are our top 3 fun facts about Norway:

 

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C3PO at Finse. (Image: starwarsplaces.com)

1. The Battle of Hoth was filmed at Finse

In Star Wars – Episode V (film two in old trilogy, for the SW fans out there) – you would see the Rebellion HQ at the snowy planet of Hoth being attacked by the Empire. These epic scenes were filmed only a few hundred meters away from the railway station of Finse, a stop along the Oslo – Bergen train tracks. Legend has it that no taun-taun has been observed in the area since.

 

lærdalstunn visitsognefjorden

They have even provided proper stops inside the tunnel so you can take your photos.

2. The World’s longest road tunnel is in Norway

You know you want to ride it: The 24.5 km/15.2 mi long Laerdal Tunnel not very far from Bergen is the longest road tunnel in the world. It opened in 2000 after five years of construction, and pushed the Swiss Gotthard Tunnel down from the throne. A special ride indeed.

 

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Huuuuuge structure!

3. The largest object ever moved by man was moved in Norway

The Troll A gas production platform is the largest object ever moved by humans. The platform is 472 meters high – of which 369 under water – and weighs about 656 million kgs. This huge structure is two times heavier than Empire State Building in NY City, and the underwater part of Troll is exactly the height of Empire State Building top floor. Troll A is mostly a concrete structure that contains reinforcing steel corresponding to 10 times the entire Eiffel tower.

Read more Norway fun facts here!

Categories: Misc, norway | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

22 December: Top 3 Norwegian Jule-dishes

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

22 December: Top 3 Norwegian Jule-dishes

We wish each other “God Jul” these days in Norway. Our way of celebrating the Winter Solstice – “Jól” – of course comes with some special dishes that is served mainly during the Season’s Holiday. Here are the Norwegians’ Top 3 favourites:

 

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Pork ribs. Best served with aquavit.

1. Pork ribs

Most Norwegians prefer pork ribs with accompanying pork sausages, pork meat balls, sauerkraut, potatoes and a healthy helping of aquavit. A winner on any Julebord!

 

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Sheep or lamb ribs. Best served with aquavit.

2. Sheep/lamb ribs

Salted and dried lamb ribs are soaked into water for a day or two. Then pulled out of the water and put in a pot with some birch sticks in the bottom, adding a few inches of water. Let this steam for a few hours, make a rutabaga stew, add some sausages and potatoes, and hey presto! You have just made the Norwegians’ #2 Jule-favourite dish! Oh, and remeber healthy helping of aquavit.

 

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Lutefisk. Best served with aquavit. Some prefer it without lutefisk.

3. Lutefisk

Made from stockfish, which has been process in lye. It requires some skills to prepare lutefisk properly, but once you have tasted the real deal with the accompanying bacon, mushy peas, mustard and a healthy helping of aquavit, you will not go back. It is an acquired taste for sure, and many Norwegians can’t stand it, but it is still up there among the Jule-favourites. (Some Norwegians prefer fresh cod for their Jule-dinner, though.)

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21 December: Top 3 motorcycles from Norway

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

21 December: Top 3 motorcycles and mopeds from Norway

Triumph. Moto Guzzi. Ducati. BMW. KTM. You know them, and you know where they’re from. Whereas Norway has been pretty good at producing the juice which makes these makes run, we do not have a long and glorious history of motorized vehicles. But we have some very few that we are still somewhat proud of. Here are the Top 3 motorized vehicles from Norway.

 

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A 1960 Tempo Taifun 175 ccm. (Image: Tempo-online.no)

1. Tempo

With a history traced to 1908, the Øglænd Brothers began serious moped and light motorcycle manufacturing after WW2, even though serial production of some motor-powered bicycle-like contraptions was ongoing since the 1930s. The Tempo became for Norwegians what Vespa was for Italians: A practical, economical and robust means of transport. The Tempo brand comprised mainly bikes from moped size 49 ccm to light 175 ccm motorcycles, and the Øglænd factory kept churning out these mainly Sachs powered vehicles until the last moped was shipped from the factory in 1987. Not totally unexpected, the Norwegian Tempo Club is one of the biggest – if not THE biggest – motorcycle enthusiast club in Norway.

 

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The Raufoss Moped. (Image: Andreas Mathisen)

2. The Raufoss Moped

The traditional armament producer Raufoss Ammunisjonsfabrikker had in the mid-1950s a brilliant idea: Why not make a sturdy, top quality moped that was also  prepped for winter duty for the Norwegians? As said, as done: In 1958, the Raufoss moped was presented to a huge audience (for Norwegian standards) comprising representatives from all but one of the 19 Norwegian counties, a dozen newspapers, more than a hundred retail sellers and more. The interest was very high in the days, as was the quality of the moped: Prepped for winter duty and a sturdy Zündapp engine was supposed to make it the ideal transporter for Norwegians. Alas, after only four years of production and very meager sales, the Raufoss moped was history in 1962. Its quality never lost appeal, however, and is today highly sought-after by Norwegian moped connoisseurs and enthusiasts.

 

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The 1922 Spanjola. (Image: Unknown)

3. The Spanjola

If you pull the “Spanjola” name up in talks even with Norwegian riders, they will most lightly not have a clue of what you are talking about. No wonder: This monster of a sidecar contraption is a single build, being the brainchild of Norsk Hydro engineer Christian Larsen in 1920-1922. It is three meters long and has plenty room for a family of five and their two dogs. It was powered by a V4 of 2000 ccm, derived from Indian engines, and even had aluminium parts to make it somewhat lighter. The remains of this beauty was discovered some years back and is under restoration. The restorers have pledged to have it on the road in 2021. A unique and fascinating piece of Norweigan motorcycle history!

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20 December: Top 3 Summer M/C Rallies in Norway

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

20 December: Top 3 summer motorcycle rallies in Norway

If there are any of the lists presented so far that are slightly biased, this must be it. It is purely based on personal preferences. What is true for any proper motorcycle rally in Norway, though, is that they tend to be smaller and more intimate than the huge continental rallies. Most of our rallies attract some 200-400 riders, but the quality of the attendance is genuinely top shelf! Here is our top 3 list:

 

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No, it’s not a boat race: The Pekaill Rally organizers ships you off shore for shrimps and beverages if the weather is fair. (Image: RideNorway)

1. The Pekaill Rally

Located at the islands of Averøy in the North-West of Norway, this rally is as good as it gets. The organizers goes the extra mile to accomodate visiting riders. If the weather is fair, they usually organize a boat trip, serving shrimps and beverage. The location of the rally is itself worth the visit. All are welcome, and foreign riders in particular. Usually held in August. Ask your questions at the organizer’s Facebook page to learn more.

 

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Evje – the rally where winter riders end their season and summer riders start theirs. (Image: RideNorway.com)

2. The Evje Spring Rally

Held in the last weekend of April at Kilefjorden Camping in Evje, not far from the ferry port of Kristiansand, the Evje Spring Rally is where the winter riders end their season and the summer riders opens theirs. The organizers are a helpful and friendly bunch, making sure that everyone feels welcome and are having a good time.

 

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Bring your GS, Tenere, Husky, KTM or whatnot, and enjoy the Bukkerittet Offroad Rally! (Image: RideNorway.com)

3. Bukkerittet

This is for the gravel fans among you. The losely organized people in the aptly named Offroad Touring Club comes together in August each year, mainly at Grimsbu Turistsenter, to ride the miles and miles of gravel roads in the area. All are welcome, but do bring a tent as the cabins at Grimsbu are booked for this weekend for years to come.

Any other recommendations? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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19 December: Top 3 Historical Sites of Norway

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

19 December: Top 3 historical sites of Norway

If you, like us, likes to visit any country’s historical sites to better understand how it came to be, then these three sites should be visited when you are in Norway. You can of course find ancient and viking artefacts in museums, but visiting places where the history is alive is far more interesting. Besides, it gives you ideas on where to ride next. Here are our top 3 historical sites which should be visited while in Norway:

1. The Rock Art of Alta

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The Rock Art of Alta. (Image: Altamuseum.no)

No, it’s not a tribute to the Rolling Stones. This is the largest concentration of rock art made by hunter-gatherers in Northern Europe. These rock carvings and paitings are 7000 to 2000 years old, and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. How’s that for art for eternity?

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Urnes Stave Church is the oldest of the 29 remaining in Norway, dating back to ca 1140. (Image: Nina Aldin Thune/Creative Commons)

2. Urnes Stave Church

Never mind your religious beliefs, if any: The stave churches of Norway are worth visiting as they are also a testament to craftmanship. Several hundreds of years ago, Norway had probably hundreds of these churches sitting all over the country. Today, only 29 remain, and Urnes Stave Church is the oldest of them all, dating back to year 1140. Quite impressive, as these churches are made from wood.

 

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In to big guns? These will still your cravings. (Image: RideNorway.com)

3. Austrått Fort

From newer history, but nevertheless a very cool place to visit if you’re into World War 2 stuff. The Austrått Fort’s claim to fame is its enormous triple gun tower coming from the Nazi-German warship Gneisenau, the sister ship to Scharnhorst. Both had a role in the Nazi-German invasion of Norway 9 April 1940. The Gneisenau sustained heavy damages in a British air raid in 1942 and was subesquently decommissioned. However, one of its gigantic triple gun turrets were shipped off to occupied Norway and to Austrått Fort. It is still sitting there, and you can go have a look in its 5 story halls in the mountain. Scarily big!

Other tips for historical sites in Norway? Let us know in the comments below!

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18 December: 10 must-see places in Norway

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

18 December: 10 must-see places in Norway

There are so many sights to see in Norway, so it’s hard to make a list. Therefore, we are borrowing the recommendations from timelapse photographer Morten Rustad. If you are a photography person yourself, these are extraordinary places to visit. But they are, of course, as enjoyable if you are a regular rider who just likes to have a look around. Some of them are best visited during winter, but maybe you are one of those really adventurous riders who are not stopped by mere snow and ice?

Categories: Images of Norway | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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