Good to know

13 December: 10 best places to visit in Norway

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

13 December: 10 best places to visit in Norway – according to others

 

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Usually not on the “must see” list of Norway, but a pretty funny sight nevertheless. The houses stand under a cliff in Jøssingfjord. (Image: RideNorway.com)

As a rider planning to go to Norway you have of course read RideNorway.com from page to page, getting tips on where to go and where to stay. But there are also others that may have a different view on what to see and where to go. Travel site Touropia has listed these 10 places as the best to visit in Norway.

Do you agree? Are these also on top of your list? Let us know in the comments below!

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12 December: Top 3 reasons to choose a motorcycle when visiting Norway

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

12 December: The top 3 reasons why you should choose a motorcycle for visiting Norway.

Of course you, as the die-hard rider that you are, know that there are only one way to visit Norway – or indeed any country on the planet – which is by motorcycle. Nothing beats the feeling of fresh air, control of you bike, a nice curve or chewing flies that somehow managed to get between your mouth and the visor. But did you know that Norway is particularly catering for motorcyclists? Here are the top 3 reasons why a bike is the way to go when visiting this country:

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Bikes park for free, and are excempt from road, bridge and tunnel tolls. (Image: RideNorway.com)

1. No road tolls

Yep, it’s true. You do not pay road tolls, bridge crossing fees or any other fees for using the roads. You are free to roam. Most places you don’t even pay for parking. There is only one tunnel where you need to pay – the undersea tunnel from Averøy to Kristiansund – but that is also so cheap for bikes that you really won’t mind.

 

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They do not recognize us – but refrain from speeding nevertheless. Safety first – then wallet. (Image: wikipedia.org)

2. Speed cameras don’t recognize bikes

Do not take this as an invitation to speed. It isn’t, and you may get caught by a highway patrol – and getting caught for speeding is expensive. But in the event that you in a moment of inspiration or plain joy pass a speed camera in a somewhat higher speed than what is indicated on the signs – do not despair. Norway is governed by rule of law, and nobody can be charged or penalized if you are not properly identified. Behind a helmet, your face is obscured and proper identification is impossible. Therefore, the lawmakers have stated that speed cameras will not and cannot detect motorcycles and its rider.

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Norway takes care of you as a rider. You can even use the bus lanes. (Image: NMCU.org)

3. You can use bus lanes

Our lawmakers have recognized that riders are more vulnerable than other road users (bar pedestrians and bicyclists), which is why the allow for riders to use the bus lanes. It is in other words a safety measure just for us. This is particularly handy when nearing the bigger towns and cities of Norway. When nearing a traffic jam, just swoop over to the bus lane, and off you go. You can also filter between the cars in a jam situation, if there are no bus lanes. Handy, right?

We told you that Norway is made for riding. Agree?

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10 December: 3 essential bring-alongs for your Norway trip

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

10 December: 3 essentials to bring for your Norway trip

Not counting your camping and riding equipment, there are some things you should specifically bring for your Norway trip. Of course you can buy these things in Norway, but make sure that you bring them one way or another for an even better experience.

 

 

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Fishing in the sea is for free, in lakes you pay a very small fee. River fishing for salmon is another matter. Do not try, unless you are really certain what you are doing and have paid the fees. (Image: RideNorway.com)

1. Fishing rod

Do not leave home without it! Fishing in the sea is for free, and fishing in lakes is available for a meager fee – you can buy a license at the nearest petrol station or kiosk. The catch is good, especially in the sea, and the quality of the fish is top notch.

 

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Bring your mosquito repellant. Just in case. (Image: RideNorway.com)

2. Mosquito repellant

Especially if you are venturing north, you should bring a good mosquito repellant. Preferably a repellant that also scares off midges and ticks. We do not have any really dangerous insects or spiders roaming around in this country – it’s not like Australia – but the aforementioned critters may be a significant annoyance unless you have your quality repellant at hand.

 

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You will be in one of the most scenic countries in the world. Don’t regret you didn’t bring your binoculars. (Image: RideNorway.com)

3. Binoculars

You are probably bringing your camera with you, but a pair of quality binoculars is very good to have. When at the coast, you might spot some mammals swimming around in the sea, perhaps even an Orca. Or for bird watching, even if you are not the typical bird watching type. Remember that long sunny evenings, in the north 24 hrs sunlight, gives you ample time to sit outside your tent, savouring a wee dram while looking at the surroundings.

Any other essentials you would bring for your Norway trip? Let us know in the comments below!

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5 December: 17 things Norwegians love about Norway

Norwegians celebrate “Jul” (from old norse Yule) on 24 December. RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

5 December: 17 things Norwegians love about Norway

The 17 May celebration of our 1814 Constitution is in itself a spectacle like few others: Norwegians – young and old – dress up in their finest costumes and dresses, goes out in the streets, wave their flags, views the marching bands parading, greet the King (if in Oslo), and generally indulge in – to outsiders – a strange show of patriotism. Some adults dilute their patriotism with generous amounts of Champagne for breakfast, but each to their own.

In 2014, at our 200th Constitution Day Celebration, the national newspaper VG did a poll amongst Norwegians, having them voting over the 17 things they love about Norway. Very national-centric, of course, but still: These facts may help you in your efforts to interact with the locals.

 

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“Winter” ended up on the 17th place on the list of things that Norwegians love about Norway. Riders, of course, cope whatever the weather or whichever season. Image: RideNorway

1) Freedom of expression
2) A varied nature
3) That Norwegians go for long hikes
4) Gender equality
5) That people live all over the country
6) That most people are economically well off
7) Norway’s wealth
8) Egalitarianism
9) Winter sports
10) High taxes and well-funded public services
11) The big differences in the seasons
12) The Royal Family
13) The egalitarian public school system
14) Policies on intoxicating substances
15) Multiculturalism
16) High level of subsidies to the agriculture
17) The winter

Some of these one can clearly understand. Others are quite… odd? What do you think? Leave your comment below!

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Show your Norway know-how!

Baffle your audience with your insight into Norway trivia. Here are 20 ice-breakers to get the conversation started.

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The length of the Norwegian coastline is 2nd only to Canada.

 

Even most Norwegians don’t know that parts of Northern Norway is further East than Istanbul. Or that more Norwegians than Canadians speak English. Armed with these 20 fun facts about Norway, you are ready to engage the domestic audience with your insight. Norwegians tend to be viewed as a bit introvert. But we aren’t, really. We’re just being polite by not disturbing you in any way, or wasting your precious time. A bit like the Finns. Until we’re partying, that is. In any case, these are good ice-breakers to get Norwegians to talk about other things than the weather. Good luck!

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9 useful things to bring

Beside your bike, riding gear, passport and credit card, there are a few things that makes out the mainstay of every riders touring set-up. These are the 9 things I can’t do without.

A lavvo is the ultimate compromise between enough living space and pack size. A mainstay in my touring set-up.

A lavvo is the ultimate compromise between enough living space and pack size. A mainstay in my touring set-up.

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Nordkapp – not the Top of Europe

So you want to ride to the top of Europe? Nordkapp isn’t it – but you can still reach it.

The classic North Cape pic, as my buddy Jon and I saw it. Photo: HP

The classic Nordkapp picture. But you are not on top of mainland Europe when you’re standing by the Globe.

After many adventurous miles on your motorcycle, you finally reach your goal. The North Cape – Nordkapp. You park your bike and wander along the path leading to the plateau and ask a fellow tourist to take a picture of you beside the famous Globe. You are on top of the world. On top of mainland Europe. Only – you aren’t.

Contrary to popular belief, Nordkapp is not the northernmost point in Europe. Some argue that the fact that Nordkapp is situated on the Magerøya Island in itself disqualifies it from being the northernmost point on mainland Europe. But for some reason, Nordkapp has gotten away with it, especially after they built the under sea tunnel connecting the mainland and Magerøya Island. Heavy marketing has also led most people to accept that the Nordkapp plateau IS the northernmost point.

But even if we accept that Magerøya is a part of the mainland, Nordkapp (N 71° 10’ 21”) is still not farthest to the north. Actually, it is Knivskjelodden (N 71° 11’ 08”). Knivskjelodden is a small peninsula west-northwest of the Nordkapp plateau. It is nearly 1.500 meters further north than the plateau itself, and you can see it when you stand by the Globe.

The good thing is that Knivskjelodden is reachable – but you’ll have to walk there. Some 7 kms south of the plateau,along the main road, you will find the starting point of a marked walking path leading to Knivskjelodden. The path is 8 kms long and will take you some 2 hrs to walk.

It might seem like quite an ordeal, but hey – how often are you on the real Top of Europe?

Standing by the Nordkapp globe, Jon is pointing at Knivskjelodden, where he actually has been.

Standing by the Nordkapp globe, Jon is pointing at Knivskjelodden, where he actually has been.

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Go to a rally while in Norway!

Want to visit a motorcycle rally while in Norway? The Rally Calendar is here!

Go to a bike rally while in Norway! It's great fun with great people.

Go to a bike rally while in Norway! It’s great fun with great people.

While riding around in Norway, it might be nice to have a chill weekend at a bike rally to wind down and relax. It’s a good idea in number of ways, as food and beer is a lot cheaper at rallies than anywhere else. Besides, you get to meet great people with the same interests as yourself. There are many rallies all over Norway in the summer months, and you will always find plenty of enjoyable, social fellow bikers who’d be more than happy to chat with you over a beer or two. Maybe they’ll even tell you about their secret, favorite road if you offer them a wee sip of that nice scotch you brought.

Rallies in Norway are not that big in attendance as the ones you might be used to.The largest ones, Rally Norway and the Troll Rally, typically attracts 1500-2000 bikers. Usually, the rallies are all from 100 to maybe 400 attendees. Smaller, but far easier to be social with all.

The Norwegian Motorcyclists’ Union publish a booklet, the NMCU Rally Calendar, with most interesting rallies posted. There is also an online version, although not all details of the rallies are disclosed here. The best option is to download the NMCU app, which includes maps showing all rally sites and route you directly to them. It will cost you a few bucks, though, as the app and full calendar are for NMCU members only. The good thing is that it cost only some 40 euro to join, and you pay your membership simply by downloading the app. It’s a small fee for a great service to make your trip to Norway even more enjoyable. Search for “NMCU” on AppStore or Google Play. The app is even in English, however most rally descriptions are in Norwegian. But by using Google translate and asking your fellow Norwegian riders (whom you may also get to know by posting your question at the Ride Norway Facebook Page) you will easily get by.

If you have questions regarding NMCU, the Rally Calendar or the app, contact NMCU.

The map routing feature is worth every penny!

The map routing feature is worth every penny!

You will find most of the rallies in Norway in the NMCU app.

You will find most of the rallies in Norway in the NMCU app.

The descriptions are mostly in Norwegian, but should be possible to decipher.

The descriptions are mostly in Norwegian, but should be possible to decipher.

The app is in English too, although most rally descriptions are in Norwegian. It bolsters a lot of other useful info too, also in English.

The app is in English too, although most rally descriptions are in Norwegian.

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Size doesn’t matter in Norway

For riding in Norway, practically any bike size will do. Actually, a too big one will probably be more restrictive than a smaller one.

Choosing a smaller capacity, light bike makes it easier to venture to the secluded, nice places in the forest.

Choosing a smaller capacity, light bike makes it easier to venture to the secluded, nice places in the forest, for example.

Of course you’ll have fun on your Triumph Rocket III. Even – to a certain degree – on your Boss Hoss, if that’s what you have, even though you might struggle in the tightest bends of the Lysebotn serpentines. I have toured extensively on several bikes, mainly Guzzis from 750 ccm upwards to my California 1400. I must admit, though, that in the last year or two I have toured more and more on my small capacity Yamaha WR250R. It’s more than adequate for the low speed, narrow Norwegian back roads, where you should spend most of your time anyway, while still being able to do highways (which are a max of 110 km/h anyway) without being stressed. Why, my daughter and I have even toured on a couple of pizza delivery mopeds. We didn’t venture too far on those, but it is still doable.

There are not that many long, boring highways in Norway. Except for the southern parts of the E6 and E18, and a few stretches around Trondheim, Stavanger and Bergen, the roads are usually quite small enough to be capable of catering for 125 ccm bikes too. Which means that if you have a learner youngster at home who wants to tag along, or you are a learner yourself: Do not that let it prevent you from coming over.

It’s the mindset that counts – not the tool, right?

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My current favorite touring machine, a Yamaha WR250R, fitted with an extra large tank for extended range and a pannier rack for soft bags.

 

 

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In Norway, you are never trespassing

To pitch a tent wherever you want on uncultivated land is a right for everyone who roams this country – Norwegian or visitor. And it adds to the experience of Norway.

To find a nice spot and pitch your tent somewhere in the uncultivated land adds to the experience of Norway.

To find a nice spot and pitch your tent somewhere in the uncultivated land adds to the experience of Norway.

With a country such as Norway, with so many beautiful areas and scenery, you might think that the access is restricted or commercialized by someone. But that isn’t the case. To Norwegians (and visitors) it is a long-standing right to roam the land without restrictions. It is actually the law: It is forbidden to deny anyone access to uncultivated land. You can freely ride your bike onto a forest road, find a nice spot, and pitch your tent without the fear of doing something illegal. You can read the fast facts about this act here.

More often than not, I bring my tent when I ride around. It gives me the ultimate sense of freedom. With a little food and a stove in my pannier, I am totally independent – at least for a couple of days – and can choose my home for the night at my whim. To me, it adds to the experience of this country. Sure, it can be nice to book into a hostel, or rent a cabin or pitch your tent at a camp site. But to really feel the tranquility and vastness of this nature, a night or two in the wild is good. And that’s what we motorcyclist are all about, right? Wild and free and all that?

Besides, it saves me for a couple of hundred NOK each night I spend wild camping…

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