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.
Posts Tagged With: mc-addict
So you want to ride to the top of Europe? Nordkapp isn’t it – but you can still reach it.
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?
I think we officially can declare that spring finally has arrived!
At least here in the south-eastern parts of Norway. A nice sunny weekend brought bikers out from their hibernation, ending the PMS (Parked Motorcycle Syndrome) that has ridden them through a long, dark winter. I looked over my Guzzi California 1400, which now is ready for a new season.My Yamaha WR250R is currently at a workshop where they’ll put in new, stiffer springs, but it’ll be ready by next weekend. My wife’s Guzzi Breva 750 is due for service this week, and then I think we’re ready to take on the 2015 season.
Of course, planning the new season has been going on since long. Here are a few happenings on my list: In April, we’re heading towards Evje in the southern parts of Norway, to meet up with biker friends at the Evje Rally. May will see us at the Moto Guzzi Spring Rally, whereas we in June will have a bunch of Finns over for a ride through an extended weekend. In July we’ll do a gravel road trip all the way up towards the Nordkapp – maybe the single trip I’m looking most forward to. The latter part of the season has not been planned yet, but I suspect it’ll be mostly gravel riding for my part. You’ll read all about it on this blog.
Yep, it’ll be a great season!
Want to visit a motorcycle rally while in Norway? The Rally Calendar is here!
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.
One of WW2’s most famous sabotage actions was against the heavy water plant in Vemork, Telemark. You can – and should – visit the plant on your motorcycle trip.
The Norwegian telly broadcaster NRK recently aired a highly popular series depicting the quite astonishing sabotage mission against the Vemork Heavy Water plant in 1943. Dare-devil Norwegian commandos, trained by British SOE, managed to get into the plant and detonate explosives – without casualties – to stop Hitler from getting his A-bomb, for which he thought he needed heavy water, or deuterium oxide. When you get there, you realize what a stunning feat this was, as the plant is on the other side of a deep, steep canyon – and especially since earlier failed sabotage missions had led the Germans to strengthen the security and placing some 3000 troops in and near the facility. SOE later reckoned this mission to be its most successful during WW2.
Although the building which housed the plant itself is no longer, you can have a tour in the older, now decommissioned power plant building, and have the story told. It is a great ride to get there. This route takes you off the main road at Kongsberg and leads you along the twisty Road 40 and 753 until you reach Vemork, which is some 200 kms west of Oslo. And if you’re in a really adventurous mode, you can do bungee jumping from the bridge that crosses over to the plant. I didn’t, though…
Check out this fly-over video of the Atlantic Road! What is your favorite road in Norway?
I am extremely fascinated by the Atlantic Road. It is one of the most wonderful pieces of road in this country – and that says a lot! This 8274 meter long road connects Eide with my favorite place in these parts of Norway, Averøy Island. It was opened in 1989, and is one of the most visited places in this country. The road comprises of no less than 8 bridges, making the road seem like it’s “jumping” between the small islands on which it run. The tallest bridge, Storseisundbrua, is at 260 meters. The UK newspaper The Guardian even ranked the Atlantic Road on top of its list of the best road trips in the world. Actually, the whole road from Kristiansund, through the undersea tunnel to Averøy, across the island and the Atlantic Road, further onwards along the Hustadvika to Bud is one fantastic motorcycle trip in itself. Make sure you visit it when you come here!
If you already have a favorite road in Norway – which is it?
The first pics and videos from last weekend’s Primus Rally is hitting the web. What a rally they had!
(Video published by permission of Roger Visser)
Roger Visser and his crew from the Netherlands rode some of the ca 80 bikes from several countries that rallied together in the Fjorda area of Bjoneroa last weekend for the annual Primus Rally. Alas, due to duties for the Norwegian Motorcyclists’ Union, I couldn’t participate myself this year. But the video from Roger shows some of the good things that goes on in the frozen period in Norway. Reportedly, it was a mild venue this year, only -16C during the night, and around 0C in the daytime. Nothing scary, in other words.
You can also see some pics if you tune into the Primus Rally Facebook Page. Enjoy!
We want to see YOUR Image of Norway!
If you have been to Norway on your bike, I am sure you have a picture that defines your experience of this country. Now we want to see it! Just that one picture that you think is the quintessence of your ride here: Was it that sunny night at the North Cape? Was it the rain and fog in Bergen? Maybe when you encountered snow beside the road over one of the mountain crossings? Whatever it is, we really want to see it! Wherever you’re from, Norway or abroad – let us see it.
We’re all looking forward to your Image of 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.
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?
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.
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…