Posts Tagged With: road

Norway from the saddle

How does Norway look from the saddle of a bike? Swede Markus Vikberg rides Norway quite frequently. This is a couple of videos he shot on a trip he did on his Triumph Tiger 800 last summer with a couple of friends. Enjoy!

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

Fun in the Forest of the Finns

It was way past due to grind those off-road tyres on proper gravel roads. Last weekend, Henning and I decided  to do just that. 

We spent the night in one of the cabins which are available for free or nearly free. Peaceful and nice!

I am quite a newbie to proper gravel riding, even though I´ve been facinated by it since many years. Not until I bought my light, nimble and powerful-enough Yamaha WR250R did I dare to venture into the loose stuff for real. 

Henning, on the other hand, is a former motorcross, road race and enduro rider and instructor. Thanks to him, my learning curve has been pretty steep – although this particular weekend I felt like it was my first time on gravel: My riding was stiff, my cornering awful, and things just didn´t feel right. 

However, the area in which we were riding, Finnskogen (eng. “Forest of the Finns”), is extremely inviting when it comes to gravel riding. There are miles and miles of gravel roads, very little (if at all) traffic, and free cabins all over the place, which you can borrow for the night. In other words: A Mecca for gravel riders.

The first leg was all but muddy: The track was thick of slippery mud, so we admittedly had to struggle a bit to get our bikes through – Henning on his Transalp, me on my Yamma. Or at least: It felt like we had to struggle. I think I was the only one who did it, as Henning effortlessly steered his Honda more or less sure-footed through the slippery stuff. 

It did become a lot better when we arrived to the forest roads themselves: Dry to the point of dusty, vacant and available.

We spent a night in a small cabin, had a meal and just relaxed before riding back home the day after. A short burst of season debut for me, but it was good to shake loose a bit. I´ll even try to do better next time.

If you´re a gravel rider too, make sure you visit Finnskogen when you visit Norway. It´s well worth spending a few days on this area. 

Stay on these roads!

 

Henning (right) and yours truly. We´re heading for Kirkenes in the north by gravel this summer.

Henning and his trusty Transalp in the back and my Yamma in the front 🙂

There was no firewood in the cabin, but Rolf, who lives nearby, provided us with a couple of bags to heat the evening.

Pretty nice view by the lake Fjørsjøen

You just have to love this…

Categories: Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Candy store

Our biannual motorcycle fair is a big thing for riders in Norway. It’s drooling time!

A not so new bike on display at the M/C Fair.

A not so new bike on display at the M/C Fair. Still droolable, though.

It is estimated that there are some 130.000 riders in this country. Not so many compared to – say – Italy, but enough to fill the biannual fair. Besides a few small, local shows, this is actually the only motorcycle fair to be reckoned with here.

It’s hard not to be tempted by all the sweet bikes that are on display, even though I must confess I have a soft spot for older bikes. At the Guzzi club stand, for instance, I saw this 250 Airone with the classic Guzzi design.

The Road Administration touted their National Tourist Roads project at the M/C Fair.

The Road Administration touted their National Tourist Roads project at the M/C Fair.

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A sweet Moto Guzzi 250 Airone at the Guzzi Club´s stand.

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In cooperation with the Norwegian Motorcyclists´ Union (NMCU) the Road Administration presented a brand new strategy for motorcycle strategy in Norway. Good also for you who will visit us.

For the first time I also spotted the Road Administration’s booth where they touted the National Tourist  Road project. They have realized the obvious that those particular roads are extremely well suited for motorcycle travel. Check out this link for more insight.

On a more political note, the Road Administration presented their brand new Motorcycle Strategy, which includes 21 concrete actions for improving the safety of motorcyclists in this country. The Norwegian Motorcyclists Union, which played a key role in the making of the strategy, had a stand from where it was presented to a huge audience. Norway is already the safest country to ride a motorcycle in, according to statistics from the European Motorcycle Safety Council. With this strategy, it will be even safer. Good thing!

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

Heavy Water Sabotage Trip

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.

Yours truly selfie with Asle, Håkon and Geir-Olaf by the sabotage memorial monument.

Yours truly selfie with Håkon, Asle and Geir-Olaf by the sabotage memorial monument.

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…

Have fun!

 

This is the actual building where the sabotage took place - Vemork Hydroelectric Plant 1935 by Anders Beer Wilse - Galleri Nor

The actual building where the sabotage took place, Vemork Hydroelectric Plant 1935 by Anders Beer Wilse – Galleri Nor

 

You can have a guided tour at the plant, and get an insight to the many sabotage actions that were launched against this plant during WW2.

You can have a guided tour at the plant, and get an insight to the many sabotage actions that were launched against this plant during WW2.

Categories: Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fly the Atlantic Road

Check out this fly-over video of the Atlantic Road! What is your favorite road in Norway?

The Atlantic Road should be on anyone's bucket list.

The Atlantic Road should be on anyone’s bucket list.

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?

Categories: Routes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s good to be a rider in Norway

Riders in Norway enjoy a freedom that is actually quite impressive.

It's good to ride a bike in Norway. This is from near Byrkjelo in the west.

It’s good to ride a bike in Norway. This is from near Byrkjelo in the west.

Riding a bike in Norway gives you advantages that other vehicle drivers can only dream of. Just listen to this:

– Bikes can filter in traffic queues.
– Bikes are exempt from road tolls.
– Bikes are allowed to ride in the bus lane (not with a sidecar, though).
– Bikes are for the most part exempt from bridge and/or tunnel tolls (the exception being where a bridge or a tunnel has substituted a ferry, where you’d pay anyway)
– Bikes have free parking in designated areas.
– When approaching a ferry queue, you are expected to move all the way to the front, passing the queue, so that the ferry crew can stack your bike in spots where a car can’t be parked. So you’ll always be first on board.
– Automatic speed cameras do not recognize bikes (but let not that trick you into speeding).

Bikes are for all practical purposes exempt from road toll in Norway.

Road toll? Bikes are free. Naturally.

These benefits, if we can call them that, are all firmly based on reason. If we cannot use public transport, it is good for traffic that we use two-wheelers instead of congestion-creating cars. As we also are “soft” road users, we need extra protection, e.g. allow us to ride in the bus lane. And so on. Nothing of this has come by itself, though. The Norwegian motorcyclists have through their own organisation, NMCU, fought for these rights. And now you, who are coming to visit us, can enjoy exactly the same benefits.

Nice, or what?

Categories: Good to know | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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