Posts Tagged With: rondane

A tradition is born

9 people, 7 bikes, 4 days, 3 nationalities – 1 brilliant ride! Actually so brilliant that we need to do it again next year. 

The crew from Finland: Antti, Mia, Jaana, Reijo, Ilpo and Timo, flanked by Danish Andreas.

The crew from Finland: Antti, Mia, Jaana, Reijo, Ilpo and Timo, flanked by Danish Andreas.

Ilpo (FIN), Andreas (DK) and myself (NO) are working for the same company in our respective countries. When we learned that we also loved to ride motorcycles, the plans for a joint ride in Norway took shape rather rapidly. So when the day arrived for a proper Tour de Force in the tenderloin of the Southern and North Western Norway this Thursday in June, we were no less than six Finns on four bikes, two Norwegians on each of our bikes, and a Dane on his. A pretty good set-up for an extended weekend.

Even though the bike models were spread from my rather off road biased KTM 690 Enduro via my wife Sølvi´s Moto Guzzi Breva 750 and Andreas´ Honda SP1 to the Finns´Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Heritage whatever, the route we chose was suitable for all. You can find the majority of the route here.

We had decided to go for a more luxurious accomodation than I usually prefer. Tents and self catering was substituted with hotels and multi course dinners with a fine selection of wines. Very comfortable and dangerously addictive…

Therefore we chose to meet at Nermo Hotel just north of Lillehammer. I met up with Andreas as he pulled off the ferry from Copenhagen on the Thursday morning, and we set off for Nermo. My wife had some work to do first, so she would join us later in the evening. The Finns – Ilpo, Mia, Reijo, Antti, Timo and Jaana – arrived by ferry to Stockholm the very same morning and set in for a 700 km ride towards Nermo. Andreas and I tried to find all the smallest roads towards the hotel, just to extend the trip a wee bit in the warm and sunny weather.

At Nermo, we found that we had the whole hotel to ourselves, so when the rest of the crew arrived in the late afternoon, we had our riders´meeting and dinner quite uninterrupted in the hotel´s library. The Finns even brought the necessary ingredients to make “salmiakki-kosso” as a gift: Koskenkorva vodka with bon-bons which you soak in the spirit to flavour it. Apparently a Finnish speciality which we will try out in due time. Oh, and they also brought Moomin cups from which to drink the stuff. Very posh.

Friday morning was as sunny as the previous day, so when we set off for Venabygd mountain and Rondane, we couldn´t have asked for a more scenic friendly weather. The Finns and Dane, more accustomed to the flatness of their countries, seemed pretty satisfied with the scenery. Mia was even a bit sceptical when I told her that this was just a warm-up for the scenery ahead of us. But as it would prove later, it was.

After Oppdal, heading towards Sunndalsøra, Kristiansund and the Atlantic Road, the Weather Gods decided to test our spirits. They opened all the showers and sprayed us thoroughly. The Atlantic Road, which usually is quite an experience to ride across, was now cold, wet and something we hurried across to get to our chosen accomodation for the night, the Hustadvika gjestegård. My KTM´s speedo decided to call it the day at the last tank stop before the Atlantic Road, presumably getting tired of all the water. My wife´s Breva had a small oil leakage through a brittle valve cover oil seal, but none of these were serious faults and did not hamper our trip.

At Hustadvika gjestegård, we dried ourselves, seeking refuge in a wee drop of Jaloviina, and had another wonderful dinner as we watched the skies clear up and hoping for less rain the next morning. When Saturday morning broke, it was still raining. It eased off after breakfast, allowing me to fix the Breva´s wee oil leakage, so when we set off for Trollstigen, it was only raining a bit here and a bit there. The scenery as we neared Trollstigen was very dramatic, with the low hanging clouds and wet road. But the pay-off when we got to the top (and the souvenir shop where mandatory Trollstigen regalias were bought) was no less than awesome. The rain kept easing off, and we started to feel the heat from the sun as we set off towards Geiranger.

When we settled for lunch at the Jordbærstedet cafe, the sun had returned, and the ride got even more joyful. We could not have asked for better circumstances as we entered the Eagel´s Bend to look out on the Geiranger fjord. Mia now realised why the Venabygd and Rondane mountains were only warm-up. Reijo decided that the view was unreal and had to be created by special effects, smoke and mirrors. Andreas on his Honda was just a big grin inside his helmet, and Antti couldn´t get enough of video taping it all. Indeed a fantastic ride and a fantastic view. Even if we had to negotiate our bikes through a rather tourist crowded Geiranger to get to the mountain top on the other side, we were quite a happy band of riders when we met the intersection of the Stryn mountain road, which would eventually take us back to Lillehammer and our final stay-over for this trip.

Reijo, a seasoned rider who as taken his bike to most parts of the world, including the Americas, Myanmar and Africa, concluded that parts of the road he had ridden today was all the way on the top of all he had ever enjoyed on a bike. Quite a statement, and quite an endorsement of Norwegian motorcycle roads.

The trip was a success to such an extent that we decided to repeat it next year, only then we´ll go to Finland. It will not be like this trip – but it will be different. And in the end, that is what it is all about.

Andreas and yours truly on our way to Nermo Hotel.


Andreas and his bike, although not for rent.

A KTM 690 Enduro works fine in Norway, I´d say.

Cheers to the Gudbrands Valley!

Ilpo (left), yours truly, and Andreas. We are working for the same company in our respective countries.

My wife Sølvi´s Moto Guzzi Breva 750.

Well, the Finns have their regalias in order.

Even flying flags from their Harleys 🙂

Sølvi at Venabygd mountain, Andreas in the background.

Taking in the view of the Rondane mountains

A wee stop on our way to Trollstigen. This is at Bolsøya.

Parked at Trollstigen, watching over the bikes while the rest of the crew takes in the view.

Sølvi (left), Mia and Ilpo at Geiranger.

Final dinner at Hvelvet Restaurant in Lillehammer.

Categories: Routes, Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Norway Bike Weekend

Tomorrow, a band of Finns, a Dane and a couple of us Norwegians are joining force to do a Norway Bike Weekend. It will be a blast!

The Rondane Mountain Range

Actually, this is a trip that has been planned since last October, as one of the Finns is a colleague of mine. He has never ridden in Norway, and when I suggested to do a spring trip he was all in. He has invited some of his riding buddies from Helsinki and area, also bringing their wives riding pillion. From Denmark we are having one guy, whereas my wife and I are representing Norway. Some Swedes and Icelandics would have completed the Nordic set-up, but maybe next time.

We are doing the Tenderloin of South-Eastern and North-Western Norway, including the Venabygd Mountain Range, the Dovre Mountain Range, the Atlantic Road, Trollstigen and Geiranger. Quite an extensive route for a weekend, even for an oval one, but these guys are used to riding long and hard. They are Iron Butt Masters, so they know the drill.

I had to adjust the riding comfort of my KTM 690 Enduro with a comfy seat from Seat Concepts.

This evening, prior to our departure, I have prepared my KTM 690 Enduro with a more – shall we say – touring friendly seat from Seat Concepts. The standard one is not made for long hauls – not for my butt, anyway – so fortunately it arrived this afternoon, just in time for our departure. A while ago I bought a similar branded seat for my Yamaha WR250R, and I am so satisified I didn´t have to look further for a comfy seat. The pannier rack for my KTM didn´t arrive in due time, though, so I have to use some packing space on the Mothership.


The Mothership is my wife´s Moto Guzzi Breva 750, which also got its Krauser panniers mounted today. They fit very nicely, and is a breeze to install. It is one of those C-Bow thingies, and looks and feels pretty sturdy, even for being semi-rigid panniers. We will se how they fare in the debut this weekend. The only worry is the weather forecast. It has been the wettest, coldest and most snowy spring since 1946. It has become a tad warmer, though, so let´s hope the Weather Gods will treat us nicely.


Stay tuned for pics from the Norway Bike Weekend trip 2015!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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…

Categories: Good to know | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Krystall weekend


This is from my 2006 trip to the Krystall rally. Putte on his Corda tried to pull-start my Ural, but to no avail…

This weekend is the Krystall Rally taking place in Norway. It is a winter motorcycle rally up in the mountains somewhere in the southern part of the country. It has moved around a bit, but this year it is in the Rondane mountains.

What is in my view special about this rally, beside it being organized for 44 years this year, is that it is held at a hotel. So you ride there, park your bike, and carry your stuff to a nice, warm room. Not a bad idea, really, and certainly it has become popular among foreign riders, as I have understood it.

Not that I would know, though, because I was there only once, nearly ten years ago, in 2006. I had a Ural sidecar rig at the time, and my buddy Tor with his immaculate Guzzi rig and I went there. To make a long story short, the Ural broke down on the morning of departure from the hotel, so I had to ride in the tub of Tor’s Guzzi to get home and fetch the Ural a couple of days later by car and trailer.

Anyway: Krystall Rally might be a nice way of meeting other winter riders and learn from their experience, if you’re new to this. You don’t have to worry about camping out and all that. All you need to think of, is how to get there. And preferably back too.

Tor on his Guzzi and me on my Ural en route to Krystall 2006. Wow, time flies...

Tor on his Guzzi and me on my Ural en route to Krystall 2006. Wow, time flies…

The rally at that time was held at Oset høyfjellshotell. Posh winter luxury.

The rally at that time was held at Oset høyfjellshotell. Posh winter luxury.

Some of the rally goers back in 2006.

Some of the rally goers back in 2006.

Categories: Winter rides | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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