Posts Tagged With: touring

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

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.

Categories: Good to know | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Frozen

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!

Categories: Winter rides | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We want to see yours!

We want to see YOUR Image of Norway!

My riding buddy Jon captured this image on our way from the North Cape. He really wanted a pic with his Triumph in front of these racks that is used to dry fish. An Image of Norway. Photo: Jon Whitmore

Jon captured this image on his way from the North Cape. He really wanted a pic with his Triumph in front of these racks that is used to dry fish. An Image of Norway.
Photo: Jon Whitmore (2012)

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.

Send it to me for posting on http://www.ridenorway.com, or post it directly on the Facebook page. A few details regarding your pic would be welcome too.

We’re all looking forward to your Image of Norway!

Even the camp sites in the Lofoten Islands are magnificent. Is this how you picture Norway? Photo: Jon Whitmore (2012)

Even the camp sites in the Lofoten Islands are magnificent. Is this how you picture Norway? Photo: Jon Whitmore (2012)

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

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?

IMG_5676

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

 

 

Categories: Good to know | 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

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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