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Old 10-04-2007, 02:39 PM   #1
frtzl OP
Mors longa, vita brevis
 
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Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Wilmington, DE
Oddometer: 231
You know what I like about an ADV ride?

Even short ones are adventures!

My GF, some friends, and I are headed up to a mountain lodge here in Norway this weekend and I plan to ride up on the DL650. No big deal there, right? Well, consider that 2 nights in the lodge and a fair amount of hiking calls for about 12kg of gear, but the biking kit and road tools weigh at least twice as much. The comm system alone is a rats nest of wires that takes non-trivial setup and teardown time, especially with the PMRS (euro FRS) hooked in.

Furthermore... will it snow? will it freeze? will I go hypothermic on the ride? will the bike be snacked on by goats while I am off peak bagging? slither off a remote mountain sheep path? Weather forecasts differ. I am prepped with substantial amounts of fleece, windstopper, goretex, and leather AND chemical heat packs (but no electrics, gulp!).

I am totally psyched about even the downside to this trip. Is that wrong? Am I mentally ill?

Vroom vroooom,
F


NB: We're down to hours before I will have to park the bike for the winter here in Norway, any ride time is good time!
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"A word of advice; if anyone uses the phrase 'as the crow flies' in your presence, slap him immediately. You are bound to want to slap him some time later." Metaljockey

My rides:
2009 BMW F650GS (The Cruise Basselope)
2009 Yamaha Zuma 125 (Sold due to new commute)
2000 BMW R1100R (Blaue Engel) (Traded)
2006 DL650 Euro Black, lightly customized (Godzuki) (Sold)
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Old 10-04-2007, 03:06 PM   #2
GB
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Sounds like an adventure is on its way! Lots of pics!!

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Old 10-08-2007, 03:28 PM   #3
frtzl OP
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Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Wilmington, DE
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Keep the zamboni close by

(click the pics for larger images)

Cold is COLD!

I rode the bike up from Oslo to Rondvassbu, near Otta, in the southern mountains of Norway. The ride up was in the dark in temps hovering around 35F. That is... not warm. I was lucky in that I was caravanning with my girlfriend and some others who could act as my zamboni if I biffed, had a moose encounter, got too cold, or just plain wimped out. Fortunately their services were not required, but I think I would have been hesitant to do the ride again, knowing what I know now, without them.

On the ride up I got chilled enough to be shivering. My mountain climbing brain was telling me that shivering means that I am too cold to focus on riding, but my pride was (regrettably) stronger. After a warming stop for dinner and firing up some more hand warmers to go inside of my jacket, I was actually feeling pretty good during the second leg of the drive.

Here's the crew atop the local summit. Yes, that's snow and ice and wind as we take the token photos and hustle back into the lee of the mountain.



I don't have electrics on the bike, but now think that it might not be just a luxury. At least grip warmers. As it was, I used chemical heat pads taped to the hand grips. They helped, but even with the handguards the wind stripped a lot of the heat.

As for the rest of my body, I was layered up as best I could.

Base layer (wool, polypro):


Insulating layer (hiking pants, windstopper fleece, neck gaiter, fleece helmet liner, back protector, ski socks with liner socks):


I also added my hiking jacket to add another level of core protection:


And finally the protective gear (Aerostich AD1, First Gear Kili 4.0, Caberg Justistimo, Specter Road boots, insulated gloves):


Gawd, I look like such a dork. My girlfriend takes these photos to use as blackmail if I ever start thinking I might be remotely cool.

On the ride out, it was warm enough to shed a few layers, even to open up the sleeve vents once I was back in the valleys.

So, what about the trip itself, apart from the bike geeking? It was a very nice weekend at Rondvassbu hytte taking in the fall colors in the valleys and the stark beauty in the high plains. Norwegians are relentless hikers, you park and hike (or bicycle) 6km to the hytte. Fortunately, once at the hytte, they are far from roughing it: a dining hall, showers, bunk rooms, etc. are all available.



After our hike we returned to the lodge to see this rather distressing site. An SAR chopper landed, put off a tech and took on two civis. We thought, "Uh oh, they're off to track down some lost hiker." But, in fact, they were just up on a training run and the lodge's cook wanted a joy ride!



You've heard of lemmings, right? Have you ever seen one? I hadn't until this trip, but the rumor is that this is going to be a "lemming year" which means that there's going to be a mass suicide. For now, the critters are just running around looking like a guinea pig painted up like a marmot.



In conclusion: Cold... it's a bitch. The plan to garage the bike on 1 November is looking pretty solid. Adding grip warmers and a heat-troler is also high on the to-do list, and possibly a heated vest if I can find one driven from a powerlet jack.

On a more philosophical note: when a motorcycle is involved with a tour, even a short one, it becomes part of the narrative. The trip may not be a "motorcycle trip" but if there's a bike there, it factors in. My friends in the car were puzzled when it took me extra time to get my gear adjusted, my earplugs in, get things settled in right. It wasn't excessive time, just more than "sit down, buckle up, and turn the key." These things fade into the background for the rider but when observed by non-riders I, at any rate, became self conscious.

That said, having friends along, even if they did spend some awkward moments watching me get my act together, was a big psychological advantage when treading the thin line between "adventure" and "daft." You never know when that zamboni will need to mop you up.

So... there you have it, no negative encounters with the local wildlife or other drama. I was certainly right at the edge of "too cold," without something adding heat back to my body. Furthermore, I got some great hiking in. Unfortunately, I was too focused on making time to get any good photos of the fall colors in the valleys.

F
__________________
"A word of advice; if anyone uses the phrase 'as the crow flies' in your presence, slap him immediately. You are bound to want to slap him some time later." Metaljockey

My rides:
2009 BMW F650GS (The Cruise Basselope)
2009 Yamaha Zuma 125 (Sold due to new commute)
2000 BMW R1100R (Blaue Engel) (Traded)
2006 DL650 Euro Black, lightly customized (Godzuki) (Sold)

frtzl screwed with this post 10-09-2007 at 01:57 AM
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