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Old 01-09-2010, 05:53 AM   #61
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Day 06 - 31/7-09
650 km - Total milage: 2551 km
Verdal - Bodø


A couple of days ago I mentioned sore asses.....here's the day's route



We had a quick huddle before we went to our separate tents and decided to get up bright and early, pack our shit in a rapid, but manly fashion and jolt. A morning of spiritual enlightenment (cough*fraud*cough) was not on the menu.

The plan was to ride for about an hour and then stop for breakfast. This is a method I've used while travelling in a rental around the US and also on the Australia trip. It saves alot of time in the mornings and gets you a bit further in a day than if you eat breakfast before leaving. Try it, it works.


P: Lars

The ride north on E6 was relaxed and uneventful. The sun was shining for a while....

The Gate to Northern Norway (it's the aurora borealis incase you didn't get it)


P: Lars

It gradually got colder as we rode along and then the sky infront of us morphed into a wall of solid black. We rode along, as you do, sort of on toe, alternating between looking at the weather up ahead, the GPS and the course we were on and eachother. After a few minutes it became clear that we were going to get the full force of nature and pulled over to the side of the road. Lars donned his yellow suit and I put on my Aerostich GoreTex 3-finger gloves, glad I went with full time membrane the last time I was out shopping for a suit.

The weather was awful, but didn't last that long, maybe 20-30 minutes. The picture above of the "gate" is actually from the tail end of the weather.

Suddenly Lars swirved to the right for a u-turn. We'd crossed paths with friendlies on their way home from their vacation, Lars and Elisabeth had left a couple of weeks before us, but had ridden directly north to completee a trip from a few years back.


P: Lars

We arrived in Mo I Rana and decided to go to ACR (Artic Circle Raceway) to check if there were any possibilities of camping there. Our original plan was to ride north as fast as possible to North cape. Go east to the Russian border and then check out the coast on our way back south. The schedule was to coincide with the final round on the Norwegian Roadracing calendar on ACR in Mo I Rana on aug 9th.



ACR is Norways national center for roadracing and is concidered one of the best race tracks in northern Europe. The asphalt aswell as the exciting view from the track is getting notice outside our borders. The track is 3753m long and the unofficial lap record is 1m28.928s (set by kai Børre Andersen in 2007).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_Circle_Raceway


P: Photbucket.com

We arrived at the track late in the afternoon. The sky was overcast and the wind cried out. It wasn't particularly warm and to top it off the buildings (Main building and pit garages), fences and everything else was very gloomy. Reminded me of grey eastern european architecture. Sad to see how there's (what else can be the cause) little or no money put into the facility to maintain it's high standard (when it was built in the mid nineties). To top it off the final round of the RR championship had been cancelled due to lack of riders (good thing we stopped by..... would've sucked to arrive there on race day and the place being empty...)

But we did at least eat our lunch there, on a tired old table surrounded by old tires and body parts (race cars ), quite agreeing that it would be a long time until our next visit to ACR.

View from behind pit garages



Start/ finish straight. Looks like the latest race here was a 34 lap race



After the race the plan was to spend 4 days going down the coast to Trondheim, eventually ending up at the Buckride Rally (OTC's annual rally http://www.otc-mc.org/eng/ )

So now what ? Quick change of plan. Do the coast on the way north to begin with.

Arctic circle


P: wikipedia.com

I was tired, cold and not in the best of moods. Sorry about that Lars.


P: Lars

We went inside the tourist trap for a cup of coffee before continuing on towards Bodø


P: Lars


P: Lars

We arrived in Bodø late in the evening, around 10pm, and pulled into an Esso for gas and a bit of hot coffee and som some of baked goods (can't remember what it was). It had been a long day, breakfast "on the run", riding 650 kms (personal record for me). It had begun raining and we decided go down to the docks to see when the next ferry over to the Lofoten Islands departed. Don't know if we were lucky or not, but the next ferry was at 00.30 on saturday (2 hours or so away). We parked our bikes in front of the line of cars which were beginning to form and occupied a table in the terminal building. Lars went for a beer run and I took a quick spin around downtown Bodø. Last time I was here was in 1996 when I was the cannon commander on an MTB for the Norwegian Navy. It was nice to see the streets, docks and hotel again, but it was, as I mentiond, raining so I headed back after a few minutes.

Lofoten Islands


P: harald.olsen.dk


P: kent.vgb.no


We had called ahead to Maren Anna [ GPS: N67 53.414 E13 01.468 ] - a very well known fish restaurant/ hotel (rorbuer) old boathouses rebuilt to cabins at the shore. Being in holiday mode we never thought about it being friday night and ofcourse they were fully booked throughout the weekend. They also informed us that we had little to no chance of finding any vacancies so close to the weekend. We boarded the ferry anyway and figured we'd just ride into one of the camping sites there....

The ferry arrive a bit late at 00.45 (is that 12.45am ? I always get the hour after midningh and noon mixed up for some reason..... (because 12 acts as zero acc. to wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/12-hour_clock. It'd be like if we used 24,1,2....23....What a ridiculous system. Hah !)). We strapped our bikes down the proper way (from the handlebars, one strap on each side) and watched a dutch couple strap down their Honda ST (or similar) with one strap over the saddle....then, after they had left, watched one of the ferry crew kicking a rubber-stop underneath the bike (bending the engine fairing a fraction) while uttering a few juicy words no one south of the Arctic circle is allowed to use (Northern Norwegians are known for their colorful language; Satans-Horse-Cock, for example, borders on being a term of endearment and it's not unheard of for a Northern Norwegian to swear continuously for a minute because he missed a button on his shirt...)

A well earned rest on the ferry







.
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Old 01-09-2010, 06:47 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gravel Seeker


P: kent.vgb.no
cool!
thanks for all the great pics.

you guys are really catching some crap weather. I admire your spirit, and hope you're enjoying the trip despite of it.
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Old 01-09-2010, 07:28 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subvet
cool!
thanks for all the great pics.

you guys are really catching some crap weather. I admire your spirit, and hope you're enjoying the trip despite of it.
Thanks for highlighting pictures I've found on the interweb and none of mine.... that really lifts my spirit Just kidding
It's about to get better, the last week we had fan-fucken-tastic weather But other worries completely

Thanks for following my RR, Day 07 will be up tomorrow (or possibly later tonight) - just wrote it, but Lars is fact checking before I post (really allowing or disallowing pictures of himself

Lars, I'm very thankful for all the typos you catch before I post

.
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:32 AM   #64
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Nice write up, also nice to see some of the places Adam and I visited, it's a truely magnificent country you have, and we are planning a possible return visit in 2011(i'll need that long to save up for the food again !)
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:14 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Gravel Seeker
Thanks for highlighting pictures I've found on the interweb and none of mine.... that really lifts my spirit Just kidding
It's about to get better, the last week we had fan-fucken-tastic weather .
sorry about that. I just thought it was a really neat little village. You've been taking/posting good pictures but you find even better ones on the web.

I hope the weather gods smile on you and Lars.
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Old 01-10-2010, 02:36 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by Funners
Nice write up, also nice to see some of the places Adam and I visited, it's a truely magnificent country you have, and we are planning a possible return visit in 2011(i'll need that long to save up for the food again !)
Peppes Pizza celebrates their 40th anniversery these days ~ eat as much as you like for NOK 99,- (deal ends on jan 18th though so you need to hurry )
There are limits even to what I can claim credit for, but I do agree parts of Norway is absolutely mind blowing. When you see it every time you go for a ride you forget to appeciate it.
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Old 01-10-2010, 03:02 AM   #67
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Sporting -29,6oC at the moment...anyone for freesbee and umbrella-drinks ?


Day 07 - 1/8-09
322 km - Total milage: 2873 km
Bodø - Harstad


(in reality we did Verdal - Harstad with just a 4-5 hour break in realtion to the ferry across from Bodø to Moskenes for a total of 972,5 km in "one" go).




Arriving in Moskenes at around 5am we turn left and ride the few kms south to a place called "Å". This is where the road ends in the lofoten islands.



The camping site in Å was full. Said so on the sign. Fuck...ok.....ride towards the mainland 'til we find a place to stay ?

The sun was about to rise so it could've been worse.




P: Lars





The scenery truly is amazing out here. Wild as can be whilst still being civil.







We'd been riding for about an hour and were looking for a nice spot to eat breakfast. This place fit the bill so we made it home for half an hour (and probably woke up every one living there with my unrestricted exhaust...). This is the oldest remaining fishing village in Norway (Europe, world ? can't remember). Dunno if they still use it today. It's maintained for the tourists at least and you had to pay to go down there.





The journey continued trough small towns and ever-rolling terrain following the road from island to island connected by small bridges.


P: Lars


P: Lars


P: Lars


P: Lars

I grew more tired for every km we rode


P: Lars

I had a hard time keeping my eyes open. Beautiful as it was I was exhausted from the previous day and we'd only slept for a couple of hours on the ferry. The blistering views could only keep me awake for so long (it also gets very monotone, believe it or not)


P: Lars

I was constantly discovering I was dozing off....more and more frequent and for longer and longer periods at a time (3-4 seconds perhaps ?) I faced up to my limitations and we pulled over to the side of the road.


P: Lars

We slept for an hour stright on the ground. One of the best naps of my life, never mind a couple of flies and mosquitos.



The glorious sunrise had now turned to overcast. Cold sea air chilled me to the bone.


P: lars


P: lars

We had no luck finding a place that had room and decided to head for Harstad, making this the fastest known sightseeing of Lofoten. Ever. It's in the books.


P: Lars

We filled up in Svolvær and I got some windprotection installed


P: Lars

The locals were not impressed


P: Lars


P: Lars

I really was pretty miserable and as we approached Harstad Lars pulled over in an information bay along the road. He thought he'd have a look on the area map if there was a suitable camp site we could pitch our tents in. I shook my head, pointed to the Zumo which I had set for the Thon hotel downtown - "Just follow me...."

http://www.thonhotels.com/harstad

NOK750 per person in a single (one each, double rooms, lots of space) inluding free coffe at the coffebar aswell as brekfast in the connecting Egon restaurant. And parking in a closed parking lot. Sweet.

http://www.egon.no/index.asp?ParentI...816&DocID=5294

We had warm showers and washed our wool inners in the bathroom sink adn hung everything to dry before heading out for lunch. Guessing hotel staff are just loving dirty bikers dropping in Seeing as how we were smack in the middle of down town (albeit Harstad is a very small city, there is a down town), we didn't have to walk far before we found a nice place. A huge home-made style burger and a couple of beers later and we were both having problems keeping our eyes open. So we headed back to the hotel after lunsj for a quick rest, but we needed to get some supplies for the next day (sunday - shops are normally closed on sundays in Norway) so we started looking for a grocery store after the rest. A bit unlucky with our timing is all....shops closed at 4 pm and it was now around 4.05pm. Crap. We ended up walking for about half an hour before we found a shop where we got everything we needed for a couple of days on the road camping.

After returning to the hotel we were both knackered (these couple of days had really taken its toll). The planned restaurant dinner went out the window, but we couldn't just go straight to bed so we took a walk on the seaside promenad where we found another grocery store that was open....2 minutes from the hotel.

I tried to stay awake as long as I could, but had to call it quits at 7.30pm

The view from the hotel room was pretty fucking fantastic ('cept the parked cars ofcourse)




Tomorrow would bring tears;

- of excitement
- of joy
- of frustration

and ultimately of sorrow and anger







.
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'01 F650 Dakar - modified as best I can

2005: Australia - 8 months/ 26.000 km (anti clockwise circle)
2009: Norway - 2 weeks/ 6000 km (Lindesnes to North cape)

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Old 01-14-2010, 09:40 AM   #68
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Come on Man, it's getting cold out here and I'm runnin gout of firewood waitin' for ya !
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:19 AM   #69
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Indeed, I´m planning a trip through Norway for the coming summer very much like this and I´m anxious to see how it will end
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Old 01-14-2010, 12:22 PM   #70
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Fantastic report.
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:26 PM   #71
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Absolutely beautiful. I hope to return to Norway and tour by motorcycle. I've been there in the past visiting relatives in Notodden.

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Old 01-14-2010, 01:48 PM   #72
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Terrific narrative and beautiful photos! I just read the thread from the beginning and am looking forward to more! Loved the shots over the cliff edge (yikes--I think that I would be one of those folks stretched out on their stomachs, straining my head just enough to peer over the edge). I also love all of the bridge shots. I appreciate the effort and time that you are taking in posting this story--some things are worth the wait!
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Old 01-15-2010, 01:26 PM   #73
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I've been away all week, but will try to get the next installation up tomorrow.
Thanks for reading though - glad y'all like it.

Tonight I'm focusing on Pål Anders Ullevålseter's win on the penultimate stage of the 2010 Dakar ! Thought I'd see it on Eurosport with Swedish commnetary at 23.00, then at TV2 Zebra with English commentary and the re-run on Eurosport with Norwegian commentary.

The other night the Norwegian guy had Ullevålseter live via phone during the broadcast, that was exciting for us up north. Norwegian media "only" focuses on soccer, handball and skiing pretty much. A stage win and 2nd over with only a short leg to go doesn't even earn you a headline in the sports section of the paper. Apparantly some skier had to use the bathroom while on the bus the other day

Jeeses....
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2009: Norway - 2 weeks/ 6000 km (Lindesnes to North cape)

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Old 01-15-2010, 02:15 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gravel Seeker
I've been away all week, but will try to get the next installation up tomorrow.
Thanks for reading though - glad y'all like it.

Tonight I'm focusing on Pål Anders Ullevålseter's win on the penultimate stage of the 2010 Dakar ! Thought I'd see it on Eurosport with Swedish commnetary at 23.00, then at TV2 Zebra with English commentary and the re-run on Eurosport with Norwegian commentary.

The other night the Norwegian guy had Ullevålseter live via phone during the broadcast, that was exciting for us up north. Norwegian media "only" focuses on soccer, handball and skiing pretty much. A stage win and 2nd over with only a short leg to go doesn't even earn you a headline in the sports section of the paper. Apparantly some skier had to use the bathroom while on the bus the other day

Jeeses....
He has a lot of fans in the UK too. Top fella. Great to see him doing so well.
Here's hoping he can hold it to the line.
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Old 01-16-2010, 07:18 AM   #75
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The Dakar rally is over. Ullevålseter in 2nd overall. Fantastic !

__________________________________________________ _______________


Day 08 - 2/8-09
250 km - Total milage: 3123 km
Harstad - Skibotn


Good morning one and all !
Like I mentioned at the end of the last day's report, today would bring

Tears
- of excitement
- of joy
- of frustration

and ultimately of sorrow and anger





The tide was turning.
Demons were slowly exhaling their last breaths.
Angelic whispers enticing the sunrise.
What a splendid morning !



Since we went to bed real early we were up an about at 6.30am. Breakfast of bacon, eggs, juice, bacon and a side order of bacon (more cowbells anyone ?) in the adjacent Egon restaurant hit the spot like a bad porn actress.

We were quietly laughing in our moustaches of a loud Trønder (person from Trøndelag, the two states around Trondheim, in this case a man). He was a horse breeder/ trainer. He'd been had for several millions by his brother/ cousin/ uncle/ someone, but now he'd made the millions back and blah blah blah what a fucking wanker.

We set off for the ferry terminal to take us across to the mainland (you bypass lots of fjords and peninsulas by taking one ferry). Lars had already been down to the garage so his bike was all set to go, I had to pack mine before getting gas on the way to the ferry. It was now 9.40 and the ferry left at 10.00.... let's just say we hauled ass through Harstad and made it to the terminal with time to spare.


P: Lars



Did I mention what a fucking great morning this was ?!

WARNING: Strong picturesque scenes follow









Where are we ? The indian Ocean ? I haven't seen water like this since I rode down the west coast of Australia and now we're literally a world away


P: Lars

We were perhaps more excited than some.... yep, buddy, it's early and you're on the internet. Congrats.


P: Lars




P: Lars



But everything has an end. This was the last picture I shot before riding off the ferry.



We've now covered the tears of excitement, let's move on to the joyful ones


P: Lars

The road is winding along the coast. The inviting, but ever chilling arctic ocean framed by some of the oldest mountains on the planet.


P: Lars


P: Lars

The frustrating part is that my watertemp warning-light came on shortly after riding off the ferry. It lit up when going up hill, but went out pretty much as soon as the terrain levelled out.

We rode to Bardufoss where Lars did his military service a "couple" of years back. He was a medic and later served in Lebanon with the UN forces. Since we were around these parts he thought it'd be fun to see the place again.

The weather had really turned now. Sporting high 20oC's and clear blue skies it was the utmost disasterous time for my bike to start acting up. After a slow tour of the old barracks the warning light just stayed on permanently.

We pulled into a gas station and begun exploring...


P: Lars


P: Lars

Seems disaster follows me on longer trips...





In Australia I suffred a pinhole in the radiator which gradually became larger and larger to the point where the water drained faster than I could refill it. Resulting in a number of overheating situations. After finally replacing the radiator the headgasket was so damaged it failed the very next day.

This time there were no leaks and I could not for the life of me figure out why it was overheating. I tried bleeding the system numerous times, but it didn't help. Coolant would flow out of the expansion tank lid.

Lost for ideas I tried removing the mechanical thermostat hoping that it was the culprit by not opening to let water circulate throught he radiator. It wasn't. It only made it worse.


P: Lars

Coolant would suddenly erupt out of the overflow tank while cruising along. At one point the lid flew clean off the bike and, believe or not, hit Lars' helmet as he was trailing me by maybe 20 meters. What are the chances.....

Halfway through the day I put the thermostat back and the bike behaved a little bit better, but would still spew coolant as soon as I rode a tiny bit inspired. What a crying shame ! Beautiful roads, blistering weather and my head burried in my gloves crying out in frustration. I can hear Axl Rose' shattering squeeky voice in my mind telling me all I needed was a little patience and it'd work itself out. It wouldn't. It never does. This would ultimately put a damper on the trip, both emotionally and geographically.

I lost count, but we surely stopped 10-12 times to refill water and bleed the system. After being on the move all day we had only covered 250 km when we decided to pull into Olderelv Camping [ GPS: N69 22.835 E20 17.692 ]


P: Lars

The place had cold Pepsi (a personal favorite) and a nice sauna !



Selftimer opportunity, let's try to keep our eyes ope.....






.
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'01 F650 Dakar - modified as best I can

2005: Australia - 8 months/ 26.000 km (anti clockwise circle)
2009: Norway - 2 weeks/ 6000 km (Lindesnes to North cape)

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