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Old 02-20-2014, 08:37 AM   #61
sophijo
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Dear Gawd!

I keep mumbling to myself....this is CRAZY! You Da Man!
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:48 AM   #62
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I keep mumbling to myself....this is CRAZY! You Da Man!
You're the one mumbling to yourself and I'm the crazy

OK busted, might have been singing away in my lid a few times on this trip

Really wish I knew all the words to any song!
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:56 AM   #63
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So we tackled the pass and it kept getting more 'adventurish', I'm so glad Oystein had allowed me to charge my phone to record some details



If I ever get some proper cold weather boots I so need to return for more of this medicine, but so far I was beaten up, bruised (hey ice is hard, did you know that?)


post crash 'Selfie'


I finally got to a petrol station close to the E6 and was able to clean my goggles up, I spoke to two people coming from the other direction, they told me that the snow would lessen further along the way, so I filled up and got cracking, less sounded like it would be a good thing, I was quite wrong about that though!



It was becoming apparent that I wasn't going to make Trondheim before dark, but I decided to press on anyway, the lure of a warm bed and a shower too great, and besides I figured that the two guys had told me the road would get clearer.

unfortunately as I got closer to the coast and dropped out the mountains I had rain!! this I really hadn't expected, a huge change in temperature and weather, it was falling as a wet sleet and the roads became extra specially treacherous as the surface flitted between freeze and thaw

I really couldn't see much through the orange goggles, and it was hard to read the road in the dark, sometimes the road was dry and lightly coloured and the snow was wet and dark, then it would change to the complete opposite, the snow would be white and the road would be dark asphalt, I was trying to ride in the tyre tracks from earlier cars as the slush to the sides either sides was deadly, I was longing for the fresh snow from earlier.

I had the closest moment of the trip, there was an expansion joint on the start of a bridge which I hit at just over 40mph and it caused the suspension to compress fully, and on the exit the bike leapt sideways a little bit, not much, but enough to send me into the slush.

I lost the front end and the bike slewed to the right, I saw the steel barrier getting 'danger close' to my head, the Brain Captain informed me that this would be bad, really really bad and under his direction I stamped my foot hard onto the ground and it kicked the bike upright but the handlebars were all over the place and I slewed to the left, repeat right left right less and less as the speed decreased until eventually I was simply skiing either side of the bike a car overtook me and gave me a run of hazard lights in what I presumed was a congratulation, my heartrate started to slow as the adrenaline was burned up and it was back to the regular dark unpleasantness.

Some of the locals weren't happy at following this slow mover, and instead of waiting for the clear lane they would try to force me into the hard shoulder or they would drive in the slushy central reservation, the unpleasant side effect was the spray that got thrown up was a mixture of ice and water, it was a bit like having a bucket of iced water thrown in your face...ideal

Eventually I climbed the slow, long hill to find Trondheim laid out before me, I'd made it!

I'd been told to find the train station from where I was to call my hosts, somehow I missed all the signs for the station and nobody I stopped to ask could tell me where it was?? turns out its actually on a separate piece of land in the harbour!

I found a distinctive bridge next to a Radisson hotel and placed the call, turns out I was about ten minutes walk from the house that I was going to stay at tonight.

Not only were my hosts lovely, they were also switched on to the needs of a biker who'd been on the road, immediately showing me where my room, the shower and laundry was and before long I was being fed, and given a glass of red, ideal!

I felt safe and I felt warm, and I was so close to Hell I began to get excited
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:22 AM   #64
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Amazing. For sheer guts and determination in the face of seemingly overwhelming obstacles I'd put this report against anything I've read here in the past 2 years.
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Old 02-24-2014, 04:03 PM   #65
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Amazing. For sheer guts and determination in the face of seemingly overwhelming obstacles I'd put this report against anything I've read here in the past 2 years.
Thank you, that is appreciated considering the company here on ADV, though here is to more demanding challenges in the future!
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Old 02-24-2014, 04:07 PM   #66
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Once settled into the warm it was my initial reaction to throw myself back out into the cold, I'd picked up a sort of momentum which I could feel ebbing away the longer I spent in the warmth of my hosts house, however out of a sense of misplaced kindness the Man of the house was quite insistent on putting me off, even suggesting that we made the last few km's to Hell with the moped in his trailer behind his 4x4!

My flights were already booked, I knew I could make Hell but the truth is I'd wanted to go further North, my problem became one of time though, I simply couldn't afford to book a different flight, besides which I wasn't flying back to the UK, due to the price of the flights I had actually a somewhat more convoluted route that took me to Gdansk, whereby I would alight a train bound for Warsaw and then Lublin before finally going to visit my wonderful friends in Chelm.

Now if the weather was good I had just enough time to reach the Arctic Circle before turning around and heading back, if the weather got rough or I had a mechanical failure I would miss my flight.

Quite possibly for the first time in my life I made the agonisingly sensible decision to put my feelings aside and to listen to the voices of reason, and I felt horribly uncomfortable in doing so, I sat on edge for a day and despite eating into my travel time there was actually a point where unbeknownst to my lovely hosts who were planning a series of lovely activities for me I actually packed all of my kit ready to head out into the night to try and make up the time.

It was quite possibly only the knocking on my door to tell me dinner was ready and that we had plans to visit my hosts brothers house for coffee later that stopped me from a stupid decision

My wonderful hosts in Trondheim




I was awash with strange feelings at this time, ashamed that I had turned away from a greater yet surmountable challenge - certainly, then annoyance at my hosts for their failure to comprehend I wanted to put myself in harms way or to respect my choice or ability in their environ, disgust at myself for my lack gratitude for their benevolence, I knew I was being a little unrational, where had all this come from? I certainly didn't normally go through life like this?

I think I had just gone a little mad somewhere along the way after a fortnight of peering through the orange world through a letterbox type opening of my lid, otherwise incarcerated from the elements, being gently swayed by the hinged chassis of the overloaded Honda

The liferaft to my lost sense of destiny came unexpectedly at the coffee evening that night, my hosts brother was himself a motorcyclist, and as well as taking a curious interest in my trip to Trondheim he was also interested in the previous journey to Mongolia.

And so after some phone calls I found that I had now fixed a date in my calender to give a presentation to the Norge MC of Trondheim!! something I was naturally completely unprepared for.
As well as a welcome distraction it also came with the promise there would be a donation plate handed around so there might be some monies to be paid to the charity that had inspired me to undertake the journey in the first place, and so I told myself if option A was going North to satisfy my own desire to do something and option B was to the benefit of others and specifically Cancer Research then I had actually taken the more noble path, and even though a part of me accused the majority of using a lame excuse to get out of being cold it knew it didn't really have a leg to stand on

So first of I just had to complete my trip to Hell!

Hell is pretty close to Trondheim airport so not too far, in fact about 40km

I made the ride up there without my bags knowing I was returning to Trondheim in the same day and I have to say without all the gear the bike was actually pretty good fun on thick sheet ice of the minor road I took, I developed a style of cornering where the studs in my boots acted as my brake and so in order to steer around the corners I used an inboard style speedway leg to reduce speed and the throttle to spin the bike around that pivot, a little unconventional but I only ran wide and hit the armco once when the ice was so badly rutted I couldn't keep my foot on the ground

I was led all the way there and back by the concerned Parental figure of Lars, my wonderful host who also brought the traditional Norwegian 'Lunch Packet' and a thermos of coffee, I did feel very sorry for him having to wait for the C90 along the straights though he did have electrically heated seats which was one up on me I suppose

He also whizzed off to act as unofficial photographer in places

The road to Hell, not quite how Chris Rea sang it





And so after a long old ride I made it

I was in Hell and I couldn't have been happier about it :-)














So in one sense my journey had reached a conclusion, and in another I was only part way through

I gave my presentation to the Norge MC of Trondheim and gabbled on for over 2 hours about the previous summers expedition, in return I earnt another 70 or thereabouts for the Club who asked me to return in the future for one of their meets and also gave me a beautiful book about Trondheim along with their club badge




I felt extraordinarily pleased to have been received so warmly by these fellow bikers so far from home
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Old 02-24-2014, 04:16 PM   #67
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I had a couple of nice days with my hosts exploring Trondheim, a beautiful city I'd only visited in the long summer days before now, Lars was very knowledgeable about all manner of local histories, and so I learnt about U-boat pens and aircraft hangars he described as being left behind by some German tourists who also came to visit, I also found out a little about the man who built his own car in the pioneering days of automotive history, and by build his own we are talking engine block and everything! I learned about where he and his wife had grown up, worked and lived, visited the old quarter of wharf houses (Bakklandet) that are famous to the city and with some pride I learnt how it was a fellow Cornishman called John Trenery who had been responsible for much of Trondheim as it stood today, a clever engineer who in partnership with Norwegian financiers had built foundries and shipyards, steam engines and ships that had played a major role in the cities ability to grow from its surrounding natural resources.

We visited a revolving restaurant and enjoyed the views out over the city and fjord, an interactive museum dedicated to the growth of Norwegian rock music (Rockheim) and best of all I got the chance to have a little go at learning to cross country ski by the old Kristiansten fortress, something I hope I will get to do more of in the future

Trondheim




Nidaros cathedral - Trondheim




Even the statues were feeling the cold :-)




Outside the Revolving restaurant situated atop the media tower




the view from the restaurant over a snowy Trondheim




And Inside the Rockheim Museum with Berit and Lars learning how domestic music had grown up alongside foreign influences





And so the time came to put the humble Honda to bed, Lars had a barn which could be used and we shared a coffee at the farmhouse that had been his childhood home, he told me about his time as a boy there, his attachment to his pet cow Sniefried (spelling) who would laze in the sun with him on a summers day, and his distress when the cow was sold to another farmer. there was a lot of attachment and history in this place to him and I could see a sense of peace he felt when he was there, it was certainly a beautiful spot, situated on a relatively gentle slope overlooking the fjord.

I shut off the petcock from the fuel tank and waited for the C90 to thrum it's way through what little petrol sat in the float bowl wondering if it would ever start when I came back for her in the warmer months?

The bikes home for the winter





The view from the old farmhouse, every time he visits his childhood home which now stands dormant Lars makes an entry into his notebook, as does every visitor, I was glad to oblige though wonder what future historians would make of such a thing?







And so to say goodbye, I loaded my bags and I jumped on the budget flight to Sopot Airport in Gdansk where I attempted to buy our inmate LordMaciek a Piwo for his inspirational Motosyberia video (but he was out!) and a day later was received by my hospitable and charming Polish friends Monika, Sylwia and their respective families before heading home

Now all that was left was the return journey in the summer, surely that would be relatively uneventful?
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:23 PM   #68
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Great report! That understated humor is outstanding. Buildings "left by German tourists".... Very insightful all the way through and thank you for sharing your conflicting feelings about how the trip ended. Ya did well! Made money for the fight against cancer! Result! You are one adventurous lad! Enjoying your other reprot that's up now, too and of of course looking forward to seeing what happens when you go back for the bike. "Return to Hell"? "Hell, Part 2"?
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Old 02-25-2014, 03:28 PM   #69
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I had been pretty busy in the run up to collecting the bike from Trondhiem the following Summer, I work as a builder so it tends to be all or nothing depending on what works going on,

After I'd left the bike, the first two months of the year had been spent working on a house that my mother had bought in France, so for a three month period I only spent 3 days in the UK, furthermore the two months spent digging trenches for drains, building rooms, kitchens and bathrooms had all been unpaid, so I was working two sites now I had the opportunity.

I should have put up a thread about what was not going to work on my little Polar-Cub? would have been interesting to see what people thought :-)

The first problem was one I hadn't expected, the wheels wouldn't turn! I had sprayed the bike with WD-40 when I put it in that barn all those months ago, but I knew I deserved a few issues as I hadn't been able to wash the salt off the bike properly before laying it up.

Luckily a C90 weighs just a 100kgs, so I simply dragged it out into the open and opened up the toolkit to see what was what.

The rear brake drum was seized, at first I had thought it to be corrosion in the pivot that runs through into the drum housing but upon pulling it apart I found the pad had also just come away from the shoe




My host Lars was hovering around, and being quite a safety conscious sort (He had shown me the fire escape route from my room the first day I arrived at his house!) he didn't seem too impressed at my suggestion of just riding off with just the one brake suggesting that maybe I should just sell the bike to someone in Norway!

However, luck was on my side, there was actually a set of brake shoes in my top box that I had taken with me in the winter for some random reason, so these were fitted and the pivots oiled up and worked to loosen them

I took off the tyres by hand (actually you can do C90 tyres with no levers, literally just by hand, even my childhood BMX needed my mums spoons!) and reversed front to rear as the rear tyre was really quite worn

And so with that done and knowing the battery would be useless I gave the old girl a kick....

then I gave her another kick

the sweet sewing machine like thrum of the little cub came forth like a rapture to my ears, game on :-)




We took time to enjoy a coffee and I helped with the business of collecting Brocolli from the veg patch with Lars, guess what was on the menu that night!




Of course it was downhill from here, both literally and figuratively, I clacked my way down the road hoping that the chains many tight spots would unseize themselves as I proceeded, theres no O-rings in a C90 chain, it would sap too much power from the humble bike, So I reasoned that if we had enough shove and lube then it would all come good eventually

It actually felt really good, wobbling along the road with a mountain to my left, a fjord to my right, warm air, it doesn't matter what the bike is, I had that feeling, there was an adventure ahead of me! I would come to regret feeling so happy about that soon enough.

I left the following morning, well fed and cared for, Lars was still trying to foist Norwegian Chocolate, tinned meat and minituare toothpaste on my person as I put on my boots to go out the door! He was also going to drive out of the town and see me to the old minor road so I could avoid the faster new road, he tried to suggest I waited another day and put the bike onto his trailer as he and Berit were going to their cabin in the mountains along my route then, but I was keen to get that momentum going again, I felt the road calling to me.

I crunched it into first and headed out of the street

clack..........clack...........clack....clack...cl ack.clack,clack,clack

I made it 5 metres round the first corner before having to contemplate my first repair, this was going to be a long ride

I was trying to figure out why a bike would have developed some issue overnight? I located the source of the noise, one of the spokes had caught the chain guard somehow and bent it so it now touched the spokes every time we went over a bump, so I guess the extra weight was causing just enough extra movement for contact?

I hammered the chain guard back into something like its former self and carried on with it only making a 'clack' every once in a while

I said my heartfelt thank you to Lars somewhere on the road I was to take into the mountains

Now I should explain a little about my route and itinerary.

I wasn't riding directly to the UK, rather back to that house in France I had given 2 months to earlier in the year, in a horrible irony my mothers partner had been diagnosed with Cancer, furthermore the prognosis wasn't good, so instead of being in France enjoying working on their new house he was still in the UK receiving radiotherapy to try and buy him a little more time, so I was trying to get down to Central France to get the house 'finished' to a standard that he and my mother could enjoy it for what remained of the summer, realising that it may be the only chance they ever got to enjoy the dream they had shared, but I'd given myself a good amount of time and owing to coincidence I had two meetings arranged en route, the first was in a small town in Sweden called Vimmerby where I had a date with a beautiful young Swedish woman called Frida



And after an evening in there I was going to catch the ferry from Stockholm over to Gdansk where my friend Sylwia was on vacation with her boyfriend, I'd heard about an amazing Mexican restaurant in Gdansk and reasoned that as well as letting the ferry take some of the strain I would exploit the slower backroads and cheaper fuel in Poland before crossing Germany to my destination

So instead of the more obvious route seeing the beautiful Western fjords of Norway (I have been blessed to see them a few times before) I was going through central Scandinavia over the mountains that mark the border between Norway and her former ruler Sweden

So the first road took me straight past an area 51 style UFO bar, yep, Norway has a UFO hotspot, with it's own permanent research center that collects data using radar, camera etc , The Hessdalen Phenomonen oooooh

http://youtu.be/RR2TRGq2Zec


Not quite Mulder and Scully style UFO's so I wasn't fearful of abduction and probing, but an interesting story that I hadn't known about before.
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Old 02-25-2014, 05:50 PM   #70
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This is great fun. I have to ask though, why a 90?
The classic 70 not enough for 'ya?



Thanks for sharing - looking forward to more of your fun prose and pics.
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:43 PM   #71
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This is great fun. I have to ask though, why a 90?
The classic 70 not enough for 'ya?



Thanks for sharing - looking forward to more of your fun prose and pics.
A 6v c70 would be far too nice to beat up on a trip like this! Besides the 90's are cheaper here
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:26 AM   #72
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Nice to see the adventure continuing! I hope your Mom and her partner were able to spend some time in the house in France.
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:31 AM   #73
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A 6v c70 would be far too nice to beat up on a trip like this! Besides the 90's are cheaper here
Actually this one's an '84 - the last year they were available in Canada, and that makes it a 12v system.
They came out as 12v in late '83...or so I'm told.

I have an '83 CT110 that would have been the bomb for your adventure - were these things ever available in the UK?

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Old 02-27-2014, 05:46 PM   #74
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Actually this one's an '84 - the last year they were available in Canada, and that makes it a 12v system.
They came out as 12v in late '83...or so I'm told.

I have an '83 CT110 that would have been the bomb for your adventure - were these things ever available in the UK?

No but because of my curious lusts I've always wanted one :-)

then again I quite fancy a Honda Grom as well :-)
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Old 02-27-2014, 05:55 PM   #75
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I was pleased to discover this beautiful part of Scandinavia, the lack of speed was boring, but it was so lightly trafficked here that the overall effect was one of relaxation, something I couldn't have afforded in the winter





It was my plan to get into the Swedish Jamtaland at the very least and so I picked my way towards Funasdalen passing by the mining town of Roros






I still didn't have a map though, I was still burning way too much fuel and I couldn't ask the locals for directions!



These locals didn't speak English

The good weather and long summer days were conducive to good progress and I'd become reacquainted to the weavy suspension of the loaded 90 whilst managing to largely ignore that damned ocassional 'Clack' that chased me everywhere I went

Somewhere in the high country I found a perfect camping spot, a small trail leading to the edge of a lake, a previous occupant had left a stone circle firepit and there was just enough room to erect my new tent and park the 90, I heard about three cars all night, in the distance I could hear huskies getting vocal in their run but by far and away the loudest sound before my buzzsaw snoring started was the 'Plop' of fish dipping a fin in the air

I could not have been happier than in this moment, peace, natural beauty, canvas to kip under and a bike (of sorts)





I sampled some of the tinned meat Turist provident (tourist food) that Lars had insisted I take, having already polished off the 'lunch packet' sandwiches he had made me earlier that day




for reference its like corned beef hash, I do not know if it was made with free range or caged tourists I'm afraid?





It was a pity that the seals in my Primus Omnifuel had perished unbeknownst to me, everything eaten was eaten cold and I resented carrying the deadweight of the stove, but in such a serene spot.... who could care so much?
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