Starting Location:Â Hell
Ending Location:Â Ã…ndalsnes
Total Distance Traveled (including this day):Â 4470km approx
Bike Comfort Factor (1-10) :7
“Tired” Factor (1-10) :4
Day 11 started early. Â Chris and I rode back to the “Hell” garage to try to find postcards “from hell”. Â I had promised a number of sponsors postcards. Â It is amazing the see the difference between Norway and say… most of the rest of the 1st world. Â In other places this would have been a theme park!. Â Here, we found one rack selling limited postcards in a garage and that was it.
So, we bought a load of postcards and stamds, rode back to the campsite (Roy and Chris had a cabin again) and got ourselves ready to head on for the day. Â Now Arvid was going to be our guide. Â Â He Â wanted to get to know his new (and stunning) VFR. Â He took a look at my tyres and mentioned about the obvious motorway “wear and tear”. Â “We need to get some corners into them” he hinted. Â So, corners it would be.
We started on the E6, heading southwest for about 30 minutes, then turned off to a pass that Arvid knew. Â The next 60 minutes were a blur of speed and twisties, hair pin bends and narrow roads. Â Roy could now progress at the pace he wanted with Arvid and I stuck between that group and the Chris/Gregg couple at the rear.
Now for a slightly sycophantic moment with regards to bike riding. Â I can watch a good bike rider all day. Â Its not about speed (it rarely is). Â It is about control, pace in bends, position, awareness and grace. Â There are people I can watch all day riding bikes. Â My brother and Sean Cull are just two that spring to mind. Â Arvid joined that group instantly. Â Â I don’t even pretend to have that pace, nor do I want to try Â all the time. Â My chops, so to speak have gone up over the past few years, but this was a different class. Â Â Additionally, Arvid didn’t like to ride for hours. Â He puts 60 minutes of “no straight lines” riding in, then pulls in and has coffee. Â No 3 hour slogs which was a very welcome relief. Â Â This made things a lot easier for Gregg (naked bike) and Chris (not great over 70mph bike) and slowly over the next few days, their pace on B-roads steadily improved. Â Everyone in the group took criticism and encouragement well with relation to skills. Â The different styles were apparent, but all riders were of a good standard.
The second half of the day was something special. Â Â We headed west to the coast and rode the Atlantic Road pass in Norway. Â *This* is amazing. Â The Norwegians had taken their “we don’t do straight roads” and applied it to bridges alongside rises and dips that felt like you were on a rollercoaster. Â There we stopped again for coffee and quite a lot of photos.
Even this road was new for Arvid. Â The scenery around felt very “Atlantic”. Â Just like west coast of Ireland or Scotland. Â As we could see throughout the day, the difference in the landscape by heading a further south was more apparent. Â Onwards south with one quick ferry to bypass Langfjorden FjordÂ and then southeast toÂ Ã…ndalsnes. Â At this point, we were very near Â Trollstigen, but it was getting late, so time to find a place to camp. Â First stop was a shop to buy food for the night. Â Although Gregg had not noticed yet, his bike picked up some adornments. Â Payback, as they say, is a bitch. Â Luckily they did not stock toilet brushes as that was next on the list.
We were told about a motorcycle club meetup happening nearby, so decided to pay a visit the next morning. Â This was the view from the campsite. Â Seriously, photos (especially ones taken by me) do not do it justice.
There were no cabins available, so Roy and Gregg had to camp. Â Gregg again bunked in with Chris (he was dumb enough to bring a 3-man tent!) Â We ate, had one beer each and then retired. Â I was not in my sleeping bag more than 5 minutes before that lullaby of snoring by the American began, followed by mutterings of bad language from Chris. Â Arvid hinted that the next day would be something special. Â He was right.