Starting Location:Â Ã…ndalsnes
Ending Location:Â FlÃ¥m
Total Distance Traveled (including this day):Â 4963kmÂ
Bike Comfort Factor (1-10) :4
“Tired” Factor (1-10) :8
In every trip there is at least one thing that stands out. Â If you are lucky there are a few. Â In our trip, there were lots. Â Most of them happened this day. Â In short, consider this day a biker’s dream.
We woke up later than usual (about 9am). Â At this point I hinted that the bike will be inserted into Gregg after the tent poles for keeping us awake last night. Â Roy was good enough to get us coins for the showers. Â You need 10Krone coins. Â These get you 2 minutes of hot running water. Â Of course I thought the clock would start when you started the tap.
I was wrong. Â Insert coin, see countdown starting, curse and try to get undressed and into the shower. Â Wash quickly. Â You know the time has run out when the water turns polar ice cold.Â Lovely.
After the “shower” we packed up and headed on our first trip of the day. Â There was a MC club meet (Motorcycle Club) near the Troll pass. Â We decided to pay a visit. Â As ever, we were made feel most welcome. Â This is a bunch of folks you would typically want to cross the street to avoid. Â 10am and drinking. Â Loud, obnoxious etc. Â Â Arvid told them what we were doing, they wouldn’t take any money to enter and gave us patches/stickers and made us feel most welcome. Â We wandered around looking at bikes, scenery, trikes, scenery, and just simply scenery. Â Apparently when the MC club leaves, you would barely know they were there. Â
We wandered around the hundreds of bikes of various ages and shapes and sizes. Â But then, out of all things, Gregg’s dream was fulfilled by seeing his dream vehicle.
A fucking ford mondeo.
Gregg had been on a “Top Gear” hunt since getting to Europe. Â Being a huge fan on the TV show, he was trying to see the cars that appear in it all the time which are not available in the USA. Â A mondeo was top of the list. I spotted one and had the camera ready when pointing it out. Â Folks, this is a very happy Gregg (although somewhat disappointed when he saw the car for what is was, which I found most entertaining).
Then, it was time to leave. Â And on we went to the Troll Pass. Â An infamous road at the best of times.Â Â Â A narrow road rising up a mountain, hairpin bends with waterfalls to one side and sheer drops on the other. Â Not to mention also caravans, cars and every other type of tourist going up and down it. Â Was it twisty? Â Well, this was the view from Tom Tom.
The reality is that from a biker perspective, it was a *very* slow road due to the traffic and sheer narrowness of the turns. Â We went slow and simply enjoyed the views, even stopping half way up to take photos.
Â At the top, there is a tourist shop, so we bought our tat and made a plan of where next to go. Â Â We *could* do the same road back down, but Arvid suggested we try heading over the mountain and south via Geiranger. Â So we stayed high on the mountain and headed southeast to the fjord. Â We got to the edge of the Fjord about 30 minutes later and could look down and see the inlet. Â Note the cruise ship.
To get around the fjord, you follow the road, downhill. Â It was perfect biking architecture. Â Dry, empty and very very twisty but wide enough to take at a good pace. Â A panic filled screamfest of fun few minutes later and we were at ground level and stopping to empty our boots… Â The town is very touristy, so we ploughed on to the next place to eat. Â This took us back up the mountain along the fjord and back into snow (I swear we were in and out of the snow line 6 times this day) and eventually at this random restaurant in the snow, miles from everywhere. Â Obviously built for tour buses, it was empty so we ate. Â Afterwards heading southwest along the 55 until we got to Lom. Â Noted for one of the last remaining Stave Churches, we took some pictures.
It was approaching 5pm already. Â It had been a long day, but Arvid had a few more boxes to tick. Â Roy was bored with the pace into Lom (there was traffic and many of us were in group riding mode) so he and Arvid went ahead to the next meetup. Â We agreed to go on Â the 55 to the Turtagro hotelÂ and meet there. Â The 55 at this point is not the best road in the world, with unpaved parts and monumental twists. Â Gregg and Chris were getting faster and faster so we upped our game to a few shards below “nutter” mode. Â By the time we met Arvid and Roy, they could hear us long before seeing us (The benefit of never going higher than 3rd gear). Â Taking a short break, comments like “I think I pee’d myself” and “we’re alive!” were liberally added to the manic laughter and nerves. Â Excellent!.
Â But of course, it wasn’t ending there. Â Arvid had another trick up his sleve. Â The quickest way toÂ FlÃ¥m was by leaving the 55 and riding theÂ Tindevegen Road (“peak road”). Â You know when Arvid is warning about the road, that it’s’ gonna get interesting. Â This is a private road over the mountain range, therefore has no obligation for safety signs, lights or typical road-warnings. Â Â All there is is snow poles on either side of this anorexic twist lane. Â And you get to pay for the honour of doing this, half way at the top of the snowy mountain pass.
They went ahead, we followed. Â Â You *need* to be awake on this road, on a pushbike, car or motorbike. Â It is smooth(ish), fast, bendy and almost empty. Â The pace was brilliant. Â The scenery is stunning. Â At the half way point, Arvid was there to make sure that our credit cards were ok on the toll bridge (automated because *nobody* is around).
Â It was freezing. We were sweating. Â Â The second half bit was downhill, but apparently much narrower and shorter. Â Arvid and Roy went on, but then Gregg moved ahead of me to take lead. Â What followed was about 20 minutes of Â hairpin, 180 degree turns downhill with Gregg in front, me about 2 metres behind him and Chris behind me. Â Â There was no time for Â Gregg to check mirrors, but apparently all he could hear was my IXIL exhaust crawling up his arse. Â An American had discovered corners! Â We got down the bottom just behind Arvid and Roy with a combination of exhilaration, wild joy and the desire to be the Pope and kiss the tarmac. Â Gregg’s GoPro was on for the trip, so when I get time I will publish a video. Â It was already 9pm. Â We had another 120 KM to go toÂ FlÃ¥m so we set off.
Again, we kept the straight line pace very fast. Â Averaging 80mph or higher (even in a 18km long tunnel). Â Chris was doing 100Mph overtakes in a tunnel on a bend. Hilarious! Â We made it to a camp site for 10pm. Â No cabins, so tent setup time began. Â We got setup, apologised to our bikes for the day (my tyres were starting to look a tad old) and 4 of us headed to a local micro-brewery for Â beers. Â Gregg and Arvid are big beer fans. Â Chris doesn’t drink much but makes us laugh. Â I had two pints of beer and felt shitfaced. Â Time for bed. Â Collapsed by midnight after one hell of a day.