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Winter biking in the Scandi regions? (FAO Stormbringer)

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Celt500
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Winter biking in the Scandi regions? (FAO Stormbringer)

Post by Celt500 on Mon 19 Oct 2015, 6:44 pm

How late in the year is it practical to motorcycle in the north lands? I'm thinking Sweden/Norway/Denmark.

I have an itch to go touring. I may just go to France, try to drink cheese and eat wine and insult their rugby.  scratch
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stormbringer
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Re: Winter biking in the Scandi regions? (FAO Stormbringer)

Post by stormbringer on Mon 19 Oct 2015, 8:01 pm

@Celt500 wrote:How late in the year is it practical to motorcycle in the north lands? I'm thinking Sweden/Norway/Denmark.
I have an itch to go touring. I may just go to France, try to drink cheese and eat wine and insult their rugby.  scratch

Insulting the french - now there's a plan Smile

Seriously (I've got a french car and actually think there's some sense in the french way of looking at life), touring the scandinavian countries in neither-summer-nor-winter is bound to be a waste of time. Choose either summer OR winter! Strike that; choose summer - the CB isn't cut out to be a plod-through-the-salt-and-snow bike.

There's a reason I'm storing my bike in the shed through winter: Salt! Denmark is situated too far south to properly freeze up during winter - allowing the road authorities to settle for snow-ploughs and sand. Yet, too far north to get no frost - forcing the road authorities to do 'something'; pour (literally!!!) thousands of tons of salt onto publicly available transport infrastructure; the roads. Each year, we're guaranteed to get a free corrosion treatment!

Example: I took out my bike this year on march 1 - that's when my insurance cuts in (yes - itching to get on the road!). Bad idea; salt everywhere, ruining eg. my chain. A fortnight later it's all been washed away by the bloody (in some cases not!) rain. Time to start the biking season. From then on no problems.

With Denmark being the californian part of scandinavia, expect more cold and darkness as you progress up the map. Sweden and Norway are surprisingly big countries, and riding to eg Nordkap is a several-days-long adventure if you ask me. And the norwegians have gone utterly mad - right off the deep end! Food prices are - well, off the chart. A pint at the pub will set you back like 12£. Cucumbers are sold in quarts. Forget about tomatoes - how often do you buy nuggets of gold anyway? On the bright side, camping in the public is allowed - it's called "allemandsret", meaning "everyone's right to do". Got a mate who went to Norway in the summer with his FJ1200-mates. They brought *everything* - including fresh milk - along from DK.
But! You've got to go! It's spectacular. I'm referring to the norwegian 'kystrute' - the coastal route. I've heard nothing but praise about the kystrute. Rocks, fjords, little ferries, barren land, cozy little inns, desolation, magnificent views, reasonable road, friendly norwegians (they'd better be at that price!) and speed cameras.

It appears norwegians know how to make money from tourists..

Forget Denmark. Boring. Salt. Flat.

Sweden? Not Norway. Not Denmark. Just lots of road and forests. And blonde swedish girls.

I'd go to France. OTOH I'm biased - I've got shares in a chateau which I've never seen (the chateau!) and Norway is just round the corner, being excruciatingly expensive and thus uninteresting to people like me.

Now, imagine yourself being situated on a bench near the boule-court in a small french village, glass of wine in hand and nothing to do but watch the old geezers competing to win their silly boule-throwing feud...
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jonny10
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Re: Winter biking in the Scandi regions? (FAO Stormbringer)

Post by jonny10 on Mon 19 Oct 2015, 11:55 pm

@stormbringer wrote:
.....And the norwegians have gone utterly mad - right off the deep end! Food prices are - well, off the chart. A pint at the pub will set you back like 12£....

Shocked
Jeeeeeezus!
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stormbringer
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Re: Winter biking in the Scandi regions? (FAO Stormbringer)

Post by stormbringer on Tue 20 Oct 2015, 6:49 am

@jonny10 wrote:


@stormbringer wrote:.....And the norwegians have gone utterly mad - right off the deep end! Food prices are - well, off the chart. A pint at the pub will set you back like 12£....


Shocked
Jeeeeeezus!


The trouble with listening to people talking at lunchtime is that not all being said holds true under scrutiny. I decided to check up on this pint-price issue - and found out that my former statement isn't true.

Have a look at www.pintprice.com

According to these people a pint of norwegian lager hovers around the 7-8£ mark. Not 12£...

As compared to eg Denmark, where you'll get served a pint for 4.7£.

Or you could simply go to your local pub and have it for 3£?  But then there wouldn't be much touring...

Also, I've tried looking at where Scandinavia lands on the MdDonalds-index-list. There's little surprise in finding that Norway comes in as #2, Sweden is #3 and Denmark is #4. Have a look here Smile


Last edited by stormbringer on Tue 20 Oct 2015, 8:25 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Replaced wiki-source with the original one from 'The economist')
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ceejay
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Re: Winter biking in the Scandi regions? (FAO Stormbringer)

Post by ceejay on Tue 20 Oct 2015, 11:32 am

I cycled up there in July/August and in the Norwegian highlands some roads were still closed even then (apparently they had a long spring). Scenery great but yes, it is not cheap there.



That said, anything is possible with the right attitude : )
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stormbringer
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Re: Winter biking in the Scandi regions? (FAO Stormbringer)

Post by stormbringer on Tue 20 Oct 2015, 12:45 pm

@ceejay wrote:That said, anything is possible with the right attitude : )

Hehe; reminds me of doing the paper route in -20 degrees C, 2 AM winter night on my P25 many years ago. Oh boy, that was cold!
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Celt500
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Re: Winter biking in the Scandi regions? (FAO Stormbringer)

Post by Celt500 on Tue 20 Oct 2015, 1:51 pm

@ceejay wrote:I cycled up there in July/August. 

That pic is July/August!?  Wow!  Shocked
I've seen some of that guys vids before, very inspiring. Kinda makes me want to buy a C90!


We do use road salt here too, but I suppose it comes out comparatively rarely. I think it gets used much less here even than in the UK. I live by the sea and a river though so I really should get myself some of that ACF50!

Ah yes, I've been warned about the expense thing. Can get a great bottle of wine for less than €4 in France. It's kind of mad really. 

Don't think I need to worry about Norwegian speed cameras though, or even French ones.  Twisted Evil
Though the French have evil plans for that apparently. And I read that some of the Spanish cameras can flag your registration plate to local police cars who will pull you over and take your money away, if you're unlucky enough to cross paths with them.

Highway robbers.  Evil or Very Mad
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stormbringer
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Re: Winter biking in the Scandi regions? (FAO Stormbringer)

Post by stormbringer on Tue 20 Oct 2015, 3:21 pm

@Celt500 wrote:ceejayDon't think I need to worry about Norwegian speed cameras though...
I wouldn't be so sure of that. I had a mate go there this summer (FJ1200) - it might be wise to ask what his experiences were before caning it.
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trevor machine
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Re: Winter biking in the Scandi regions? (FAO Stormbringer)

Post by trevor machine on Wed 21 Oct 2015, 4:29 am

Interesting thread. ;- )
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stormbringer
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Re: Winter biking in the Scandi regions? (FAO Stormbringer)

Post by stormbringer on Thu 22 Oct 2015, 6:49 am

@stormbringer wrote:I had a mate go there this summer...
So I asked my mate. His words are:

On B-roads or smaller; never saw a copper or a speedcam.
On A-roads; cops & the occasional speedcam.
In towns and cities there are cops, speedcams & the whole shebang.

Oh, and the landscape is - well, breathtaking... Denmark may be flat, green, comfortable & undaunting. Sweden may be vast (from Ystad in the south to the border up north, there's a whopping 1200 miles!) and full of pine woods and blonde swedish girls (yeah right...), but norwegian landscape means the business! It bears an unforgiving and desolate expression quietly reminding you to please take it seriously. Imagining clueless american tourists (wearing pink tracksuits) going astray, never to be seen again is easy.
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stormbringer
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Re: Winter biking in the Scandi regions? (FAO Stormbringer)

Post by stormbringer on Thu 22 Oct 2015, 7:18 am

@Celt500 wrote:I read that some of the Spanish cameras can flag your registration plate to local police cars ...
The danish policeforce recently introduced tripod-mounted mobile speedcams. Bummer. Unfortunately, these cams have so far been able to cause issue of - i believe it was one speeding ticket. Rumour has it there's a technical issue with the cams...

May this be a very tricky technical issue Wink

Bikers will still have to take into account patrol-cars, the unmarked ones, ordinary speedcam-vans and of course road conditions etc.

But so far, the ambush-cams* are dangerous to cagers only.


*) Thus named because they're so bloody hard to see. Resembles a mailbox or somesuch benign piece of road furniture. Blitz! - and then you see the policecar, hidden away behind shrubbery as you pass the trap.

Highway robbers.

Easy to see:


And here he is; the man responsible for issuing speeding tickets. Situated inside his mobile office, with laptop and proper hunting gear on his little table. Waiting for you...

Hard to see:


Last edited by stormbringer on Thu 22 Oct 2015, 7:34 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Added pics)
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trevor machine
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Re: Winter biking in the Scandi regions? (FAO Stormbringer)

Post by trevor machine on Thu 22 Oct 2015, 10:36 am

In Fridaythorpe this season the police have used a stationary tractor and placed a camera in its cab, and also an old horse box i.e. trailer. Unbelievable really. To be fair to plod, it does show some cunning and resourcefulness - just a shame there's not so much evidence of such dynamics in catching the thieves that stole my CRM. They never did contact me to let me know how their inquiries were progressing.  Laughing

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