Game Over ....for now

So I have some bad news if there is actually anybody out there following this, I have decided to cancel my trip to Norway this year for two main reasons... The first is that I've just got back from a 3 week jaunt around Europe covering 5000km in that time, a lot of motorway/autobahn time, hotel hoping, a bit of camping and plenty of not moving days and frankly I'm knackered and fed up of living out of a suitcase and the back of a car for all that time. I managed to do one day of proper sight seeing on the road in Scotland, stopping where the fancy took me and taking some lovely photographs (even if I do say so myself) it was a nice day and I quite enjoyed the freedom to do pretty much whatever I wanted. Of course the penalty is that a 2 hour journey turned into over 3 hours, even with some occasional spirited driving as traffic conditions allowed, so using that as the benchmark I now realise that I have quite simply set the bar too high for myself in terms of the riding tim

Fast Forward (a bit!)

Ok so I have been struggling with a couple of things about this trip, the first is the length which currently stands at 21 days and the second issue is one of timing. I really want to go to Norway for the personal challenge aspects but I also really want to do the Sealed Knot 50th Anniversary Battle at Claydon House on the UK Bank Holiday weekend..but the dates I currently have clash. I'm afraid its another one of those "random" flashes of inspiration, this one visited on me while cleaning my toilet and listening to Taylor Swift. I don't think either of those things were particularly influential, but I also spent the morning learning about the Secret Mirror (which I guess is really a kind of Neuro-Linguistic Programming tool) that allows you to work out whats stopping you (internally) from getting to your goals so maybe that gets the credit. Neither the SK Battle or going to Norway was the goal I had set up in my mind but maybe its one of those "universe will

T minus 135

Its been a while since I've written anything on here but in my defence I've had a busy month which included a last minute trip to Norway on business. The trip to Norway took me to Bardufoss which you might remember is on my list of places to visit because of my work interests there. All I can say is WOW....Norway is stunningly beautiful and was perhaps at its best in bright sunshine and covered snow. So by pure happenstance I've ticked off 2 things on my bucket list; go to Norway and go to the Arctic Circle. Going to the Arctic Circle was not as I had imagined, flying there you just don't get the same sense of occasion so I'm still looking forward to actually crossing the line and standing on the Arctic Circle. The other thing I didn't get to see is the Northern Light, the first night was snowy and cloud covered, the second day was promising as the skies were clear and the forecast for the lights was good but I missed them. I waited for it to get properl

T minus 191

191 days to go. The route is now plotted and I've managed to string together 13 of the 18 scenic routes - if everything goes according to plan its going to take 21 days. The thing that I have noticed is that while Norway seems to do a good job of selling itself, Sweden, and Finland don't seem to have a Tourist agenda to the same degree. Norway brings its fjords and mountains, Finland has Lapland, Santa and a gazillion lakes but Sweden is a bit different it seems unremarkable geologically preferring to trade on some its more famous gifts to the world like Saab, Volvo, Ikea, "Smogasbord" and of course Abba. Sweden and to a lesser extent Finland are the sleepers on this journey...I really don't know quite what to expect but that's all part of the adventure. More videos I found a new set of videos covering motorcycle touring in Norway. I like watching other peoples adventures so that I can pick up ideas of places to visit, campsites that look good and eve

+++ Error: Redo from Start +++

Its a BASIC problem! Too many sights to see in too little time so after 24 hours of thinking on it, I've decided to redo the entire route so that I can spend more time in Norway. I've crunched the numbers and sketched another map of the route using myrouteapp that includes many of Norways National Tourist Routes. The main changes are that this route meanders a little more slowly through the south of Norway while still hitting the Fonna Glacier, Gerainger Fjord, Trollsteigen and the Atlantic Road. The northern leg hasn't changed much but now allows for a little more time in Lofoten. The return is still routed via Inari and Lapland in Finland but now after passing Rovaniemi (and Santas Village!) heads for the northwest coast and Tornio rather than heading south on the 78 towards Helsinki. Back in Sweden, I'm left with a long haul back along the Gulf of Bothnia to Stockholm and then home via Malmo. It turns out to be roughly the same sort of distance that I started w

The Wrong Way Round?

I've been watching a number of videos on YouTube over the weekend, mostly for inspiration but also for some guidance on what to take and some of the issues that I might need to deal with. The Arctic Rider  who went from Newcastle to Nordkapp in 2014 and Uneasy Rider  who went from Stravanger to Lofoten in 2017 in particular grabbed my attention as both were solo rides. It seems that for the Arctic Rider at least one of the biggest things he had to deal with was loneliness but as far as I could tell from the video he didn't seem to spend that much alone what with having riders join him for parts of the journey and being put up by various bike clubs along the way (of course that could be just the way the video is cut). So is it going to be an issue for me .... well maybe. I've spent a fair bit of time on my own recently so I think I should be able to hack it, I'm comfortable in my (somewhat ample) skin but not confident enough to say that it definitely won't affe

Refining the Route Days 8 and 9

Hang on a minute what happened to Days 5,6 & 7 you might ask. These are the days that I'll be doing the Pan Gathering, typically there will be a run out on each of the days, sometimes guided, sometimes not, its varied over the last few Pan Gathering but usually range from 150 to 400km. Some people also choose to do their own thing on these days. The point is I don't really know what I'm going to be doing, its way too early for the route plans to be published by the Pan Gathering organisers so I will just have to wait and see. Day 8 Vradal to Bergen Day 8 is a shortish hop from Vradal to Bergen (almost). There is only one planned stop along this route and thats because I fancy doing some skiing. Summer skiing is possible on the  FONNA Glacier which is reached by a small road from a town called Jondal.  Its going to feel a bit surreal skiing in summer and while I am not a great fan of T-bar lifts, I am determined to give it a go. Bergen appears to be a bit expensive