Day 3: Trondheim to Bronnoysund, 445.7km
Bike: Honda CRF100L Africa Twin DCT
Mileage so far: 1423.3km
If today wasn’t the best day’s riding of my life, then I’m struggling to think what was. And I’m lucky enough to have ridden all over Africa and Europe, Route 66, The Great Ocean Road and, yesterday, The Great Atlantic Road. Don’t hate me, okay.
I’m struggling to think of anywhere in the world, where I’ve been lucky enough to ride, where the roads are so consistently good for hundreds of miles. So consistently grippy, where the view is as stunning, not just for a few miles, but for hundreds of miles.
Even in South Africa, America and Australia, the riding isn’t as good for as long as the roads we took on our way from Trondheim to Bronnoysund, heading north in Norway today on the Honda Adventure Roads tour. Every tunnel leads to a whole new view of the world, a whole new weather system and you just find yourself gasping around every corner, not from throwing the Africa Twin around, but because of the view. Sea, sky, mountains, cloud, the riding, the price of beer after a long day on the road – everything seems more dramatic here in Norway.
Starting out in city traffic, the bunch of 40 Africa Twins carved our way out of town and to the first ferry across the fjord, watching a couple of Swiss journalists seemingly in a rush and taking way too many risks on the road with oncoming buses. The ferry was delayed too. Worth losing your life over? I don’t think so.
Richard Newland, from MCN, and I rode together all day, occasionally hanging with some of the identikit Africa Twins being ridden by Dutch, Spanish, Swiss and Portugese. All are good lads, and all of us are here for the ride of our lives, which is exactly what we got today. A quick car park poll when we got to our destination in Bronnoysund suggested that most agreed.
Thankfully the early excitement of the day was subdued by a speed trap after around two hours into the journey, which probably stood us in good stead. The pace of life here is different, with the speed limit of 80kmh heavily enforced.
But you are so aware of how amazing the view is, how grippy the road is, and how empty most of them are, that the lack of speed isn’t an issue.
As we head North along the E6 to Trofors we hit North Norge, or North Norway, around 1200 kilometres in to our trip, but a long way from the 3570km total we have to get top Nordkapp next week. But the café at Trofors, off the sweeping E6, is full of tourists and bikes all stopping for a brew, or a hot pancake. And there is everything from Harleys to BMW GSs. The GS riders are fascinated at what are all doing, and what the bike is like compared to their steeds.
The Africa Twin is taller and a touch softer than the BMW, but you can’t help but love its docile nature, the way in which the twin finds power at any revs, and just how cool it looks, how comfortable it is, and the easy it copes off-road. I was hoping to report on its off-road prowess on this trip, but today’s off-road section was little more than an unsurfaced road, with more grip than most UK roads have in the wet, so we’ll leave that one!
But on the road the AT is fun. After the E6 we turn off and head once again into snow-capped mountains, through dark, long tunnels carved out of the mountains and past amazing vistas, finally reaching the Atlantic Ocean again.
A group of us ride the last few miles together, taking our time to look at the clouds which have sat on a mountain that looks like it came straight out of the sea this morning. Then we cruise into town. It suddenly looks like we are the biggest thing going on in Bronnoysund tonight. Perhaps the only thing, in fact? Tomorrow we ride 309km to Glomfjord. And no, I don’t know what or exactly where that is either, but that’s the beauty of travelling by motorcycles, each day a different destination and a whole new perspective on life.