Ok let me get this, the crappiest ever travel log, done. I am so over myself!!Part 6: The worst journey ever.
So business sorted I had to ride back to Roosendaal Holland.
Luckily conditions didn't make photography a viable option.
No need for a map this leg, it's exactly the same as the one above. I was planning on riding through Sweden this time but reading on will explain why that option was soon S-canned!
Now as mentioned before I don't mind riding in the rain.
The WWW is full of people who choose a mode of transport that exposes them to the elements, then they complain about said elements! - Buy a bloody car Einstein!
But I came to know a terror I don't honestly recall riding through before - Wind!
Oh it was raining too - this is me typing afterall - but it was the wind that was outrageous.Here is a link that provides historical weather reports, you just have to alter the date to suit.
I had planed on leaving on Monday 12th September sometime after noon. But as the wind, and rain, was getting worse I decided to delay leaving till around 4 in the afternoon so I could get to Oslo around 10 or 11 that night.
But as the link above shows the wind picked up around this time to up to 30mph with gusts of up to 40mph!
So as the day went on I decided to just book the same ferry as I took on the route up and leave in the morning at 4.
So 4am in the morning (13th Sept.) I leave with a 20 mph WSW wind with gusts up to 30mph I head off in a ESE direction.
It was like being in a vortex- there was no way to anticipate which way the wind was going to blow you next.
Sometimes- although there was a rock face to my left hand side the gust of wind came from the left hand side!
Norwegian truckers seemed to wait till they'd reached the apex of corners before dipping their light momentarily blinding me, which compounded my frustration leading to more than a few one finger falute's, something I haven't done in a very long time. Shoddy behaviour!
Dark roads- no external lighting- wet roads- getting blinded, no bother! Getting blown all over the road- scary!
I had to press on I had a ferry booked, there were no other options besides buying another ticket LOL.
The bridge I took a picture on above, while excellent riding before, suddenly as I exited a tunnel became a moment of terror as the funneled wind down the fjord nearly blew me into a truck. It felt like nearly at the time little did I know I was to have closer calls.
Anyway I made it to the ferry just in time. Yea!
Only to discover the morning ferry had been cancelled due to the storm!
I had to wait in the ferry terminal while they decided if the 4 in the afternoon boat would run.
A German bloke with his gal showed up on a BMW RG 800 whatever it is.
He'd ridden the same route as me he said- exhaling hard with puffed out cheeks, wide eyed, eye brows raised!
So they decide the afternoon boat isn't going to run and offer to put us all into various hotels in the area.
I discuss with the German fella whether we should ride together across Norway and down through Sweden.
I thought riding for another 10 hours or so through these conditions would be a nightmare, and as my agenda left me a greater scope of error than his, and me being a great big pussy, I decided to take full advantage of the complimentary hotel
The German fella had to press on. Big balls that fella- his girlfriend too!
I wish I'd got his email as I wonder how he got on, if he got further than Oslo he deserves a medal!
So I, in my weakness, checked into the hotel.
Surely it'd be better tomorrow??Wednesday 14th September.
In the morning I get on the boat and head for Denmark in what seemed to be, while still windy, better conditions.
The boat lands in north Denmark and off I go (around noon).Add the date to this link to get the weather report for this area.
So I've got what 1200km on the worlds most boring motorway, no worries, I fill up with gas and head due south.
But as the link above shows as I'm heading south I've got a 20+mph cross winds with gusts over 30mph!
As Denmark is basically flat I didn't get the vortex feeling I had in Norway but still the wind could suddenly do a 180 degree turn and catch you unaware.
I was riding with the bike leaned over say 5 degrees and my body another 10 degrees over that just to ride in a straight line.
As the wind was blowing due east it was pushing me onto the fast lane which wasn't a problem as I was mostly passing cars while they weren't passing me, till..
I was in the slow lane doing whatever speed I was doing, maybe 110kmph, when a unexpected gust of wind pushed me right across the road just as a large black SUV went flying past! The wind blew me right into the fast lane, it felt like the SUV had just passed me by 5 meters before I drifted into his path. Lets say I'm exaggerating by 100% so that was a 10 meter window of opportunity to get blown into the path of a large SUV traveling at speed and a shabby end.
Needless to say "riders on the storm" was my song of choice, but there were also lots of four letter words and religious refrences to at least 2 biblical characters shouted into my helmet!
Anyway, it was horrible, but as the miles unfurled and I got to Hamburg Germany I had to turn west so the wind was basically in my face, so as I became more tired it became easier.
I did it, Kristiansand Norway to almost the Belgian border in one hit.
Memory is a funny thing, my mate in Holland who never outgrew the smoking of marijuana, greeted me with a beer and after 2 hits of that insanely powerful Dutch weed I'd forgotten all the white knuckle moments and was re-living the whole malarkey as if it was fun or something LOL!
But to be honest if biking was always like that: windy not the rain, I'd give it up tomorrow!
I've since done some research on riding in such conditions and apparently you should relax and countersteer into the wind as it buffets you which would of been do-able through Denmark but the wind was so unpredictable in Norway and the roads so narrow I'm not sure it would of helped.
Needless to say I white knuckled my way through, this being the absolute wrong way to do it...you live and learn...
I'd had my bike 22 days by this stage...time for an oil change and mini service!
Sorry for this crap log and thank you for suffering it so generously!