Spring time! It feels so damn good. The sun might not be directly basking down on the winter frozen inhabitants of Norway just yet. But the weather report are good, and it is picking up speed now!
Spring time & first rides of the year
April 12th was the day for me, to go and get the big motorcycle from winter storage. Almost 3 weeks later than last year. The dealer performed safety recall modifications on stanchions, plus did some spring service and miscellaneous stuff.
It’s a fantastic feeling, especially when you’ve been away for 5 months. In a way, that just boosts the experience, not to be able to ride all year around. I’d happily do that, although I am sure the excitement might not be quite so apparent as it is on launch day!
A country of bad roads
Yes, it is a fact. Norway is a country of bad roads, some of the worst in Europe. Considering the wealth of this country it’s not easy to comprehend. But there are challenges. Climatic changes, geology, all contributes to making it a challenge. Yet a challenge I think should have been managed far far better.
This winter certainly have not helped on the roads, quite the contrary. Cracks, holes, frost hives, all over the place. Add dangerous gravel in curves and roundabouts, you have a dangerous mix that calls for extra caution.
Frost hives manifest themselves everywhere, but particularly on smaller country roads. I do not envy those with road oriented motorcycles, or sports cars. There’s a lot to look out for, and a lot that can cause damage. Riding an adventure style motorcycle is a different thing, it’s built to tackle the challenges and does so very well.
The recipe for bad infrastructure
Some of road deterioration can be attributed to (too much) use of salt in the winter. Some to use of spike tires. As the salt degrades snow into slush and water, it trickles down into the road fundament. Finally sucked up into the ground below. if then the temperature drop into the very blue, and stays there for long, the damage is done.
There’s a lot controversy around use of salt. For one thing it has an environmental impact, on the soil, trees and plants around or near the roads. But roads without salting can be lethally dangerous. And gravel isn’t always an option, as it flys all over the place quickly.
There have been experiments with alternatives. but too little in my opinion. The highest possible safety needs to be maintained. In a country like Norway, that is a constant challenge. A challenge not taken serious enough in this country. Oslo, my city is the absolute worst in class.
Rusty riders, needs be cautious
While you think you may not forget, to some extent you do. Or rather, your body does. While you don’t lose skills. ability and senses, coordination needs fine tuning. That and respect or conditions. 5 months away from riding is a long time. Mind and body needs to re-calibrate. The calibration takes miles and miles of riding.
So now, we who live on the northern hemisphere are venturing into a new cycle of life. Spring time is the time of rejuvenation.