A spring ride

It’s spring – it crackles as the birchs leafs pops and the lambs are playing on the meadows. All of a sudden the spring was here and with such force that nature has been taken by surprise. So was I. Although Sunday afternoon is not the best time for a motorcycle drive in the Oslo area, I wheel the BMW out of the garage and head west.

After a week of cycling in Crete, I came home to temperatures that could compete with those we had on the Greek island. One week ago I would not dare to dream about a spring like this.

I have given the BMW a service – adjusted and synchronized the throttles, adjusted valves, new oil and new oil filter, new fuel filter, a new hoses for the petrol system and new gaskets – it should be well prepared for the new season.

I have had a couple of short trips, but now it’s time for a season opener. I have decided to ride to Sollihøgda; from there I will take Fv. 285 from Skaret to Sylling and Fv. 284 along the Holsfjord and the Tyrifjord to Vikersund.

Besides enjoying being on the road, I have some specific tasks to concentrate on. First tasks are defensive – keep my distance and make sure I am positioned so I am visible to other road users. Sunday afternoon can be busy in and out of Oslo, but today the traffic westward out of town is smooth and relaxed. The other direction however is quite busy.

The gardens along the E18 are in full bloom and in marinas there is a lot of activity. The number of boats on the water suggests that the boat owners have been caught by surprise by the sudden change from sour wind form the north to the gentle summer breeze as well. I take E16 from Sandvika and cruise up to Sollihøgda. I’ve set the seat height in middle position. This is a little too high for my arms, but gives me a comfortable position for the legs and the turbulence behind the windscreen is moderate.

From Skaret to Sylling I have the road to myself most of the time and I concentrate on new task to focus on. Moderate speed towards and in to the corners and open the throttle smoothly through and out of the turns, and just as important – stay well out to the right in the left turns. It is very easy to fall into the left hand corners to early, and on this roads where its so many blind left corners this can be very dangerous.

Along the Tyrifjord there are some quite demanding corners. Some are tight at first and then open, others have a sharp kink in the middle, while still others pinch towards the end. I’m struggling a bit, I’m a little rusty, and going a little faster than intended into some of the corners – not critical, just a little uncomfortable. The road is as it was last year, just a little more worn. One major change is that the farm building on the lake side of the road at Tandberg is taken down and the farmyard is history now.

It’s spring in the air and the wind has the warm summer heat. Some places the white anemones are like a carpet between the white birch stems. It’s great to be on a tour without having to watch the clock. Tyrifjord reflects blue of sky and the fields and trees have a shimmer of green. There is a summer up ahead.

Below the bridge in Vikersund is the first fisherman searching for the salmon. I take a short break before I head for home again. I take the same way as I came, but now with less focus on nature and with the sun at my back. I bring up the old recipe – slowly into the corners and a smooth acceleration out as I constantly focus towards the end of the turn. And by all means – keep well to the right in left hand corners. I won’t tolerate any surprises this time.

I find the rhythm, feel how light the bike responds in the S-combinations, how stable it is in the long corners and how much I have to work in the tight. The boxer engine shakes a bit when I open the throttle below 2000 revs, but as the power rise the vibrations disappears and I am lifted out of the corners. Totally different from Fazer, but now I remember why I loved the old R 850. The boxer engines raw character is no plus in terms of comfort, but this bike has a character and gives a riding experience in another league. The pre-season service I made has really worked well and when it comes to long distance comfort the R 1100RS is definitively my bike.

Then I’m at Sollihøgda again. The weekend traffic is gone and there is just a small hint of queue on E18 towards Oslo as I sneak past in the bus lane. A small adventure is over – it was good for soul and body though.


NB! Google Maps may change a route if it includes a road that is closed (e.g. closed during the winter) at the time you are viewing the route.