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Vee Twinning With The Vikings


Jim on his 1940 Four, Liam on his hard ridden 46 Chief, Paddy Guerin on his concourse 1931 Scout, travelling with about 20 cases of Guinness, some Irish whiskey and me.

We arrived at the rally after three ferries and 5 countries and got the camp set up-those of you at the last international would have spotted my army truck shelter-this became the meeting point for many nationalities.  One of the first over was Jim Parker from Australia-he had some neat films and pictures to show us and the beer was opened, then the Alanders came over, Martin, Hank and Chris.  These guys rode their Indians almost 3000kms to the last international, so we always talk motors-they wanted to hear about Bonneville and I wanted to know when the bar opened.

We wandered around the huge campsite and were directed to the 'main tipi'-well we all thought we were in the wrong place! It was a huge marquee about 25m tall 150m long and with a wooden dance floor, very impressive but sadly after such a long journey, no fekkin bar.
Back to the Vikings from Aland’s camp, Aland is between Sweden and Finland and is a separate country.  Hank was on his black chief and Martin was on his hot rod orange Chief, a new friend Chris was running a 47 Chief.
As we sat around shooting the breeze and nailing beers more folks wandered over, Norway, Denmark and Germany.  We all then got the bottles of heavy out and it was pretty clear everyone was looking forward to seeing new and old bikes and stuff not seen before.

The Vikings have a lot of Indians in house including some very rare singles and my favourite a vee twin board track racers.  Tomorrow was the start of the rally and it was good to be in Norway.

During the course of the evening it was mentioned there was a timed road rally included on one of the runs, in true Irish fashion I neglected to read the glossy rally instructions and schedule of events, at between £4.50 and £6.00 a beer, it was a blessing that the lads had bought some of the black stuff up early and met with Rolf from Norway, admired his pristine restored early Powerplus.  He had machined 39 stainless universal joints to run the ignition and throttle controls through the bars, this immaculate fresh resto bike was ridden hard in all the rain and through the muddy lanes up in the mountains.  I know it can hurt to get a bike with 100,s of hours of work in it filthy, but it sure feels good to ride them on the type of roads they were intended for.  Much respect to all aged iron off roaders!

The pack formed up by the totem pole and roared off, I had to stop for a hot dog and got separated from the pack, seeing some marshals about 10 klicks down the road waving at me I took the right hand turn they were stood in.  I was doing around 80mph on the h*"$ey and never saw them waving me to stop.  After about 4 miles of rising slopes and 90 degree hairpins of muddy mountain road I saw that there were no bike tracks anywhere on the dirt and gravel road, but it was fun getting the big bike sideway a little at 60mph and doing lots of 'breathless braking'.  The scenery was astonishing, with lakes and lush forests around each turn.  Finally after miles of beautiful wooden villages and pristine smooth roads, the sun shone and there was the main pack-stopped for ice creams and banter.  They all wanted to know where the Irish lads were.  I just said 'there may have been a pub'.  All in all I clocked around 80 miles on the run, with maybe 20 or so being off road, the bike was covered in white grey sludge and looked well for it!

That night was the first proper night in the beer tent.  Myself, Liam, Jimmy and Paddy all took our own beers.  This was frowned upon by security who claimed the police would get involved.  Seeing as we,d not seen a single officer of the law since arriving, we merrily drank our Guinness,  birthright, except for Paddy, who in his superior years and unique wisdom described the black stuff as 'shoite' - we were all humbled by the wisdom of the elder statesman, and much laughter was had.

After the 'main tipi' started to clear out we went to visit the Alanders, they had camped near a circular bandstand and took this over as a wee pub.  We dragged over some more supplies including my precious john power gold label [thanks Dave!] and settled in for a night of banter.  We heard how Martin has a house in Aland with a fully kitted vintage workshop, all the machine tools being driven from a common shaft and belts down to each machine.  We swapped tales and laughed into the night, swapping tales of favourite rides back home, engine building was well covered too.  By 3.00am it was just Martin and I and he was riding the hill climb timed section the next day so we called a halt to the merrymaking.

Next day up at 7.30, a wee bit groggy for some strange reason and a huge heap of bacon and eggs and excellant fresh coffee soon put paid to any fuzziness.  We rode along with the main pack today and had a fine tour, Liam fancied a crack on the FXDF and offered me a run on his 46 Chief.  Top Man!  We enjoyed miles of great roads and scenery, zero traffic and nothing to do but listen to the motors and GRIN.
By midday we all met up at the historic Steinfjoset, here were traditional buildings all preserved and some fine old Indians, including some very rare early singles and a fabulous home made 2000cc vee four outfit.  We had a lunch of traditional lentil and bean soup with plenty of bread and water.

Tonight was the main night in the main Tipi, and the food was excellent.  Choice of salmon steaks or reindeer or elk in gravy.  I had all three as I’m a growing lad.
We met up with English lads, two of whom had there boys with them.  It was great banter around our table, as one of the yoofs won the milk pail throwing and the other was smitten with one of the young Norwegian lasses who were selling raffle tickets-he must have bought 30 tickets from her until she gave him her facebook details.  It was chocolates and flowers in my day, and that never got you anywhere!

After we had eaten a nameless member of our party managed to smuggle in many bottles of Guinness - this went down very well until security saw the dark beer-everyone was drinking yellow 'beer'.  I informed the fellow that our beer was purchased at the bar and had' gone off' - we were ready for a refund.  He then pointed out the pile of empty Guinness bottles and was informed they were there when we arrived.  He was very helpful in disappearing.

Then the local outlaw MC arrived “The Wino’s Crew MC”.  They were told the party was private and were cool about that.  As they were leaving I got talking to their boss man and after a few beers he invited us all over to their club house which was 400 metres away.  To be continued…………


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Indian Motocycles - you can't wear them out                                  Indian Motocycles - built to last  
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