I can't believe that it has already been a year I said that I would write something for the newsletter about our trip to Norway and our visit to the Guzzi rally there. As a matter of fact, it will have been a year on the 18th of May when we left for Norway. I guess it's better late than never
Last year (May 18, 1998) I was at my brother-in-law's home in Omaha waiting to head to the airport with my wife Ellie, her sister Lisa, and our brother-in-law Geir Rosoy. We were headed to Kongsberg, Norway for a two-week visit to his parents' home.
While waiting I was playing around on the Internet and just happened to look up what I might find on Guzzi stuff in Norway. I found the Norwegian Moto Guzzi Club web page and started looking at what they had going for the summer. I noted that there was a rally scheduled for the time that we would be in Norway. I got out my map of the country to see if it was anywhere near where we would be staying. Surprisingly it was to be held about fifty miles or so from Kongsberg at a mountain resort on one of Norway's thousands of beautiful lakes. It was at Lake Tinsjo near the town of Rukan.
By the way, this is where the movie The Heroes Of Telemark was filmed and we were able to visit the power plant where the famous Norwegian freedom fighters destroyed Hitler's heavy water operation and stopped him from possibly developing an atom bomb. Very interesting place.
To make a long story short, a few phone calls to Norway before we had to get to the airport confirmed that we could squeeze in a day to rent a car and drive up to the rally site on that Saturday. At that point I sure wished that there was some way to stuff at least one of our Guzzis into the luggage. But bikes or not, the chance to go to a Guzzi event while there was a big plus.
Norway in the summer time is a biker's dream - nothing but winding roads through mountains, valleys and many small towns. The area where the rally was held was nothing less than breathtaking for a couple of flat landers like Ellie and myself. Even driving there in a rented car was really a lot of fun. When we arrived it was just like pulling into the many Guzzi rallies that we have attended over the years. Tents, people roaming around getting ready for the day's ride and events, and lots of' interesting bikes to see. Just about all of them are Guzzis, of course.
After looking about for a few minutes we were able to locate Elin Vandevjen, who is the president of the NMGK, and she welcomed us to the rally and invited us to make ourselves at home. We really didn't have a lot of time before we would have to head back to Kongsberg and other plans, but there were a couple of hours to spend. Most of the people were getting ready to take part in the day's planned ride to visit the aforementioned power plant outside Rukan.
At first we walked around and took pictures of the bikes. Norwegians Guzzi people are just like Guzzi owners in the US in that many of their bikes had custom touches and modifications done to make them fit the personal needs of their owners. I was surprised to find many complete touring setups like so many of us ride here in the states. I guess I expected to see a larger percentage of sports bikes, but this was not the case. I was a little hesitant to try and strike up a conversation with the folks as my Norwegian is nonexistent, but I didn't need to worry. My not-so-shy wife, who spotted a nice California III set up, walked up to a group around the camp fire and asked who owned the bike. As luck would have it, the owner spoke English. In fact, it seems that darn near everyone spoke English. From that point on it was rally time! We spent the rest of our too short visit exchanging information about riding equipment, modifications and all things Guzzi. From our point of view it sure felt like home. Guzzi people are truly a great bunch in Norway, just as they are in the US.
After leaving the rally, we took the time to look around the area and then we had to head on back to Kongsberg. Someday I hope to do this again and be able to do some riding next time. I have included some pictures.