It all started with an article on the BBC website enthusing about the most beautiful road in the world. I would like to drive along that, I thought. I’d have been about 68 at the time and had just acquired a motorbike again after 43 years abstinence.
The road is called “Kystriksveien”, which means Coastal National Road in Norwegian, and – not really surprisingly – is in Norway, extending along the Atlantic Coast up until Bodø.
In 1974 I was working up-country in Kenya and a perk of the job was a Yamaha DT175 trail bike that looked like this:
Though mine had a dent on the right-hand side of its fuel tank that corresponded with the position of my knee after I had wiped out when inadvertently driving up a drainage gully in the dark. It had also lost both its mirrors as the result of similar mishaps. In between falling off I actually managed to pass my driving test and I’m allowed to ride bikes of any size in Kenya. However, the Kenyan licence is not recognised in Europe.
My new bike was a 2020 Zero SR, which I upgraded to a 2020 Zero SR/S Premium in March 2023. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the SR/S was that Bemoto, the Zero dealer in Zurich, had restricted it to 35 kW, which means that I can ride it with my A1 licence. The SR was 22 kW, so the SR/S was an upgrade of sorts, though the chances of doing wheelies on it are non-existent.
So, during the dark nights of a northern hemisphere winter in January 2023, I started to plan my round trip to Scandinavia, taking in Kystriksveien on the way. On my SR I had a range of around 200 km on a full battery. Since I hadn’t received my SR/S yet, I didn’t know what range it might achieve, so for my planning I assumed 170 km and hoped for 200.
In subsequent posts I’ll discuss the tools I used, how I planned the trip, what happened on the ground, what went wrong and what went right. The previous sentence will be enhanced with links as I add those posts.