Monday, May 27, 2013


"Long stormy spring-time, wet contentious April, winter chilling the lap of very 
May; but at length the season of summer does come"...................Thomas Carlyle.

"Lake in May"Finland, 2013.

Lumberjacks Candle Bridge in March, the Kemi river a solid sheet of ice.

Sunsets, a misnomer in these parts, in May in Rovaniemi.

12:15 am, May 23, 2013. Rovaniemi, Finland.

Please, someone turn off the sun. Or at least turn it down a little.

The days are getting longer here at the Arctic Circle. 
Now, it never gets dark. A little dull by 2 or 3am, but still bright out. No sign of nighttime anywhere over the horizon. My body's natural clock is finding it difficult to adjust to this midnight sun, this continuous 24 hours of light, not wanting to lie down or sleep at all. 
I find myself, at 2am, still wide awake, finally starting to feel signs of energy leaving my shell by 3. The elusive comfort of dreamland, drifting off into a temporary coma, are scarce for me these days nights. 
A land of enchantment in Winter, with not much daylight, is also of extremes in summer, with no night to speak of. 

I am in the land of the midnight sun.

11:55 pm.

A ride today with Pepe and Matti, Karu MC, Rovaniemi, Finland.

Holding a D700 with a 24-300 lens while riding is not easy.

A cafe local with a T-shirt with a special message.

Sometimes, you just meet the nicest people when you ride a BMW sidecar.
This is Irina, who hails from Moldova, a wee little landlocked country nestled between Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east and south.
Irina and her friend Katja were passing by my bike last week here in Rovaniemi, stopped to look at it, so of course being the friendly traveller that I am, I started chatting with them. Katja had some great tips for me for Russia, confirming to me about the road conditions. Abysmal. 
The videos about the Russian drivers on Youtube are correct and accurate.
I'm glad to have met Irina also because Moldova is a country I would have never of thought about visiting, since it's tucked away down there, minding it's own business. You really never here about Moldova that much, which I suppose is more of a good thing than anything else. Wonder what else they're hiding down in Moldova besides Irina?. So that's where all the beautiful women come from. Hmmm.

Moldova used to be part of the Soviet Union, but in 1991 declared itself an independent state. The Moldavian SSR or Soviet Socialist Republic was one of the 15 republics of the Soviet Union back in those days , and was officially referred to as the Soviet Socialist Republic of Moldova. Upon gaining independence, it became the Republic of Moldova. 
If you're really interested to find out more, here's the Wikipedia link to do some research on Moldova.

And while we're on the subject of the former Soviet Union, while I was working on this article at City Hotel this past weekend, Victor (I hope that's the right spelling) arrived as a guest of the hotel for Saturday night stay. I noticed the GS embossed on the pannier he carried in that evening upon check-in, but didn't pay it that much attention. Finally, I went outside to take a peek, as curiosity got the better of me. A brand spanking new 2013 BMW GS Watercooled bike with a Russian plate.

Not such a big deal here in Rovaniemi as Russia is not too far from here, only a 600 km ride from here to Murmansk where Victor is from, a place that I had intended to visit, so we had a great chat that morning before he left. As is with most Russian motorcyclists that I meet on the road, Victor knows everybody, the BMW guys, the "other" guys, all the guys really, so when I go there, I believe I'll be well connected. I still have to make it to Yaroslavl to the Black Bears MC Winter Rally in December.

Рады приветствовать вас Виктор, надеюсь, что ваша поездка назад в Мурманске является безопасным. Увидимся скоро, я надеюсь.

Timo and his daughter were out last week for a photoshoot.
Timo had the local newspaper, Lapin Kansa, do an article about him, so they needed some photos for that day. Out came the '34 and off we went.

Work and projects are still progressing on my outfit at the school Timo teaches at here in Rovaniemi.

 This is a footbox and protector I designed to try to help keep my feet dry and warm in winter. The thinking behind it is that it should keep the rain and water from spraying up from the big 195/75-17 tires that I now run on the outfit, and also direct the heat from the exhaust pipe and cylinder head to my foot. I'll let you know how it works next December.

Another project that I've been wanting to do was either get a pair of Gerbings Heated Pants, OR, put a heating pad in the seat. Well, Raimo is helping me with putting a heating pad in that he had left over from an upholstery job on a car. 

A broken wire just had to be repaired in the pad and it was good to go.

While I was at it I got Raimo to cut out a 2" section of foam in the seat, as it was always a little to high for me. Now it gives me a nice little indented place to comfortably sit in.

A little spray glue and the pad was in place, ready for the new seat cover that Raimo is going to make.

I've also been reminded that Mosquito season is here, and the Mosquito's up here this far north are huge. They make Florida mosquitos look like tiny specks of dust, so I've been told. I've already seen a few and they are huge, and this is only the beginning of the season.

One of my many, many dreaded gas station stops.
Gas, fuel, is killing me here. I have a 44 litre tank, here it took a little over 40 litres, 10 gls, and got me for 72 Euros which is about $93. 
I know, on a motorbike !!. It's just un-American dammit.

You can help to support me by spreading the word and buying my decal sets.

It's a 7 piece set, 3 postcards and 4 stickers. And mailed to you from Finland.
Just click on the BUY NOW button above the WARN logo up on the right column, OR just click here.
If you would like to leave more than the cost of a decal set then do not click the BUY NOW, click on the DONATE button, leave your amount and leave a note in the message box as to how many sets your donation is for.

The RideAwayCancer decals are also available for sale too.
The cost on these is $15 which includes shipping and handling from Finland and 3 postcards also. These are available at a multiple discount for orders over  decals. A 5 decal set with 5 postcards is $40 + shipping, as the extra weight adds more to the postage from here.

Thank you all again for all your continued views, support and comments of encouragement, I appreciate them all.

If you haven't already, please take a moment and "Join This Blog" up by the Followers section.


©2013  All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Anonymous said...

Such beautiful photography, keep on filming.

Anonymous said...

murmansk sounds definately an experience. remember to measure the radiation levels... thanks for the big set of stickers, they are cool, put one to my helmet. i should try to get picture to my blog to show support. jurkka