Ymse MC, not what we expected!
Trip Start Feb 02, 2010
97Trip End Feb 02, 2011
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As we were following them home, all seemed to be going so well
By now Camilla and Jens had noticed we were no longer following them so they had come back. Felix showed them the problem and Jens said “I think I can make this.” “Really!” Felix exclaimed “are you a mechanic?” “No, I’m a gunsmith.”
‘Well string me up and put me in a hen coop’ as Sunny from the Norwegian animation ‘Il Tempo Gigante’ would say
Camilla picked us up in the car and brought us back to their house where we had a delicious lunch and where Jens was working on the pushrod. It looked exactly like ours, but made from gun-barrel steel, with extra hardened ends. The only concern was it’s weight, being solid, unlike the normal rods which are hollow, it was al least twice as heavy, if not more. Before going back to Nina, we met Camilla’s horses, an ex-trotter and her baby. We also met their eight dogs, three of them little fox terrier puppies only a few weeks old.
Nina went together smoothly, except for that the tappet was seized out a little far and had to be hammered a few times back into place
In the driveway we stopped to register, Felix started talking with Jens and another guy and Camilla took me on a little tour. There was a line of custom bikes, all beautifully painted and shiny, the club house was a bar/cafeteria with a workshop behind and another bar for indoor winter parties. Then Camilla introduced me to the members of the club who were all sitting round looking very motorbike gangish - black leather, piercings, the club vest. It was all a bit intimidating and I thought holy moly this is going to be one hell of an awkward night. Sitting under a marquee and round a raging firepit were other groups. People from all over Norway come to meetings like this, from all different clubs, there is one or more every weekend somewhere so it is quite a sport if you take it seriously and you can really build up quite a social network if you spend a lot of time traversing the country back and forth from biker meetings. Anyway everyone seemed to know everyone else so I was really the typical guest that only knows one person.
After Felix and I registered we went down to the camping spot
As we set up and stood around talking to HP, several more people came over all beginning their greeting with some variation of “Are you the Australians with the Ural?” and offered us a beer. Word had travelled fast, everyone was expecting us, it was funny to get such a reception. Felix explained about the bike and her problems, everyone, whether or not they wanted to talk Urals, ended up in the never ending Ural discussion
Over the next few days of the Ymse MC (pronounced um-seh, which means for anyone, all kinds are welcome) Treff weekend we drank, slept, ate, were treated like celebrities and royalty, had many whacky conversations with very drunk motorbike enthusiasts, were offered mechanical help, places to stay all over Norway, and spare parts. We washed our bodies and cloths in the icy waters flowing down from snow melt in the mountains and dried in the sun as we walked back. Felix, as part of the team named ‘Downunder’ with another friendly sidecar driver won the drinking/wheelbarrow race, we were presented with a trophy for ‘furthest distance travelled to the MC Treff from outside Norway,’ a club tee-shirt, and an Ymse MC patch. We had many non-whacky interesting conversations with a huge variety of people and just had a generally very nice time camping in a field with heaps of motorbikes and their riders.
So as for thinking of motorbike clubs as gangs of criminal, drug taking, raving violent mad men - which was how I too mostly assumed they were, (When Camilla and Jens invited us to the meeting we wondered what we were getting into, hoping we weren't going to end up at some weird party where everyone was high and there were lesbians dancing on the tables and fights all over the place.) we have experienced a totally different side of the story
So this morning we had a long, long sleep-in. When we finally emerged from our tent, most of the tent city had disappeared. We packed up in a break in the rain then followed Jens back to is house where a lovely man ěystein (maybe Julie and any other Norwegian readers are the only ones who can pronounce this correctly) from Ymse MC, would meet us. He had offered us a his head - humm that sounds funny, I mean the head from his Ural - with valves, pushrods and all that stuff. He would accept no money for it and insisted he never rode his Ural anymore so we should take it.