Icelandic Wishlist: A ferry from St Johns to Reykjavik please!

Iceland is at the intersection of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, so in essence it’s part of North America and Europe. Unfortunately, only Europe is making an effort to connect to the place.

You can take a ferry from Denmark to Iceland with your own bike and tour this spectacular island for just over 1000 Euro (personal cabin – half that if you share) in the summer and for less than 400 Euro in the off season. If an enterprising ferry operator would start sailing from St John’s Newfoundland to Reykjavik, not only would we North American types be able to explore this beautiful and relatively empty piece of the world, but we’d also have a land line to Europe since we could explore Iceland and then ferry to Denmark if means and time permitted.

I’m just a couple of days past a 9 day odyssey around Iceland in a rental car, and all I could think of was how brilliant it would have been on my Triumph Tiger that is sitting in a garage in Canada.

The ferry wouldn’t have to run all the time, but four sailings a year would allow a number of adventurous North American motorcyclists to discover the magic of Iceland, and maybe wander on to Europe itself on their own two wheels.

It’s in between them!
Costs to get to the European leg of your ride.  With a St John’s to Iceland ferry you’d be able to surface travel without special cargo headaches from Los Angeles to Tokyo across Eurasia.

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Last Grasps: A Well Timed Post Canada Day Ride

I’ve only got about a week left before we’re off on airplanes, so I’m trying to find reasons to exercise the Tiger before five weeks of motorcycling abstinence.  After a couple of days of crowded rooms and even more crowded Canada Day festivals I needed some quality alone time.  Nothing does that like a motorcycle ride does.

It wasn’t an inspired ride, and it took me to my usual haunts, but it was a lucky ride.  With thunderstorms passing through the area, they were where ever I wasn’t, which was good because I was travelling light.

The idea was to get to Higher Ground at the Forks of the Credit before it got long-weekend crazy.  I managed to get a coffee, look at some Italian exotica and then get out of there before it got really full.  

With the ice cream shop owner moving bikes that were parking out of the way anyway and signs all down the rest of the building stating no motorcycle parking, I’m starting to wonder if Belfountain is getting fed up with its place as a summer time ride stop.  It’s a boon to the local economy, but some people seem intent on stopping it rather than embracing it.  Every rider I saw there was considerate and cautious in entering the parking lot without revving loud pipes or blocking others, but I guess the locals have had enough.  I’m not sure how much longer Higher Ground can be the sole reason to stop there if everyone else in the town is telling us to go elsewhere.

I had Lee Park’s Total Control on my mind as I navigated The Forks, and damned if I wasn’t more stable and smooth through the hairpin corner by looking over my shoulder into the corner.  You’d think looking away from your direction of travel would be counter intuitive, and I don’t get much opportunity to practice it on arrow straight SW Ontario roads, but with some practice it’s definitely the way to go.

After a ride up and down The Forks I aimed north past the Caledon Ski Club and toward Hockley Valley.  It was a lovely, relatively empty ride up to the Terra Nova Public House.

The TNPH had a summer salad with fresh rainbow trout on it that was pretty much perfect, and it let me duck inside and watch the tarmac dry off from the downpour that had passed through ten minutes before I got there.

After a quick lunch I did the TNPH loop before heading down River Road to Horning’s Mills.  Mr Lee’s Total Control habits were still playing though my head and I was focused on late apex entries and clean lines while looking through the corners.  It’s funny how you feel like you’re going slower when you’re going faster on a motorbike.

River Road was generally empty and I got a clean run all the way to Horning’s Mills.  It was time to head home, so I cut south west through the wind fields of Shelburne before stopping in Grand Valley for a coffee.  A GS650 rider and his wife were sitting in the cafe and we got into a good bike chat.  As a fellow rider intent on making miles rather than a scene, we had a meeting of minds on what a motorbike should be for, it was a good talk.

The final ride home was, again, relatively empty and I pulled into the driveway mid-afternoon.  I’m still hoping to get down to the full eclipse over the Tail of the Dragon when I get back from and Iceland/UK foray.  Perhaps a motorcycling opportunity will appear while away, but if not, I’ll get in some miles this week to make sure my riding battery is topped up.

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