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Arctic Circle, Norvège, Germany - France - Switzerland.



Sebastien is done on his job to set up a new layout for the pages of my web site. Yesterday, I started to re-built my web site, it's very involved and I am doing it very slowly.
Fortunatly, the weather is cooperating!!!


Photo from Wednesday February 25 at 9:30am.



The Saltenposten news paper published an interview "In Ural's Sidecar Around the World" "Going from Norway to Mongolia"
I have been working on the new layout for my web site with Sebastien in Geneva. I am going to build the pages starting at the begining of my Eurasia ride from Geneva to Mongolia.
This morning, it's snowing pretty bad, the temperature is not cold enough and it stick and melt on you!


For online version of this arcticle, click here.
For Google English translation scroll down below the 2 photos.



"In Ural's Sidecar Around the World"
"Going from Norway to Mongolia"

French man Hubert Kriegel (62) has the pace around the world alone on a motorcycle with the side in almost five years now. In the weekend he came to Saltdal.

Saltdal: Here we met him on Saltdal Turistsenter Monday. They buy you a cup of coffee on the rare visitor who enjoying the STORJORD where he has lived since Friday.

Last year, he switched out the old bicycle with a Russian Ural Sportman 2 WD (tohjulstrekk) 750 cc, 2008 model. After Saltdal and North Cape, the trip to Finland, Estonia and Russia with Mongolia as endestasjon, this year.

Ten years on the road
Hubert was born and raised in Paris where he lived in 37 years before he moved to USA with family. Adventure has been everything from real estate agent (10 years), driven nightclub (7 years) and graphics company owned (12 years).

He has three older daughters who live respectively in France, England and USA. His wife lives and works in New York and he visits the family twice a year, in summer and during the Christmas season.

- In January 2005 I started from New York for my "ten years on the road trip" through many countries. The meaning is that the tour ends in 2014, when the money ran out, says the photo French man.

Do not stress
- These ten years are just for me, but I have contact with family via a forum on the Internet that caps twitter.com.

The mobile phone has he got rid of, only via the Internet, he communicates with the outside world and he does not rush. Hubert can often stay several days in the same place when he thrive, as in Saltdal.

- In Norway, do I need to make contact with people at the gasoline pump, while it is common in other countries that people come and have a chat unsolicited. Maybe this changes the further north I get, Hubert respond to questions about differences in people mentality.

Winter Boots
11.-15. February he attended a crystal-Rally, a traditional winter gathering for motorcycle enthusiasts in Lom, where several nations were represented.

Now, the journey to the North Cape, but first he will buy him a proper warm boots or winter boots in the tourist center.

On its website, "thetimelessride.com" he updates his trip.




Look GIorgio, yesterday, I installed a small camera inside the headlight housing. I went on a test road t and so far it works pretty good.
May be I should remove the protective grid, what do you think?

11:30am: I just put online a video about the Krystall-Rally


When I flash the headlight with my thumb, it trigger the camera I put inside the headlight housing.



9:45am: I am not moving from here today. It feels too good to be here. I sleep the window open and I am really enjoying myself.
I did an experiment yesterday, I went to the sidecar with my little shoes not socks, my pants and my blue jacket with no tshirt. I then had the idear to dismount the windshield to change the sticker that is too small. The temperature was 10ºF and the wind was very strong. I guess I stayed outside for 15 minutes to bring the windshield in my bedroom. At the end, I could not feel my finger anymore, I had to watch them to control what I was doing. This is what I like, the cold will not kill you instantly, it takes some times. It's like iceberg, they don't jump at you last minute. You have time to see it coming if you keep your eyes open. Unfortunatly I put my new sticker crooked on the windshield, I totally forgot to use water and soap to put it on and that makes me feel very stupid.

6:00 pm: Look GIorgio, I installed the small camera inside the headlight housing. I went on a test road this afternoon and so far it works pretty good.
May be I should remove the protective grid, what do you think?


I am telling you, I am not moving from here today! (Photo 9:35am)



2:00am: I feel really good in this hotel. It's very comfortable, the food is good, the sidecar is in front of my window and the price is very raisonable. I am going to stay here for a day or two. (at least)
I just put a video on line, that I shot since I left the Krystall Rally. It is not a funny or entertaining video. It is more like a long documentary of "An ordinary day in the life of a sidecar-man on the road!"

12:30pm: I realise while writting with Jean Louis in New York that my real Eurasian ride started yesterday. I had a long breakfast preparing a video on the Passing of the Arctic Circle and I am going to have a nap, I am really on the roll!!!

3:30pm: The video of the "Passing of the Arctic Circle" is online.




2:00am: I feel really good in this hotel. It's very comfortable, the food is good, the sidecar is in front of my window and the price is very raisonable. I am going to stay here for a day or two. (at least)
I just put a video on line, that I shot since I left the Krystall Rally. It is not a funny or entertaining video. It is more like a long documentary of "An ordinary day in the life of a sidecar-man on the road!"

12:30pm: I realise while writting with Jean Louis in New York that my real Eurasian ride started yesterday. I had a long breakfast preparing a video on the Passing of the Arctic Circle and I am going to have a nap, I am really on the roll!!!

3:30pm: The video of the "Passing of the Arctic Circle" is online.




9:00am: It's a sunny day, I go on the road to the Arctic Circle.

2:30pm: I found a motel 30 miles north of the arctic circle.
It's great to stop early today and enjoy my moment.


Passing the Artctic Circle at 12:49pm today was a great moment that I will not forget!



2:00pm: I am at 150 miles from the Arctic Circle. The ride is good but I am going slowly, it's quite slippery on this narrow road with trucks on both sides. My speed is now 40mph and the temperature is between +15ºF and +25ºF. Not really cold, thank you to the Gulf Stream.
The road E6 going North up to North Cap is a very touristic road crowded with camping, cabines, motels and hotels. Most of them are closed in winter, but in summer, it's a zoo!
It is interesting to see how indiferent Norvegians people are about my traveling. On the road one per cent will wave at me, and when I stop, nobody came to talk!
I think that the Arctic Circle will be for tomorrow.

6:40pm: I reach the last town before the Arctic Circle Mo I Rana. It has no charm and all the hotels were very expensives, between $100/$130. People were tellng me that I had no choice "There is nothing going Notrh!". I was thinking, there has to be something, civilization cannot desapear like that. It was already dark, i went on the sidecar riding North. After 20 miles, I feel quite lonely on that desert road. I stopped in a house on the side of the road that had the lights on. I ring the bell, a guy opened the door, I ask him if he knows a room to rent around. "I have an appartment for $55 if you want "Deal". There I am, eating a soup i had in the sidecar and using his Wifi in his heated appartment!
I am 40 miles South of the Arctic Circle.




1:40am: I had a good ride to Drondheim after I goofed the sidecar in the snow while going out of Geir's house this morning. We needed his 4WD truck to pull me out of the ditch. Drondheim was the capital of Norway ten centuries ago. It is now a student town. I am sleeping in a dorm student housing.




10:00am: Today is the real day of the anniversary of my departure from New York. Saturday night, I went to bed very late and I needed to sleep a little, so I just wake up. I had a great time with Geir's and his wife Kari. We had very interesting conversatoin about Norway and how people lives here, I learned a lot. Don't forget that Norway, Swedem and Danmark are home of the Viking (8th Century) and that Amudsen was the first men to rreach the South pole in 1911.
Surprisingly we have 5" of snow this morning but the weather should clear as I go north. I would like to reach Tronheim before tonight about 150 miles from here. I already received dozen of email from my "5th year anniversary" mass email. It is a great feeling to read each of them and I am answering every single email.




4:30am: It's the end of the Krystall-Rally. 130 participants, half from Scandinavia, 30 Germans, 30 Frenchs, 4 UK (on moped Cub 90), 4 Italians...
These people were great, I loved the athmosphere. I was surprised to see that 1/4 of the participants were women and over half of the participants were not prepared correctly for the extreme cold (motorcycle and clothing).
In a few hours, I will start going North. I feel very good about it. My preparation is excellent. Of course I will go to North Cap but there is not too much to see over there. What I really want is to spend some time in the Laponian area and on top of that it's the best season of the year!




It is very nice for me to meet all these people arriving on their motorycles and sidecars at the Krystall-Rally. From the outside the Krystall-Rally was something of a difficult access and I was not sure of the reception for new comers. I was all wrong, I feel very welcomed with them.
I had a starter problem since the day before I arrived here. I found the problem this morning only, it was a contactors inside the starter that was corroded. I'm glad it's fixed. There are a dozen French people by now and many German. I keep relaxing talking to all of them.

5:00pm: I have a good news,I decided to go to North Cap, Norway
(click here for the map) after the Krystall Rally. It is 700 miles North of the Arctic Circle.
This is a great idear!!!




12:40am: Don't miss the video from "My first impression in Oslo!"
There are 2 new German guy who arrived on a Guzzi sidecar at my motel a couple of hours ago. We might ride toghether to the Krystall-Rally that is starting today.

8:00am: The temperature outside is -16ºF. My sidecar slept inside the garage but the Guzzi slept outside. Their chock on the right carburator is not moving and their battery is dead! I love these guys, they are smiling "we have a small problem they say!

9:47am: We are ready to go as soon as we get dressed!

6:30pm: I arrvived at the Krystall Rally at 5pm after a beautiful sunny day on the road. The temperature is -10ºF. We (my two german friends from last night on their Guzzi) were the 5th/6th sidecar to arrive. We are in a comfortable hotel. A few sidecar arrived after us we must be a dozen of sidecar now. They will keep arriving up to Friday and Saturday.




8:00am : We will arrve in Oslo in an hour. The temperature outside is around 14ºF.

5:00pm: When the ferry arrived this morning, the 2 german sidecar went their way to a cabin they reserved for a couple of days and will came Friday to the Krystall-Rally. The start was quite impressive for me, I had no idear of what I was doing, In Oslo, it was hard to find a place to park and drink a coffe to get dressed properly. After an hour, I was on the road. I went north on a remote road along a frozen lake. 15ºF is not cold enough for the ice, it is very slppery. I lost the sidecar several time, I had to reduce my speed to 40 mph. When the temperature is below 0ºF then the ice is very dry and not slippery!
I tried my new polar glove, they are doing a very good job keeping my hands warm. I stopped after 100 miles in a little village called Dokka on route 245. I picked up a room in a crappy motel/gas station but the sidecar sleep inside. Tomorrow I will be just on time for the Krystall-Rally.




9:00am: I just made my reservation for the ferry going from Kiel to Oslo. I will leave at 2 pm and arrive 20 hours later.
Life is pretty good!
PS: Check the new European map by clicking on the small map in "Where iis Hubert"

3:30pm: I went to the ferry this morning and was all excited to see 2 sidecars in front of me both going to the Krystall-Rally. At least I did not came on the wrong weekend! We are on a luxury boat, I have my own cabin with all the comfort and TV. The cost of the ferry was only 283 Euros (half of what i was first told a couple of days ago.)
I have nothing to do for the next 24 hours, but putting my web site up to date. I love that feeling.




7:00pm: I just arrived at Kiel, North of Germany where there is a ferry to go to Oslo Norway. It was a cloudy/sunny day with a temperature around 32ºF.
I always feel like a beginner and I am amazed to see how well all my equipement (bike and clothe) is working together. Since I left Geneva, i was never either cold, weight or uncomfortable. On top of that this Ural sidecar is very relaxing to drive. My speed is 55/60 mph with a few picks a little over 60mph. The ferry is a 20 hours crossing and I like that a lot because when i am on a ferry, I feel in vacation!!!
So far, I am on time for the Krystal Rally and on top of that, I bought a map or Norway this afternoon.




12:00pm: I left Raoul and his family this morning after a great night of sleep. Arriving at Mulhouse i called my friend Igor who drive me to his house. I would like to be in Frankfort tonight. The Krystal rally start in 4 days.

10:00pm: We had lunch with his wife Anna Maria and his son Enzo. I left Igor at 3:00pm only under a light rain. It rained the whole afternoon, I was feeling very good on the sidecar, very comfortable. Just ride, stop for gas and ride again. I went by Fribourg, Karlsruhe and I passed Frankfurt. I pick up a motel at 9:30 pm but I could have go much more. I will be at Kiel (north of Germany) tomorrow night. I am looking good.




8:00am: So far so good, I am at Giorgio's shop with my blue bag and a few others smaller bags. All I have left to do it to find a way to take it all on the sidecar. After a croissant breakfast with Giorgio and a few friends, I will go on the road direction Mulhouse. Giorgio's friends don't understand why I should leave on a rainy day. I have a hard time understanding their question, nobody can stop the rain!

10:37am: The packing inside the sidecar went much better than I was thinking. I did good at putting things away. I am getting dressed and I go on the road!

7:12pm: After a bad start, I had a great day. After my satisfaction on my packing, I kissed all my friends and started the sidecar. It started but it did not take the acceleration, then it died and I could not start it anymore. Everybody was speculating and the solution was quite simple, I did not open the gas was not open! This was due to my emotion in front of my friends, not a problem, nothing to worry about. It was raining and my friends could not understand why I would not wait an other day before going on the road. A few minutes later, I left Giorgio's shop. 1000 feets later my clutch start to be very slippery! I stop on the side of the road to prepare a U-turn and go back to the shop when I smelled gas. I looked on the side, gas was pouring from the gas tank. The petcok has an exit that can be twisted and was disconected. After I put it back together and waited enough for the gas to evaporate. I was happy to see that the clutch was not slipery anymore (it was the gas licking on it).
We put some locktight on the petcok and I was leave my friends for good this time. I rained and snowed the whole day. My friend Raoul from the Sidekar magazin knew that I was coming his direction and waited for me at the Switzerland/French border. It was great. We stopped at Warm up Motos ( Ural dealer). I bought the 2 Headeneau tires I wanted.
We arrived at Raoul's house at 7pm. I am answering thousand of questions from his daughter Lucie, his son Louis, his brother L'Jean-Louis, his wife Dominique (Happy birthday Dominique), their friends Delphine, Fred, Flora et Romain.
It feels fantastic to be back on the road meeting people that I did not know before. The good news, after a full day under the rain, I was dry from toe to head when I arrived!




The sidecar is virtually ready. I packed all my gears from the shop. I only have to finish packing my bleu bag!
I always feel that I don't know what i am doing in these situations.
Changing my packing putting things away, getting them back, leaving them in the pile " to be decided later!!!"
I made my reservation for the Krystal Rally and I am leaving Friday am.




The original carburators Keihin are back on my sidecar and it runs like it suppose to be. I am doing some finishing on my sidear this afternoon and start to sort all my tools, parts and accessories. The word is "elliminate".
Thursday I do the packing. It will be long and painful - eliminate more!.
Friday am, I take the road to the Krystal rally north of Norway.
I feel better now that i feel like being on the move again, I just have to manage my stress of not screwing up last minutes and avoid the biggest mistake - take too much stuff!!!




The Mikuni VM 32 is a mistake because it does not work well on this engine. After 3 full day of testing on the Dynojet, we tried 3 different needles, 3 needle jets, 3 differents throttle valves and a combination of 13 differents jets. After optimizing the best air/gas ratio across the rpm range on Godier/Genoud Dynojet, the truth is that this carb has too much air velocity for this motor. When you open the throttle, there is too much air coming through and not enough gas. This carb is benecial at high rpm but does not improve the tork. The opporsite of what i wanted to acheive.
Tomorrow, I put back the original Keihin and I will try to be on time for the Krystal rally at the end of next week. When someone will have successfully adjusted either a Mikuni or Dellorto 30 or 28, then I will go for it!




We are progressing on the set up of the carb Mikuni but we are not yet there. We ordered a smaller size throttle valve that we should receive today. I will go back with Christophe at Godier/Genou either tomorrow or monday to try it. During that time, I am helping Giorgio to set up his new shop where he is moving. Krystal rally (between Oslo and the Arctic Circle in Norway) is from February 11 to 15... time is running out.




The meeting for my French retirement (complementary) was excellent. The amount is $530/ month. Added to the already set regular French retirement of $410/ month and the USA $983/ month. My total so far is $1923/ month!!!
In addition will came an other 7 years of work as a real estate agent in Paris between 1971 and 1977 that was missing in my file but was found later on!
This mean that with a life time income of over $2000/ month, forget about "Ten Years on the Road", I don't have to count anymore!!!
Thursday is "Strike day" in france. I am taking a train back to geneva tonight. I will be with Christophe and Alain Genou for step 2 of the carb set up.




For the first time of my life, I was able to have my sidecar on a "Dyno" (it's a machine to test the power of your mortorcycle). It's like magic, after running it a few minutes we could read that we are too poor at low rpm and to rich at high rpm. We changed the jet that we had but we need to order smaller sizes.
I will take the train tomorrow morning at 5:35 am for Paris to go at my meeting for my french retirement!




The road test showed that the carb don't have the correct set up yet!
We did the best we knew how to do but the result is not satisfactory. Tomorrow morning, I go to Alain Genou (Godier-Genou, a racing motorcycle shop. Not only they have parts like jets but they also have a test platform. If he cannot get it right tomorrow morning, I will take the train to paris for my appointment at the retirement office.




10:30 pm: We just started the engine for the first time. It runs great, the new carburator Mikuni is direct and responsive. The first road test will be Monday. There were a small party tongiht at the shop for my departure. I really love all these people. It's amazing the amount of work that were done again by GIorgio and his friends...




At the question "Are you ready to go Hubert?"
the answer is "No!"
I am at the same condition that I was last December. We made all the modification that we wanted to do but we still did not do the road test. Tomorrow morning, we will finish to put it back together and start the engine for the first time since we changed the carburators. We have a lot of friends coming to visit us. This morining, i counted 15 friends with wife and children inside the shop. It's a very nice feeling but forget about working while they are there, not to mention that they all have an opinion on what we should do or should have done!!!
Yesterday, I had an interview on the Geneva TV called Lémanbleu. You can see the full interview on the video pages of my web site.




Working on the bike, I am moving on all front but nothing is finished. It's a rat race for finding the little parts needed here and there and doing the work. The main scoope of work is: transfer commande for rear gear and 2WD to my front right hand, Mikuni direct carb, heating oil pan, and some electric finishing.
I need to go to paris next tuesday the latest to confirm my french retirement plan.
The pressure is on!




I made good progress since my arrival wednesday night in Geneva. I pick up the Mikuni VM 32 carb and was able to found the rubber part to fix it to the head as well as the rubber (in silicone) for the air intake. Tonight is GIorgio's birthday (60) party, we will be 50 about at the shop.




I left Paris at lunch time for the 360 miles to go to Geneva. It rained during 250 miles and i had a little snow toward the end. With my full face helmet, my boots and well dressed, i felt like being in a car!!!
I arrived in Geneva at 7:00 pm. GIorgio was waiting for me with La Gunter and Hassan. Today is Giorgio 60's birthday. We had a family dinner with Nana, Laetitia, Sabrina, Louis and BA at the Cercle Italian.
It feels good to be reunited with GIorgio and his family and friends.




There were no problem when I pickup the sidecar at Lucie's house. It started at the first request. Driving the 60 miles to Paris were so weird. I was re-learning everyting. I had to look at all my doing with my hands and with my feet!
The french retirement is done and I have a good news and a bad news:
- the bad news is that it is slightly less than i was expected $420/month
- the good news is that there I have a small private retirement plan that I did not really know about. I have open the request and have an appointment on January 28 to finilise my case. I will let you know how much it will be.
But I think that my total retirement (USA + France) so far with the amount of $1354/month is outsanding.
The visit to the doctor was funny, after I explain him my case he ask me "What do you do in life" "I explain him briefly my Sidecar-ing the world" amazingly, he jump out of his chair saying "I know you, I saw an article in a Motorcycle magasine!!!". It was really funny. He think I have a gastric problem causing my throught discomfort. I have pills to take for 2 months.
Went to the Automobile Club de France for the "Carnet de Passage de Douane" custom document. It is confirmed that I don't need it to go to Mongolia.
Tomorrow, I go to Giorgio's at Geneva to do a little mechanic.




I came to New York City wednesday with Lorraine. We went to Gallager (best Steak house in New York), went to see the Brodway show Gipsy with the extraordinary Patti Lupone. We went to see the great movie "Gran Torino" with Cleant Eastwood (not his best but a good movie). I met Jean Louis and we went to the airport together. It reminded me when I took him to the airport in 2000 when he was going to South America with his Harley Davidson sidecar for 6 mounths. We will ride again together, it's just a matter of time.
I flew to Paris this afternoon. I went directly to my daughter's house Lucie (1 hour away from Paris), Nono is adorable. I bring back all my spare winter clothes from New York. It feels good to see my sidecar.
I am spending the weekend with Lucie, Pascal and Nono. Monday I have a meeting with Adelaide to sign the final agreement for my French retirement and a doctor appointment for my glottis that is still bothering me since my cold last month.




My resolutions for 2009:

- Keep "Sidecar-ing the wolrld"
- Ride the Gobi desert in Mongolia
- Not be stressed, when the bike is runnnig great, about what could break next
- Not eat 8 eggs if I have a dozen with me, but eat the 12 of them!
- Work better my complex camera
- Publish more video on my web site
- Not visit the "Russian Gulag" as a client
- Answer all my emails.




Happy New Year everybody
I am looking forward to meeting with you
somwhere on the road one of these days of 2009!


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