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Old 01-01-2014, 06:10 AM   #1
Dekatria OP
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Location: The Netherlands, Europe
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The Hekla Project - Riding to Hell and back (Scandinavia 2014 - Iceland 2015)



The Hekla Project: Riding to Hell and back (Scandinavia 2014 - Iceland 2015)
“If a dream doesn’t scare you, it isn’t good enough”

Welcome.

The background story to my madness starts in 1996. I was 10 years old at the time, and my best friend (aged 11) committed suicide. When something like that happens when you’re that young, you tend to think of it as ‘normal’ - ofcourse, I was sad for a few months, but afterwards I happily continued with my life.

But thirteen years onward, in 2009, my past caught up with me. I came to see that what had happened then was far from normal, which plunged me in a deep depression… a time I nearly put an end to myself, and subsequetly a time I can now only describe as by far the darkest period of my life.

Coming out of it in May 2010, I swore I would make my lifelong dream of seeing Greece reality… and I was going to do it riding a motorbike, even though I didn’t even have a license yet. This became ‘The Dekatria Project’.

A year later, in October 2011, I got my license. In July 2012 I did a 2200 mile trip through Britain and in the Summer of 2013, three years after I nearly stole my dreams away from myself, I finally did it. 5084 miles, 13 countries, and 30 days later, I returned from riding to Cape Tenaron, one of the gates to the Greek Underworld. And right after, I realised that I was hooked.


Because only 10 days after getting back, I was sitting around the table with two other riders discussing what was up next.

And that’s when Iceland came to the table. You see, I’d already given my next destination some thought prior to going to Greece… and Iceland was the first thing on my mind. It’s a real peculiar country, known for it inhospitable and yet movingly beautiful environment. Also, II knew it’d require skills I was yet to familiarize myself with (namely the off-road kind), so it was the perfect next challenge. The next boundary to cross.

Eventual destination will be Mount Hekla - it was seen as a gate to Hell in medieval times, so it seemed logical to put it next in line. And so, I can now welcome you to The Hekla Project.

It does mean that, just like with the previous project, alot of prep and training is in order. And that’s what 2014 is for.

Because what my trip to Greece lacked was a trip to familiarize myself to the climate at hand, resulting in a struggle against the immense heat when I got to the Mediterranean. So for 2015, a trip to Scandinavia seems just what I need as preparation.


The 2014 Scandinavia trip was 8723 km in length and circled the Baltic Sea, going in a clockwise direction through Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, and with it Spmi (or Lappland), the Arctic Circle and the Nordkapp. Then Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lthuania and Poland finished it off before Germany brought me back to The Netherlands again.

In 2015 the plan currently is to go from The Netherlands towards Denmark, after which a ferry will bring the trip towards the Faeroe Islands and subsequently Iceland. The trip then goes into an anti-clockwise direction, visiting the North and westernmost point of Iceland before going down towards Mount Hekla in the South-West.

But before I get to all that, the Beast will need some modifications as well. The front suspension already has progressive springs so should be OK, but the rear still has the stock shock. I want to raise the rear a little, giving the Beast some more room to move - for me, that’s not a problem since I can currently stand on the ground with room to spare between my ass and the seat.

Above all though, I need to get to grips with offroad riding. I got a taste of it riding the Balkans last year, but I want to know what happens when the gravel goes beyond a mile.

Pus

I always like giving a bigger meaning to these trips than just my own lunacy - and that’s where this little thing comes in.


The people that followed the Dekatria Project know where this is going - when I started that particular project, I asked the father of my late friend whether I could put some of the earth from my friend’s grave inside a small canister, and take it with me. You see, my friend killed himself when he was 11 years old, so he didn’t get to do most of the stuff that I got to do. This way, albeit symbolically, he could share in what I was doing.


The canister stayed in my motorcycle coat for the duration of the project, and when I got to Cape Tenaron, I opened it up, scattered the earth, after which I filled it with earth from Tenaron herself. Upon arrival back home, I gave the canister to my late friend’s father to place back at the grave, so that part of the grave would forever be in Greece, and part of Greece would be at his grave.

And this time, I intend to do the same. Once again, I’ve got a canister with some of the grave’s earth, and I will take it with me to both Scandinavia in 2014, and Iceland in 2015. This way, part of him will travel as much as I do.

So, sit back, and enjoy what’s coming. It’s once again going to be a long haul

Follow the project on Facebook, or visit the website (with much more background stuff) over here!

Ride Reports in this thread so far:
Scandinavia 2014 (page 3)



Links:
The website
The Facebook page
The ADVrider RR thread on the Dekatria Project


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The Hekla Project - Riding to Hell and back (Scandinavia 2014 - Iceland 2015)
Thousands of miles, two wheels, and thirteen reasons.
Follow my project at www.thirteenreasons.nl or on Facebook!

Dekatria screwed with this post 09-05-2014 at 02:51 AM
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:59 AM   #2
JohnnyTh
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Looks like a great ride. Good luck. But your missing some of the best parts of Norway.
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Old 01-02-2014, 04:16 AM   #3
Dekatria OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyTh View Post
Looks like a great ride. Good luck. But your missing some of the best parts of Norway.
The route as shown might be altered when under way - nothing is set in stone. Last Summer the route from Greece back to the Netherlands changed in three places altogether, so who knows

The only reason it is as it is is to divide the time between Norway and Sweden a bit more evenly... but it could very well be that if Norway delivers up until Trondheim, I'll follow the coast a bit further. Just depends on how the riding is going.
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The Hekla Project - Riding to Hell and back (Scandinavia 2014 - Iceland 2015)
Thousands of miles, two wheels, and thirteen reasons.
Follow my project at www.thirteenreasons.nl or on Facebook!
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:22 PM   #4
Simon L
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Awesome, I'll be following your report ! We've done a trip to the Northcape last summer and we're doing Iceland this summer. Beautiful countries, but as JohnnyTh says, you're missing the best part of Norway (and Finland).

Regards,

Simon L
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Journey report Sweden, Finland and Norway 25/06 - 21/07/2013:
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=897249

'If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It is lethal.' - Paulo Coelho
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Old 01-17-2014, 08:44 PM   #5
Dekatria OP
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Hardest thing with making the route for such a thing is always what to leave out... but then again, as I said before, nothing is sure yet
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The Hekla Project - Riding to Hell and back (Scandinavia 2014 - Iceland 2015)
Thousands of miles, two wheels, and thirteen reasons.
Follow my project at www.thirteenreasons.nl or on Facebook!
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:57 AM   #6
Simon L
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dekatria View Post
Hardest thing with making the route for such a thing is always what to leave out... but then again, as I said before, nothing is sure yet

Jep, the things not to do and last but not least: realizing that you're not able to spend ages travelling around. At some point you'll have to get back to work .
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Journey report Sweden, Finland and Norway 25/06 - 21/07/2013:
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=897249

'If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It is lethal.' - Paulo Coelho
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Old 01-18-2014, 03:50 AM   #7
SR1
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This could be good...I'll keep watching!!
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Old 01-18-2014, 03:55 AM   #8
Bli55
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This is going to be deep....

Remember to bring a knobbly rear, then you can go ride up Hekla further than this:






http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...0#post22995180
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Detailed BMW X-Challenge build thread.
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F-ing in Iceland and Faroe Islands, 2013.
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Old 01-18-2014, 02:35 PM   #9
Dekatria OP
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Very nice

The plan is indeed to get some knobbies under the Alp once I get around to Iceland, and make some further tweaks to get it more off-road proof. So stay tuned
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The Hekla Project - Riding to Hell and back (Scandinavia 2014 - Iceland 2015)
Thousands of miles, two wheels, and thirteen reasons.
Follow my project at www.thirteenreasons.nl or on Facebook!
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:48 AM   #10
JohnnyTh
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Malm (south of sveden) to Oslo is painfully boring. From Oslo to vest coast is ok, but not very special. If i where you i would take the ferry to Kristiansand and the up the vest coast.

You need to get a pic in Hell. Small place in norway :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell,_Norway
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:13 AM   #11
Blader54
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Hi Deks,
Good to see you with another ride to plan! I know that it's early days yet for route planning and your projected route is a starting point to build on. The Norse riders probably have some good suggestions to make the trip more interesting for you. No doubt that when it is time to go you will have an excellent plan. I think it's a fine thing that you are continuing to honor your friend this way! Looking forward to following the adventure!
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:31 AM   #12
Hollyr
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FIM rally

The 2014 FIM rally is in Finland: http://www.fimrally2014.com/

There will be a large delegation from the Netherlands there, especially since they will be promoting the 2015 rally in Vorden, Netherlands.
PM me if you need contact info for the Netherlands FIM group.
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:49 PM   #13
Dekatria OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyTh View Post
Malm (south of sveden) to Oslo is painfully boring. From Oslo to vest coast is ok, but not very special. If i where you i would take the ferry to Kristiansand and the up the vest coast.

You need to get a pic in Hell. Small place in norway :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell,_Norway
Waaay ahead of you, Hell was already on the route as far's Malmo-Oslo I intend to keep the route with as little ferries as possible. Ferries add scheduling restrictions I want to do without for once

Above all, I intend to once again travel by destinations, and let the way inbetween be determined on the day itself. It's happened more than once that I was aching for some dull highway after some nice twisties so I could switch off my brain for once. Then again, before Malm there's not that many twisties as of yet, so the route through Denmark will probably undergo some scrutiny too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blader54 View Post
Hi Deks,
Good to see you with another ride to plan! I know that it's early days yet for route planning and your projected route is a starting point to build on. The Norse riders probably have some good suggestions to make the trip more interesting for you. No doubt that when it is time to go you will have an excellent plan. I think it's a fine thing that you are continuing to honor your friend this way! Looking forward to following the adventure!
Good to see a loyal follower return as well Cheers!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollyr View Post
The 2014 FIM rally is in Finland: http://www.fimrally2014.com/

There will be a large delegation from the Netherlands there, especially since they will be promoting the 2015 rally in Vorden, Netherlands.
PM me if you need contact info for the Netherlands FIM group.
Sadly I will probably depart around the 25th of July, 3 weeks after this rally. Otherwise it probably would've been a good addition
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The Hekla Project - Riding to Hell and back (Scandinavia 2014 - Iceland 2015)
Thousands of miles, two wheels, and thirteen reasons.
Follow my project at www.thirteenreasons.nl or on Facebook!
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:05 AM   #14
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Mighty kick is mighty!

Prep for the coming Summer goes on steadily, and with it, some changes have been made. Primarily, the route of this Summer has once again been altered.

The original route through Scandinavia would've taken me around 3 weeks to complete. My holiday lasts 2 weeks longer than that, and a diversion past the Nordkapp would add 5 days to the original plan.

So that got me thinking: why not go there too? I feel it's a bit like the addition of the Rome city-centre was last Summer; you can't come that close and then not go there.

Furthermore, the Beast's seat has been re-upholstered. Had to give up riding for 2 weeks, but it was well worth it.

Before


After


Also, I've put a fully detailed packing list online now; I reckon it to be handy for future reference. Have yourselves a look-see!
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The Hekla Project - Riding to Hell and back (Scandinavia 2014 - Iceland 2015)
Thousands of miles, two wheels, and thirteen reasons.
Follow my project at www.thirteenreasons.nl or on Facebook!
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:18 AM   #15
Toadride
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This is why when I wake up, I sit down with a coffee and fire up ADV! What a great fucking video! What a great fucking poet! .
Good choice of bikes, my young friend. Heated grips installed? They are lifesavers.
As I venture back into the painless Japanese market this summer and head out to the great Canadian North, I'll be watchin you, Amigo.
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