Once my kickstand was down on the ferry I started to relax and look around. What I saw was amazing- a long row of bikes and only one a Harley. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against Harleys or their riders, it’s just nice not to be the odd bike out for once.
This most perfect sight was quickly overshadowed by the riders themselves. Having strapped my bike down for the crossing, I started to check the rear tire. The Harley rider beside me asked if there was a problem, and after hearing my tale, took out some paper and a pen and drew me a map to the Harley dealership in Tórshavn. This conversation attracted another rider (2007 BMW R1200 GS Adventure) who offered to wait around when we left the ferry to help if I had any problems (he turned out to be one of The Swedes). This camaraderie continued after we all moved to the upper decks. While most of the riders changed out of their riding gear, they all had something that marked them as riders- boots, Touratech gear, riding guides to Iceland, or bowed legs. These clues would lead easily into conversations and brought a very friendly atmosphere to the otherwise boring crossing.
This introduction to European riding culture, especially the long distance riding culture, was as reassuring as it was enjoyable. It’s nice to know that there are some strangers out there that have your back.