Summits: 1340

August 7 – 28 » Iceland Cycling

My very first cycling trip was in Iceland 2015 and I couldn’t wait to get back. Mile for mile, Iceland is a strong contender for the most beautiful country in the world, with breathtaking scenery and unique landscapes around every corner. In addition to the motivating scenery, there are many positives that make Iceland a great place to cycle – easy abundant camping, tolerable traffic, convenient resupplies, and a wide range of challenges. I had such a great trip in Iceland in 2015 that it led to my current addiction of traveling by bicycle.

 

In 2015, I knew that I had been lucky with the weather but I didn’t realize just how lucky until this year’s return. In 2015, I’d had maybe 3 days of bad weather, none of which were terrible. This last trip though, I maybe had 3 days of good weather, and more terrible days then I’d like to remember. I started off taking a bus to Borgarnes, then spent 2 days cycling around the peninsula to Stykkisholmur where I would catch a ferry to the Westfjords. The wind was nothing like I’ve ever experienced, with several sections too windy to cycle at all, forcing me to walk. I’m talking knock me over or blow me clear across the road windy, enough to where people stopped and offered to help. And it didn’t stop. .

I managed to make it the 100 miles to Stykkish in 2.5 days, but I was thoroughly sore. I felt like I’d cycled 300 and there was no way I would recover in a day or two. I took the ferry to the Westfjords, cycled a few hours to camp in Patreksfjordur, and waited, while the weather continued to worse. I waited a couple of days and realized the weather would not get better in the foreseeable future. I rented an expensive car to see the Westfjords, made the return trip by ferry, and took a bus to the north of Icleand, where I would cycle the interior, mostly with better conditions and the wind at my back. .

Cycling the interior of Iceland was the main objective of my trip. The better sections of dirt road were absolutely beautiful, everything I came for. Unfortunately, most of the cycling was quite terrible, being badly washboarded with the hardness of concrete. I could hardly manage 5mph most of the time and I ended up with painfully sore forearms a few nights. The sights though, just incredible. I cycled through to Keflavik, where I had a nice night with some locals I’d met on my previous trip to Icleand, and then packed up my bike and flew to Africa… .

Red = 2016 routes. Green = 2019 routes.