A few weeks ago I did a cycle-tour around the perimeter of Iceland on a Surly Troll so I thought I would post a few pictures and thoughts about my adventure.
The bike and associated kit worked flawlessly for me. I had zero mechanical issues except for one minor shifting issue which was entirely user error. I would highly recommend a Troll for this type of riding. The total trip was around 1600 km, the majority of which was done over 11 consecutive days of riding.
It all began at a campground just outside the Keflavik airport, where we unpacked our bike bags and were relieved to find intact bicycles.
The bikes went together quickly, and since my riding partner and I both had overnight flights with no sleep we briefly thought about taking a rest day... But quickly shot down the idea since we came here to ride. On to Reykjavik to start our clockwise loop.
The weather on our first day was absolutely gorgeous, and was possibly the only day of the loop where we didn't put rain gear on. The last part of the day was spent riding around a massive and stunning fjord to avoid a tunnel.
After around 145 km we found a spot with an acceptable view and camped.
The next day started off beautifully, and we climbed up a seemingly never ending mountain pass. The second we got to the top of the pass we were met with rain and a killer headwind which meant we got to struggle just as much on the way down. After another 145 km day and soaking wet we found an abandoned campsite where we could pitch our tents.
The next few days were marked with MANY mountain passes and variable weather. Mist, rain, fog, and sheep were plentiful.
An especially difficult climb as there was a significant headwind the entire way up this pass.
Another great campsite with a view.
At this point we were riding around the northern part of the island, and started to realize how much of an impact the wind would make on our trip. We literally fought our way into the town of Myvatn which is home to geothermal activity.
The ride between these two pictures was around 4 hours of pedaling into a direct 25-30+km headwind, through a desolate terrain that most resembled a desert. We finally found refuge from the wind alongside a river.
This bridge was very interesting for us as when a heavy truck would pass over at just the right speed it would visibly deflect and resonate for a quite a long time afterward. Trucks going the wrong speed would deflect it but no resonance. We spent the next day discussing how a few trucks timed at the right interval going the right speed could destroy the bridge.
Fast forward a couple of days and we passed through the town of Eggilstadir (or something like that) and rode the only gravel section of the ring road on our way to the southeastern coast of Iceland.
Now that we were on the southern part of the island, the scenery changed drastically yet again, and the land was just littered with glaciers.
This was one very cool spot where the ice chunks that calved off a large glacier drift around a bay before having to make their way under a bridge to get to the ocean.
Since the weather was beautiful we took an incredible sight seeing flight above the ice cap.
A few hundred km later and we were back in Reykjavik.
The trip was my first cycle tour, and was a challenging but incredible experience. Everything from riding through fjords so stunning it hurt to powering against headwinds that threatened my psyche to having my tent blow over in the middle of the night.
Now to plan the next tour!
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Thread: Trolling Around Iceland
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