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  1. #1
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    Mountain Biking Iceland

    Hi bikers

    Has any one of you ridden in Iceland or wanted to ride in Iceland? I am a guide and co-founder of Opus Adventures, a mountain biking company here in Iceland, and I am looking for ideas. What would you expect to see and do on a mountain biking trip to Iceland? I know a lot of good tracks and areas, single track and rarely traveled double track but would love to hear what you would like to do and if you've already been here, what did you do?

    Check out some of the photos from riding in Iceland on our web page www.opusadventures.is

    Keep on riding... (preferably in Iceland )
    Cheers
    Siggi

  2. #2
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    This month's Bike Magazine has a great photo spread of riding in Iceland. It looks spectacular.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    This month's Bike Magazine has a great photo spread of riding in Iceland. It looks spectacular.
    Yeah I saw that. It looks spectacular. Replicate that and you have a great tour.

  4. #4
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    Here's a couple of images from the Bike Mag article...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Mountain Biking Iceland-iceland1.jpg  

    Mountain Biking Iceland-iceland2.jpg  

    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  5. #5
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    Already there ;-)

    Hi and thanks for your reply's. One of our trips, Fjallabak's finest, already includes almost all the places in that article. Some fantastic photos there and I can tell your, the real thing is even better.

    Cheers
    Siggi
    www.opusadventures.is

  6. #6
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    As an Arizonan I'd love to see glaciers, but I'm also a skier. Rare sight in the desert.
    Hot springs, geysers and waterfalls, too.
    agmtb

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    Thanks abegold. Good points. I can see that we are on the right track. It is always hard for a local to see things with the eyes of the visitor (or the potential visitor).

  8. #8
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    Was there this past August. Can't seem to take it off my list and will need to go again.

    The Iceland terrain is absolutely supernatural. Riding any parts of Iceland is worthwhile, except maybe the flat, barren, and wind swept interior sections. Anyone from North America will be fascinated. Your job will be easy keeping them there. Getting them to try Iceland will be the challenge as most Americans think it is "Ice" as in Greenland (which should be the name of your country).

    Good additional selling points are:

    - Short flight when compared to Europe, and just as long as crossing North America from east to west.

    - No crowds compared to most tourist destinations.

    - Good food.

    - Very safe country.
    SUCCESS - To be able to spend life in your own way

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricksom
    Was there this past August. Can't seem to take it off my list and will need to go again.

    The Iceland terrain is absolutely supernatural. Riding any parts of Iceland is worthwhile, except maybe the flat, barren, and wind swept interior sections. Anyone from North America will be fascinated. Your job will be easy keeping them there. Getting them to try Iceland will be the challenge as most Americans think it is "Ice" as in Greenland (which should be the name of your country).

    Good additional selling points are:

    - Short flight when compared to Europe, and just as long as crossing North America from east to west.

    - No crowds compared to most tourist destinations.

    - Good food.

    - Very safe country.
    sounds pretty awsome
    We've been discussing mountainbiking in Iceland.
    How long did you stay and where did you stay?
    Are accomodations reasonably priced?
    Did you bike every day?
    How does the price of food compare? (and beer)
    Did you bring your own bikes and if so are there good bike shops for parts or repairs?
    Bike rentals?
    Last edited by trailtrash; 01-09-2010 at 11:37 AM.

  10. #10
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    Siggi,

    Whats up man, thanks for posting this up I spent a few days looking around for an outfitter that could hook us up with a serious mtb trip this summer and finally came across this. I have wanted to visit Iceland for years but never made the trip, now that i see the riding there i will almost certainly be booking a trip through you.

    So what kind of bikes do most guys ride on the advanced trips? We are pretty serious am/fr riders, who have light (30lb) all mountain 6" bikes...from the looks of it those bikes seem optimal, would you agree?

    How is the riding in July? Lots of daylight eh?

    - Bill

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    Go, but beware of the weather

    I backpacked across Iceland last summer, 280 miles/30 days. The scenery is beyond compare and wonderfully varied. Don't miss. But beware of the weather, especially in the interior, where the wind can stop you in your tracks and rain is cold and merciless. When we crossed the endless black sand desert near Askja, we encountered a trio of mountain bikers who couldn't stay upright in the deep sand and were forced to push their fully laden bikes, mile after mile. What a relief to see people who were crazier that we were.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailtrash
    sounds pretty awsome
    We've been discussing mountainbiking in Iceland.
    How long did you stay and where did you stay?
    Are accomodations reasonably priced?
    Did you bike every day?
    How does the price of food compare? (and beer)
    Did you bring your own bikes and if so are there good bike shops for parts or repairs?
    Bike rentals?
    I only stayed about 10 days, time is in short supply for me right now. Wife does not bike, so bike did not come with me. However, we did many great hikes and remote drives (where an SUV is truly required). The most reasonable place to stay, where you have access to a great range of scenery and different destinations is Stykkisholmur on the penninsula near the west coast. The town is the ferry port to the north destinations, and has a couple of reasonable priced accomodations if you prefer hotel/motel style. The rest of the pennisula has varied and awesome scenery, including an ice capped volcano. Most of the other towns (except the capital of Reykjavik) are fairly small and has more BandB and hostel accomodations that need to be booked in advance. They also have lots of adventure tours. Get the Pilot Guide of Iceland, and start reading. However, nothing in Iceland is really cheap, cheap. It is part of the European community.

    Local guiding for trails would be a must.
    SUCCESS - To be able to spend life in your own way

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricksom
    I only stayed about 10 days, time is in short supply for me right now. Wife does not bike, so bike did not come with me. However, we did many great hikes and remote drives (where an SUV is truly required). The most reasonable place to stay, where you have access to a great range of scenery and different destinations is Stykkisholmur on the penninsula near the west coast. The town is the ferry port to the north destinations, and has a couple of reasonable priced accomodations if you prefer hotel/motel style. The rest of the pennisula has varied and awesome scenery, including an ice capped volcano. Most of the other towns (except the capital of Reykjavik) are fairly small and has more BandB and hostel accomodations that need to be booked in advance. They also have lots of adventure tours. Get the Pilot Guide of Iceland, and start reading. However, nothing in Iceland is really cheap, cheap. It is part of the European community.

    Local guiding for trails would be a must.
    Thanks for the info.
    Probably won't make it there this year as we are possibly going to Sedona some time this spring or fall.
    But it's on my wifes list of places to visit and bike if possible.

  14. #14
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    We have put some more photos, prices etc. on our web www.opusadventures.is for those of you who are interested. Thanks for all your reply's and comments.

  15. #15
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    Bill,

    Glad to see your post and hope you'll visit next summer. You are absolutely right. I light 6" am bike is ideal, especially for the Fjallabak's finest trip and even for the Fire and ice tour.

    I ride a fuel ex 9.0 and have a remedy carbon on order with our dealer here in Iceland ;-)

    July and August are best for the highlands. June is early and there might still be snow and in September the weather is less reliable and days are shorter. And the endless daylight will blow your mind...

    Hope to see you this summer!
    Siggi

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    Siggi,

    Looking to be there late May / early June this summer for a few weeks. For me, a few separate single-day outings would be ideal. Nothing fancy, just take me to the best trails within 90 minutes of Reykjavik worthy of a full suspension bike and make sure I don't go off a cliff or drown. I'd be fine in just joining an existing group you already have going during that time. I'd probably be bringing my own bike and it would be just myself.

    Let me know what dates/rides/prices might be available during that time.

    Thanks,

    Greg

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siggi
    Hi bikers

    Has any one of you ridden in Iceland or wanted to ride in Iceland? I am a guide and co-founder of Opus Adventures, a mountain biking company here in Iceland, and I am looking for ideas. What would you expect to see and do on a mountain biking trip to Iceland? I know a lot of good tracks and areas, single track and rarely traveled double track but would love to hear what you would like to do and if you've already been here, what did you do?

    Check out some of the photos from riding in Iceland on our web page www.opusadventures.is

    Keep on riding... (preferably in Iceland )
    Cheers
    Siggi
    Hi Siggi - how far are you from Reykjavik? my wife and i were considering a visit in late Aug/first week in Sept.

  18. #18
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    How difficult is it to go mountain biking there without a guide?
    Are the trails only accessible by biking in and camping or is it possible to do day rides with a rental of a 4 Wheel Drive?
    I'm guessing the summer is pretty much over by Sept. Would it be worth it to try to make a trip in mid-Sept?


    I would love to do the guided trip, but I think it would be too much for me to afford. Would you be a be able to provide information for someone that wanted to do the rides unguided? Even for a fee?

  19. #19
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    Despite the relatively small size of the island it would be like doing unsupported or unguided tours in Alaska (without the grizzly bears). When you're out there you are well away from help and exposed to the elements. Have a look at the The Icelandic Mountain Bike Club website.

    http://www.fjallahjolaklubburinn.is/.../view/112/104/

    The interior highlands

    The mountain roads across the interior highlands are closed until late June. They are rough, with lots of steep hills and unbridged rivers. In the interior there are no shops so you must bring enough food. The Iceland Touring Association (Ferðafélag Íslands) is the biggest travel-association in Iceland and it runs shelters in 34 places in the Icelandic interior. They are often full, need to be booked at least a month in advance and accommodation is not guaranteed so you must bring a tent. Often you will have to put up your tent on hard rocky ground - this is the largest desert in Europe. Some areas are protected areas where your must camp at designated campsites. Elsewhere you can rough camp almost anywhere except on private land, provided you don't leave any marks or litter. Ask permission if you think the spot is privately owned.

    Most rivers are unbridged and at over 40 fords, notices have been put up with instructions on how to ford rivers. Be sure to assess the current, depth and the nature of the riverbed before fording a river. The water will wash away the grease in the pedals, bottom brackets and hubs so you should always carry your bike across if the water levels are high enough to reach those sensitive parts. Glacial water is also loaded with mud and sand that can ruin your bearings in minutes. "Sealed bearings" does not mean waterproof. The water is ice cold and will numb your feet in seconds. We recommend using neoprene shoes, such as those used on surfboards, that will keep you warm and makes it easier to navigate on sharp or slippery stones. Alternatively you can use old tennis shoes, etc. If the river looks dangerous to cross, it probably is and if you are traveling by yourself you should wait for someone who could keep an eye out and help you or get help if you run into trouble. Glacial rivers swell as the day goes on.

    Check the weather forecast before heading into the interior highlands and every day while there. The weather can change very suddenly. You should also ask the wardens in the huts, and others, about conditions ahead. Sometimes rivers flood and bridges and roads are closed. In most areas you will find small rivers with fresh spring water every few hours but in certain areas you may have to load up on water for two days.


    If you ever rent the movie Beowulf & Grendel and watch the feature of making the film, they had the entire movie set blown away in one storm, and winds that were picking up golf ball sized rocks and breaking windows in their vehicles. So you'd sure want to know where to go when the weather changes.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    If you ever rent the movie Beowulf & Grendel and watch the feature of making the film, they had the entire movie set blown away in one storm, and winds that were picking up golf ball sized rocks and breaking windows in their vehicles. So you'd sure want to know where to go when the weather changes.
    The wind in Iceland is no joke. I lived there as a kid. I was once picked up by the wind while walking to school. Another time I had to crawl against a headwind for a few hundred yards as there was no other way of making progress. I would make sure to have survival gear any time you are away from a town as the weather can turn bad quickly.
    Mountain bikers, hikers and horseback riders are not the enemy. Bulldozers are the enemy.

  21. #21
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    So, how's the recent volcanic eruption going to affect mtn biking later this summer?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Penny
    So, how's the recent volcanic eruption going to affect mtn biking later this summer?
    Simple: until the ashes are out of the air and the volcano has stopped, there will be no flights in or out of Iceland.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by the-one1
    Simple: until the ashes are out of the air and the volcano has stopped, there will be no flights in or out of Iceland.
    Except for of course all flights from Seattle, New York, Boston, and Orlando which have yet to be disrupted and continued flying even today.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by the-one1
    Simple: until the ashes are out of the air and the volcano has stopped, there will be no flights in or out of Iceland.
    Most flights fly into Reykjavik, which is west of the volcano and not influence by the ash cloud. Only flights from European cities east of the volcano are cancelled. Might want to ckeck a map.
    Mountain bikers, hikers and horseback riders are not the enemy. Bulldozers are the enemy.

  25. #25
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    you guys have some the best geologic features on the planet! So beautiful.

    those prevailing westerlies sure are giving ol' Europe some headaches, though. Is this Iceland's economic revenge?

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