Iceland is a great place for Adventure Cycle Touring. It is not the easiest place to bike though. No cycle paths outside of Reykjavik, very strong winds and rough roads make the riding tough and slow going.
I have cycle toured in Iceland twice. The first time was in the summer of 2000. Back then I don't remember seeing any other cyclists. I made the tour on a standard aluminium mountain bike. The frame cracked just below the headset after only 1 hour of riding, so that was the last time I toured with an aluminium frame. Luckily I manged to fix the problem with a jubilee clip from a service station and the repair lasted the whole trip. Unfortunately, my rear wheel gave out just 1 hour from Reykjavik, so I never got to see the capitol city. Iceland is very demanding for the bikes, gear and ourselves.
In July 2017, we made a 3 week tour of Iceland from North to South. This time with much better equipment and we had no problems at all.
We flew to Reykjavik, re-assembled the bikes and then took a bus to Akureyri. We then spent the first week sight seeing in the North including Godafoss, Husavik, Dettifoss and Myvatn. From there we cycled back to Godafoss before starting a 5 day adventure through the interior on the F26 Sprengisander route. The final week was spent sight seeing in the South including Landmannalauger, Fludir, Gullfoss, Geysir and Thingvellir.
On our 2017 tour we saw other cyclists and many more tourists than my first trip. Being close to both Europe and USA we met people from many different nationalities. Quite a few of the other cyclists we saw stayed on the main ring road but for me the real adventure starts on the 4x4 only interior tracks. There is quite a lot of traffic on the main ring road, but the drivers are courtious and gave us space. There are fewer cars on the interior tracks but they throw up a lot of dust as they pass. Most slow down as they passed us but others did'nt and we were forced to stop to cover our eyes.
On both tours I have cycled the F26 Sprengisandur route. This route includes several river crossings. Most are quite easy to navigate but there are two large river crossings just before and after the mountain hut at Nyidalur. It is best to check at the ranger station in Myvatn before starting out. There is no where to purchase supplies between Godafoss and Hrauneyjar. Other cyclist we spoke to crossed the interior on the F35. I haven't ridden it myself, but we were told that all the major river crossings on the F35 have a bridge.
On both tours I have cycled from North to South. The reason for this is that the prevailing wind in Iceland is from the north east. Even though we encoutered winds from all directions. On the final two days of our trip on the F26 the wind was extreemly strong from the north east and we were lucky to be going south, otherwise it would have been impossible to continue. We saw several other cyclists forced to pitch there tents during the day and wait for the winds to calm down.
Below are two video blogs and pictures of our 2017 tour.
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