Cycling Icelands Hringvegur in late may.....?
After several trips to Iceland by motorbike in late may i've decided that the easiest way to get there from Scotland now is to fly from Glasgow and take my adventure touring bicycle(Thorn Sherpa)
My first option is to ride the ringroad and visit my Icelandic friends on route. I'll have sixteen days in total which means i'll be riding about seventy miles a day which is possible with favourable weather conditions but this is Iceland afterall. I could break the journey and save some time by using the bus.
My other option is to stay mainly in the west and ride up to Snaefellsnes and then down to Vestmannaeyjar and the south coast down towards Hofn and have a more relaxing cycling expedition. The problem in May can of course be the late spring weather. It can be quite cool and from past experience even snow is possible and all the inland roads are still closed.
Fifty miles a day with a fully loaded touring bike is a more sensible option as i'll be mainly camping so my bike will be quite heavily loaded but tavelling at around twelve miles an hour will give me more time to appreciate the fantastic scenery and headwinds.....!
Normally i'd be riding the ringroad on my BMW in around six days or driving from Reykjavik to my friends in Eskifjordur in a couple of days but cycling seems to be a good way to see iceland close up.
Any thoughts or comments my trip greatfully recieved. This will be my seventh trip to Iceland and first by bicycle although i've cycle toured extensively in the past but not in such an extreme location.
Hey Farmer Palmer,
Great tip about the campsite at Sellalandfoss, I wound up staying there the entire next day, just relaxing and enjoying the view. Unfortunatly the owner did turn up so I had to pay him. But I bribed him with a can of Guinness and I got a 500 kronen discount on those two days. I hope you found your Cup-a-soups. Monday was really a bad day with a lot of rain, I was soaked, the other Belgians riding clockwise around Iceland didn't see a drop of rain. I hope your trip stayed dry as well.
Enjoy the time you have left.
Great to hear from you. The day I met you was the hardest of all, the last few Ks up to Hvollsvollur were tough and I ate most of the menu at the cafe when I arrived there exhausted(I was alone at the campsite and it was free).....!
After that it was an easy day back to Selfoss where I met and travelled with an adventurous and very fit french girl Morganne to Vestmanneayjar for a couple of days aswell as meeting up with a french doctor Jean Noel who was also cycling and had been 'alone' on the road for a while. It was great to have good company after a few days on the road and good to have a few photos with people in them!
After Vestmannaeyjar and the very rough ferry crossing it was an enjoyable ride around the Golden Circle. Camping at the empty Geysir campsite(again free) and Pingvellir before returning via Hvalfjordur to Reykjavik.
I cycled about 1000km's in Iceland most of which was very enjoyable but those headwinds are truly dreadful and soul destroying. The gravel roads were good on the whole but very dusty with traffic passing. The ringroad near Skogafoss was very dangerous in the 'Ash storms' which were blowing but there was very little traffic when I was there.
My sympathies are with Olafur Eggertson and his son Pall who I was very fortunate to spend some time with on their farm at the foot of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano and along with other farmers in the area who are having a very tough time with the ash contamination aswell as the flooding caused by the volcano.
I cycled usually about 80 to 100km per day which was comfortable and allowed plenty of time for stopping to see the sights etc and I was able to speak a little 'bad' Icelandic which was always gratefully recieved with amazement by the icelanders I chatted with and led to numerous questions and even the odd discount or two.........!
My regrets are that I didn't have enough time in Iceland and also that because of pevious motorcycle tours there the concept of distance takes a lot more understanding when cycling a heavily laden touring bike. What would easily be ridden in an hour on my motorbike could easily take more than a day cycling against a headwind. I'm also not quite so young as I was and most of my cycling in the past was either racing, time trialling or ultra marathon on very lightweight cycles which make my thorn look like a heavily laden carthorse by comparison although utterly dependable non the less.
I thoroughly enjoyed my cycling trip in Iceland aswell as meeting many Icelanders and fellow travellers but on my return home boy did I enjoy firing up my Buell Ulysses and riding 100km into a stiff headwind in less than an hour before returning home with a large grin on my face(i'm planning my next cycle/motorbike trip although i'm not sure which it'll be next time)
I'm new here and thinking of heading to Iceland, do you know of a way from Scotland to the Faroes with a bike(250) or do you now have to go via Denmark? Any help appreciated.
It's the ferry from Denmark now i'm afraid which is a real pain........! At least you don't have to ride too far to catch the ferry to Denmark.
We're all hoping the Smyril Line 'Norrona' would call at Shetland again as it was possible to do the trip in three days each way from Aberdeen with some interesting stops on the way.
It's worth it though as the Faroes are truly amazing and arriving in Seydisfjordur in east Iceland gives a real sense of adventure. I don't know much about Denmark though......!
Iceland is spectacular and a 250 will a spare can of fuel is a very good way to travel on the rougher roads and not too heavy when it gets stuck etc....!
A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to have 4 weeks for cycling Iceland. Tough, but thouroughly enjoyable :D I lost a couple of kilos ;-)
Now that you're used to powerfull headwinds, why not cycle Paragonia from Punta Arenas northwards? The glacier NPs in the south and the Caretera Austral are just as rewarding. The headwinds are just as tough...
Now wondering about shipping the bike out of Immingham and flying. We shall see......
Thanks again Dean
Another option would be to hire a bike when you get there. There are a couple of companies who will do this in Reykjavik.
BMW Club Iceland shipped their bikes from Reykjavik to Immingham in may but i'm not sure which company they used and if they were in a single container.
Patagonia does sound amazing. In iceland I travelled out to Vestmannaeyjar on the Herolfur ferry with a very seasick french cyclist and doctor Jean noel and he had travelled in Patagonia and after hearing about his trip it is definately a place to visit.
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