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Iceland Iceland is a great place to ride, but seems to get missed a lot!
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  #1  
Old 19 Jan 2012
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Iceland 2012....Should I pedal the ringroad??

This'll be my eighth trip to Iceland......Last years 2011 flight was cancelled due to the 'unexpected' Grimsvotn volcanic eruption and I didn't have the time to loose waiting for another flight so we took the GS to the Schwarzwald instead!

So should I pedal the 'Ring Road'?

Last time in 2010 I cycled well over eight hundred miles in around ten days riding in SW Iceland mostly dodging the ashclouds around Eyjafjallajokull aswell as visiting Vestmannaeyjar and the Golden Circle up to Hvalfjordur which was great.

I'd intended cycling the southern ringroad all the way round to Eskifjordur to see friends and then take the bus back but the ashstorms were too severe and dangerous from Hvolsvollur to Vik. So I changed my plans and turned round at Skogarfoss after spending a very lonely night at the ashcovered and abandoned campsite at Seljallandsfoss. With hindsight I should have maybe caught the bus from Sellfoss to Vik and continued from there.

I've motorcycled and driven around the Ringroad a few times and in both directions in both summer and winter so know my way around a bit but this time I think it would be a great sense of achievement to actually ride completely around the ringroad icluding a few side trips to see friends on the way. I'd probably ride anticlockwise and allow fourteen days for the trip in total so it's doable if i'm fit enough and i'd need to ride around at least eighty miles most days to cover the distance.

The worst things to consider when cycling in Iceland are the head and crosswinds which can be truly devastating aswell as the solitude on some sections.....Traffic isn't so much of a problem there as for the most part there isn't really any and apart from the odd flying stone and dustclouds on the gravel sections it's pretty safe.

The bike i'd be using again is my trusty Thorn Sherpa EXP which is basically a very heavy duty mountain bike with wide 2.1 inch kevlar armoured tyres and heavy duty wheels(36x48 spoke) aswell as heavy duty front and rear Thorn racks to carry the camping gear etc.

My only concern about this trip is the boredom on the long empty stretches of road.....These long sections can be very demanding both physically and mentally especially if the weathers crap. I'd intend pedalling this trip in late may which is my usual time to visit Iceland although had I been there last year the weather was exceptionally bad with a late spring especially in the north.

One thing for sure when cycling in Iceland you need to be well prepared and have the greatest respect for the weather and all I can say about my previous experiences there with or without a volcanic eruption is...

Iceland is truly character building....!

FP.
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Old 19 Jan 2012
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Sounds very ambitious. 10 days to circumnavigate Iceland seems pretty tough. In 28 days I cycled from Kevlavik via Landmanalaugar to Hofn and further on the ring road to Varmahlíð. Here I turned south to Gullfoss and back to Kevlavik. Lost 10 kg in the trip

As you mentioned: the head winds can be exhausting. So, Good Luck!
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Old 21 Jan 2012
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cycling the ringroad or the interior?

Hi,

The Ring Road is 830 miles long and can easily be cycled in a couple of weeks. Thousands of people have done so, and it is still very popular.
Now that all of it has been paved, the traffic has increased and cars drive faster. And since it's a two-lane road with stretches without shoulders that you can use as a cyclist, it is not always comfortable and safe riding!
I would use as many interior, unpaved roads, if I were you.

I cycled the Kjolur and Sprengisandur routes in the interior. It is breathtakingly beautiful!!

Happy cycling!
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Old 21 Jan 2012
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The problem is that I can only get time away from work in late may or late october and then a maximum of only fourteen days.......!

The interior routes in Iceland have never been open when i've been there.....Even both the roads to Dettifoss have been closed when I was there a couple of times but luckily I made it on my BMW R1150GSA in 2005. Sections of the ringroad in the north were bad with snow one time and the road to Seydisfjordur was difficult a couple of times when we arrived on the Norrona! It was a similar situation in the Westfjords and we had very wintery weather when we were there in 2006.

The good news is that I can get flights to Keflavik from Glasgow for around £190 return and the exchange rate is quite good at around 191 ISK to £1 at the moment.

I think the worst stretch of road i've pedalled in Iceland was between the Tunnel to Akranes and Reykjavik.....It was busy and the traffic was very fast and very close......No hard shoulder just that dreadful washboard rumble strip to keep dosy car drivers awake.

FP.
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Old 22 Jan 2012
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@ Farmer,

yep, May ist too early for the interior and October probably too late. Even beginning of August the road from Landmanalaugar to Hofn was closed to traffic due to snow. No probs for a cyclist though


@ Thimba,

what a nice blog! I love the pics of Morocco. And yes, the interior of Iceland is absolutely stunning, but so is the ring road past the Vatnajokull.
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Old 22 Jan 2012
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My friend and I are going to cycle the ring road this August. We fly out on July 27th and back on August 27th. Not really looking forward to the headwinds but it will certainly be an adventure.

If you are planning to fly with your bike, do you know about camping alex? They are near to the main airport and if you stay there on your first and last nights, they will store your bike transportation box for free. They can also pick you up from the airport when you arrive.
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Old 23 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1gear1brake View Post
My friend and I are going to cycle the ring road this August. We fly out on July 27th and back on August 27th. Not really looking forward to the headwinds but it will certainly be an adventure.

If you are planning to fly with your bike, do you know about camping alex? They are near to the main airport and if you stay there on your first and last nights, they will store your bike transportation box for free. They can also pick you up from the airport when you arrive.
Yep, used them the last time I cycled in Iceland........Worked a treat!

FP.
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