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  1. #1
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    Tell me about Iceland

    I've been looking at Iceland on google earth and every single picture is blowing my mind. Who's been? Share some stories about your trip. Did you cut through the interior of Iceland and was it worth it or is the ring round around the coast where it’s at?

  2. #2
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    I have no real idea but have you checked Crazy Guy on a Bike journals? There are 13 entries related to Iceland. I think I've read some of them, cycling involves lots of dirt roads and can be difficult but some of the pictures are breathtaking. During the warm season it's supposed to be an amazingly beautiful country and it's warmer than other places of similar latitude due to being in the middle of the warm North Atlantic Current. It's also one of the wealthiest and most developed countries in the world, like the top 10 or 20.

    I have no idea how expensive life is over there but I remember seeing Iceland Air advertising campaign in NYC, they had some really cheap airfare and were promoting tourism heavily.
    Last edited by AdamDZ; 11-24-10 at 01:53 PM.

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    My wife and I spent 5 weeks in Iceland in 2008. We mainly rode along the Ring Road, which is 90% paved, although there were other spots we rode in the southwest that were off-road. The roads are very well maintained and traffic dies off dramatically as soon as you leave the area around the airport and Reykjavik.

    The big challenge riding in Iceland is dealing with the wind. Since the island has few trees and most roads are along the coast, you just have to give in to the fact that some days you'll go nowhere because of a fierce headwind.

    We camped the whole time as there are plenty of campsites all around the country. Most small towns have public swimming pools where you can take a shower and go for a dip.

    If you want to go to the interior, I'd definitely recommend bringing a mountain bike or at least a bike that can accommodate beefy tires. While we were there I saw only one other cyclist with a traditional touring bike. Everyone else rode mountain bikes.

    PROS:
    -Amazing, sometimes unbelievable scenery
    -Good roads with little traffic
    -Plenty of camp sites (the only affordable thing in Iceland)
    -Public pools

    CONS:
    -wind
    -wind
    -wind

    Feel free to PM me if you have more specific questions.

  4. #4
    Bike touring webrarian
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    Visit the on-line Bike Touring Archive at www.biketouringtips.com

  5. #5
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    It's not one of the wealthiest countries in the world. They had the financial meltdown of all meltdowns. They went bankrupt essentially, but they have their own currency and have revalued, and are growing again. Not sure what that means for the cost of visiting. I wish Ireland could revalue and get it's prices down to a reasonable level.

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    Crazyguyonabike
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    Here's all you need to know:

    http://vimeo.com/12236680

    Apparently everybody in Iceland is good looking and knows how to breakdance.

    Neil

  7. #7
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
    Here's all you need to know:

    http://vimeo.com/12236680

    Apparently everybody in Iceland is good looking and knows how to breakdance.

    Neil
    That's the best, wittiest and funniest promotion video I've seen in a long time! I wanna go to Iceland!

  8. #8
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1 View Post
    It's not one of the wealthiest countries in the world. They had the financial meltdown of all meltdowns. They went bankrupt essentially, but they have their own currency and have revalued, and are growing again. Not sure what that means for the cost of visiting. I wish Ireland could revalue and get it's prices down to a reasonable level.
    Per capita it's 29th according to this, 19th according to Wikipedia. Was that meldown something recent?

  9. #9
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Emiliana Torrini - Jungle Drum



    Her other videos are nice too.

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    I spent five days courtesy of a broke airplane at Keflavik in June of 2000. The scenery is incredible, it was also in the mid 50s and drizzling the entire week. Reminded me of Anchorage-Ketchikan area. Prices were a little higher than normal, but no worse than Hawaii or Guam.

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    Thank for all the info. Did anyone get to try the local delicacy Hákarl ?

  13. #13
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    At the present, you won't find Iceland that much more expensive than the rest of Scandinavia. I'm not saying it's cheap, but prices have gone down here since the local currency is pretty weak at the moment.
    Bicycling in Iceland is fine as soon as you leave the area around the capital, Reykjavik. There isn't really all that much traffic, since the place is rather sparsely populated. The Ring Road - Highway 1 - is mostly tarmac but if you want to visit any of the central highland locations you will find a lot of gravel roads and tracks. The central highlands is also where you'll find the best views and magnificent vistas. There are campgrounds everywhere and swimming pools in every town and village. Wild camping is permitted - I don't remember the rules at the moment - but I'm pretty sure no one will bother you as long as you don't camp on someones doorstep.

    The problems with cycling in Iceland is weather; it's always windy and sometimes rains a lot. It can get cold, especially in the highlands, so you need to be prepared for the whole range of weather. Also, Iceland is very hilly. In fact the only place you'll find long reaches of flat road is on the black sands along the southern coast.

    If there is anything more you'd like to know, just PM me.

    Magnus Thor
    Iceland

  14. #14
    Senior Member xizangstan's Avatar
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    Land of fire and ice. And there's a penis museum (an American has donated his). I understand the seafood is great, and the hot geysers are much like Yellowstone in Wyoming.
    Who is John Galt?

  15. #15
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xizangstan View Post
    Land of fire and ice. And there's a penis museum (an American has donated his). I understand the seafood is great, and the hot geysers are much like Yellowstone in Wyoming.
    One should never use "penis museum" and "seafood is great" in the same sentence, in order to sell a place.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

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  17. #17
    Senior Member xizangstan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
    One should never use "penis museum" and "seafood is great" in the same sentence, in order to sell a place.
    Only two things smell like tuna fish. And one of them is tuna fish. So, they're kinda similar... I'm just saying.

    I've been planning on visiting Iceland. So it looks like I better take my bike - and panniers.
    Who is John Galt?

  18. #18
    nun
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    I spent a long weekend in Reykjavik and visited the geysers, Gulfoss and the rift valley. Amazing place. I want to ride Rt1 anticlockwise next year staying in hotels where I can.
    Are 32mm tyres ok for the bits of off road in the East, will they be ok for Rt 939 and the road to Modhrudalur or should I ride something with 2" tyres

  19. #19
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    Here's a page of Iceland bicycle tour reports, photos, etc. You can probably get a lot of information from the experiences of others who have done it, like those on this page. http://www.trentobike.org/bycountry/Iceland.html
    Be the person your dog thinks you are.
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  20. #20
    nun
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    Where (close to the airport) can I buy fuel for an alcohol stove?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by nun View Post
    Where (close to the airport) can I buy fuel for an alcohol stove?
    Most gas stations in Iceland sell denatured alcohol. We used a cat can stove during our trip. There's a gas station in the town nearest the airport. I'd recommend staying at the Alex Motel the first night you arrive. You can store your bike box for free as long as you prepay to stay the night before you leave Iceland. Call the motel when you arrive and they'll pick you up from the airport, bike box and all. The motel has camping spots.

    I used 35mm tires during the trip. The ring road does have spots that aren't paved but the roads are well maintained. You could use 32mm no problem although you'd lose some opportunities to travel inland, like we did. The ring road is actually pretty flat. The only challenging climb was going from the east coast inland to egilsstadir. Everything else was a piece of cake. It's the wind that will test your willpower.

  22. #22
    Senior Member xizangstan's Avatar
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    Is there a time of year when the wind isn't a problem?
    Who is John Galt?

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