á á á áPreparations for an Icelandic Bike Tour
Hot Damn! I am a snappy dresser. This was a solo trip, so I had to carry everything. áI figure that my gear came to about 50 lb. áThe bike is what I call a state-of-the-art expedition bike. In
other words a 1989 Bridgestone, no shock, nothing unproven ie everything half worn out. I rode on Continental "Country" tires, not a nobby, but a good dirt road tire, and I have not had a flat in 3200 km of riding in Iceland. áThe rims are what they sell now for dual slalom, a bit heavy, but sturdy. áI use a front mountain rack, not low-riders. áI've seen many broken low-rider racks in Iceland.
á
Me, riding along hrutefjord

Camping Gear
Tent
Synthetic Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
MSR multifuel stove
1 pot, bowl, cup, spoon
Water filter
2 Fuel bottles
Books
Bike Gear
Front and Rear Ortleib Panniers
Front Blackburn MTB rack
Blackburn Expedition Rear Rack
Spare tire, tube, tools, nuts &bolts
Fenders
Extra brake cable
Spokes
Chain Lube
Quick-Ties
Clothing
Shorts & Knickers
Winter tights
Goretex jacket & knickers
Pile jacket
2 polypro tops & a jersey
stocking cap, gloves
wool socks
Sun screen, sun glasses
Other
Freeze dried food
Swim suit
Icelandic Road Map
Extra 1" tie down straps


Be prepared. áIt can be 65 degrees, but it can also be down in the 30's. áIt might even
snow on you, it probably will rain on you, it can get windy as all hell, and you can get one hell of
a sunburn. áThe west is stormy, the south is rainy, the north and east have the best summer weather.
In most places a car will pass by in 10 minutes or less. áBut you can easily go places
where you might not see anyone for a few hours, and if the weather is ugly, maybe longer. á
Most of the interesting roads are dirt and vary in quality from excellent to crap. á This is not
the place for skinny tires and drop bars. áDo that and you are only limiting your choices. á
Even with a mountain bike you might end up pushing your bike for a while and you might
get to wade a few rivers. á If you are really pig-headed you can find some dandy routes
where you can push your bike through sand all day.
It's pretty easy to find white gas stove fuel. áOften gas stations have a container in the back room, ask.
Almost all of the villages have a campground. áThe fees vary from free to maybe $6.
You can camp out in the open except in National Parks and Preserves where you must
use the approved campsites.
If a village has a pool, use it. áIt'll often have 1 or 2 hot tubs and maybe a natural steam room. áThe
showers are unbelievably good. áNo water rationing here!
The airport is centered on the ugliest spot in Iceland. áAfter 10 miles in any direction the
country turns unbelievably beautiful, as long as you're not looking for trees.
The campground at Keflavik has been storing bike boxes for people. áI would guess they
will continue to do so. áThere are showers also. áAnd it's right next to a large grocery store.
It costs about $8 to get to the campground from the airport by taxi. áBuses go there also, but the
schedule might be inconvenient for you.
Lonely Planets Guide for Greenland and Iceland is by far the best general purpose
travel guide for the cyclist (I here there is a german language guide specifically for bike touring)

The Trento Bike Pages contains several trip reports on Iceland (and many more on the rest of europe).á

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Copyrightę Scott Schuldt, 1999
Last updated; November 6, 1999

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