After a good night’s sleep, we woke to grey skies in Reykavik on the morning of our first ride day. But after a good breakfast at the Laundromat Cafe our bellies were full and we were eager to spin our legs for a few hours.
I really enjoyed the first day of riding even though most of it was spent in drizzle. It took us longer than expected to get to Bogarnes because of a wrong turn on our way out of Reykjavik, and the bridge that joins the headlands on either side of the Hvarfjardarvegur ford isn’t bike acessible, forcing us to go all the way inland, around the Ford. We had a memorable stop at a petrol station (one of many chips and coca-cola fuel stops on our trip) where I learned of Fabian Cancellara’s Olympic Gold win. and I had a chat with the owner who, upon hearing I am Irish, began to tell me about the strong connections between Ireland and Iceland (more on that later).
We had a memorable stop in a petrol station (one of many chips and coca-cola fuel stops on our trip) where I learned of Fabian Cancellara’s Olympic Gold win in the ITT, and a chat with the owner who, upon hearing I am Irish, told me that we are cousins – ’cause the Icelandic people are in fact, descendants of a mix of Irish people, and Vikings.
Spectacular views of the Hvarfjardarvegur Ford.
Once we had gotten around the Ford, disaster struck just ten kilometres away from our destination Bogarnes, when my Tubus rack slipped off my bike. The force of the weight of my loaded panniers on the rackmounts was just too much and caused them to break. A temporary fix with zipties would have to do until we got to Bogarnes where we were sure there would be a hardware store we could find something to fix the rack onto the bike for the rest of the trip. We were tired, this would have to wait until tomorrow.
When we landed at the campsite, we discovered it was very basic. There were toilets and no showering facilities. For each of us, it would be the first night we would set up camp in Iceland. All eyes turned to Dave, who was wrestling to get his camp bed (yes, a camp bed, not an inflatable mattress) into his tent. Major oversight, Dave didn’t realise that his bed was longer than his tent. He would have to remove the inner sheet of the tent to fit it in, leaving nothing but the fly sheet between him and the pouring rain. But it didn’t seem to bother him one bit and he slept the whole night through.
Nick and I shared some of our whiskey ration between us…with this view to entertain us.
The first Ford I have ever ridden around, it reminded me of Ireland, but different.
My rack breaking off the bike and Nick and Dave unleashing their inner McGyvers to fix it.
Seeing the bridge to our destination – Bogarnes.
Dave discovering that his essential item, a foldable bed, wouldn’t fit in his tent.
Bring zipties with you, always.
Make sure your bed fits inside your tent.
Bring enough food to get you through the entire day(s), or make sure you check where the petrol stations are to buy food since there are virtually no cafés or restaurants on the road in Iceland.
Go slow (this lesson I only learned a few das later when I was exhausted!)