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Lava fields, icy glaciers and river crossings on the Iceland Divide

Natt E. Will

Lava fields, icy glaciers and river crossings on the Iceland Divide

Bike Touring Collection by Natt Williams

7

Tours

40:51 h

353 mi

15,375 ft

Exploring the land of fire and ice had been a dream of mine since 2018, when the Iceland Divide featured in a bikepacking film by my friends Montanus. With my sights set on the third edition of the Silk Road Mountain Race, completing this North to South traverse of the island solo would be great training.

Then Covid happened. The end-goal of racing the gruelling Silk Road Mountain Race in Kyrgyzstan may have been postponed, but I'd already planned my trip to Iceland. Of course I would go ahead, as my desire was just as much to explore this incredible landscape as it was to train.

Iceland is a place full of magnificent glaciers, thundering waterfalls and ever-changing landscapes. From flat plains to near-vertical volcanoes, snow to lush green countryside, rock to gushing water, no two days on the island were the same.

In this Collection you'll find my daily rides over the week-long crossing of the island. I stayed in a mixture of campsites and mountain huts, and was blown away by the friendliness and warm hearts of the people there.

Days: 7
Kilometres pedalled: 568 (353 miles)
Metres climbed: 4,690 (15387 feet)
Time: 40 hours 51 minutes
Punctures: 0
Technical issues: 0

On The Map

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Iceland Divide

344 mi

14,300 ft

14,350 ft

Last updated: May 25, 2022

Tours & Highlights

  • Day 1: Akureyi to Botni Mountain Hut — Iceland Divide

    06:10
    70.0 mi
    11.4 mph
    3,400 ft
    1,975 ft

    The base of Eyjafjörður Fjord in Northern Iceland was the starting point of my trip, crossing of Iceland from north to south along the Iceland Divide route.

    

    Nerves, excitement and anticipation merged as I set off on my first bikepacking trip abroad in 2020, and a solo expedition at that.

    

    The first stage

    by Natt Williams

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  • 08:23
    51.0 mi
    6.1 mph
    2,900 ft
    1,050 ft

    The sun doesn't go down during the summer months in Iceland, so you never really know what time of day it is. I was treated to another meal when I woke from my new friends in the hut and with a full belly, set off for day two.

    

    It was a slow first 10km (6.2 miles), mostly hiking with my bike through the

    by Natt Williams

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  • 05:56
    36.2 mi
    6.1 mph
    1,425 ft
    2,150 ft

    It was an early start for my two new French friends to hike across the glacier, so I enjoyed three hours to myelf in the mountain hut, brewing up a coffee and taking in the view.

    

    I packed up my bike, lubed the chair and got ready to go again for another dreamy day of sunshine in Iceland.

    

    I had another

    by Natt Williams

  • 04:38
    35.6 mi
    7.7 mph
    1,700 ft
    2,300 ft

    After a terrible night's sleep, I was glad to have another shorter day ahead, but I knew here in the highlands I'd have more river crossings too. Sebene let me keep the small towel from the night before which came in very handy indeed!

    

    A very strange thing happened, where Sebene got a call from the British

    by Natt Williams

  • 09:36
    90.4 mi
    9.4 mph
    4,875 ft
    5,100 ft

    This was going to be, by far, the biggest day of the trip. With the Hut at Alftavent at the end of the day situated between two massive mountain passes. Type 2 fun awaited me.

    

    It was all going smoothly for the first half; the legs felt great and I was on a great lava sand and gravel track. Then I reached

    by Natt Williams

  • 02:52
    26.9 mi
    9.4 mph
    700 ft
    1,850 ft

    I had a strange feeling on the second to last day of the Iceland Divide, I was just not ready for it all to be over. I tried to put the moodiness I felt to one side as I set off today with the two riders from the hut, which worked wonders to distract my mind!

    

    Johannes and his partner were ace, except

    by Natt Williams

  • 03:16
    43.0 mi
    13.2 mph
    375 ft
    975 ft

    70 kilometres (43.4 m) were on the cards for the final day, so I was in no great rush to leave this great mountain hut. After giving the bike a quick check I was ready to go; it had really done me proud, not skipping a beat even over this tough terrain.

    

    If you like Star Wars, you'd have loved this day

    by Natt Williams

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Questions and Comments

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    353 mi
  • Duration
    40:51 h
  • Elevation
    15,375 ft

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