Most tourists that come here to bike go around the country via the Ring Road for at least some of the way; others choose rougher roads and use the Kjölur mountain route or other routes in the highlands.
Biking in lowland areas
But let’s consider what you should bear in mind when biking in the lowland areas of Iceland, such as on the famous Ring Road. Apart from the bike itself, clothing plays the next most important role. Here in Iceland we sometimes say that a light breeze is just hurrying by as it is often windy. What’s more, summertime temperatures can drop quite drastically and wind chill can even bring temperatures below zero.
Keep in mind that in Iceland there are few or no specific bike paths or roads. You’ll therefore be riding either on paved roads in varying condition, or on gravel roads. Be very familiar with the route you intend to use so that you can properly evaluate what kind of bike you’ll need. Regular street bikes are, for example, seldom suitable outside of urban areas.
Biking in the highland
When biking in the highlands of Iceland there are other things to consider as conditions are very different. First, we should mention the responsibility that lies with a cyclist in relation to the Icelandic environment, which is delicate as the summer is very short. Roads, trails and footpaths need to be followed as bikes can easily cause harm to nature in the same way as cars. Consequently, never bike off-road no matter how tempting it may be. If a situation arises in which you need to cross over a sensitive area, simply pick the bike up and carry it.
If you’re going to bike in the Icelandic highlands then you should only use a bike with shock absorbers. They not only make the journey a safe one, but also more enjoyable for the biker.
Roads and paths in the highlands of Iceland are challenging and at the same time very exciting. Aside from that, the views simply have no equivalent. Focus on biking and stopping rather frequently to take photos or enjoy the scenes before your eyes.
Remember to give someone a copy of your route plan as well as instructions regarding when to take action if you’re not heard from. Writing your name down in a guestbook is not just a courtesy, but also an important safety precaution. But above all, you should choose a route that is suited to your abilities, enjoy the trip and return home safe and sound.
- Dress according to weather and conditions. Leave a route plan behind and never travel alone to the mountains.
- Keep a pace that matches your competence in biking. If you no longer have full control of the bike, then slow down.
- If something appears difficult or dangerous then it probably is.
- Get familiar with the intended route in advance and choose one taking your abilities into consideration. Bring GPS devices or maps.
- Treat the environment with respect. Stay on paths and trails. Carry your bike over sensitive nature areas.
- Be an exemplary role model for other cyclists.