In late August longtime friends and production partners Jason and David cycled around Iceland for 10 days. They set out on the adventure knowing only that they wanted to circumvent the island, and film as they went along.
This is their story:
In addition to creating the film, Dave and Jason wrote about the adventure on their blog:
“From the moment the plane touched down in Iceland it was obvious that this trip was going to be unlike anything we’d done before. We’ve ridden our bikes in some pretty interesting places but this felt like we had landed on another planet altogether. Despite the fact that it was well past midnight, the sun was still in the sky and I could just make out the lava fields and ice-covered volcanoes from my seat next to the window. ‘Where the hell are we?’ I asked Dave who had been lucky enough to stopover in Iceland once before. He gave me a reassuring nod as if to say ‘I told you so’…
We didn’t know a whole lot about the country, but from what we had seen on Nat Geo documentaries it looked like the place was made for a cycling adventure… The only problem was that it was on the other side of the world but if anything, this just deepened our fascination with the wild land. All we needed was an excuse, and some money of course to make it happen.
Dave and I make films for a living, so when a client from London contacted us about a job at the end of the month we were overly enthusiastic from the outset. Iceland is only a couple of hours flight from London and we could just tell everyone that it was a ‘work trip’ so that it didn’t look like we were slacking off again. In the space of a couple of hours, the job was locked in and our flights to Iceland were booked with a one-week stopover in London!
Compared with some of our previous trips Iceland was completely unplanned. Amidst finishing off all of the jobs at work and preparing for London we didn’t have a spare second to think about the trip. Admittedly there was an unusual air of nervous excitement when we finally arrived in the country with absolutely no idea where we were going. It wasn’t until we got to our hostel in Reykjavik that we started going over maps and itineraries of fellow travelers who had been foolish enough to explore Iceland on their bikes.
Having skimmed over a few of the blogs there seemed to be some recurring sentiments from the writers, namely that ‘it was a once in a lifetime experience but they probably wouldn’t bring their bikes with them next time’. One cyclist’s appraisal was particularly reassuring. ‘The country is mountainous, and often very windy. If it rains, cyclists get plastered with sludge. If it is dry, they choke on clouds of dust. Cycling around Iceland is strictly for masochists!’ Maybe this wasn’t going to be the wild and fun adventure that we had envisioned after all. Despite the uninspiring comments, we mapped out a 2,000 kilometre loop along Iceland’s circuitous coastal roads and in the morning we set off on our ‘once in a lifetime experience’.
You can follow their truly unique experience, including the pitfalls of not following a local guide’s advice to ride west around the island, in the video and find daily posts from the trip on their vlog. For more on the people they met throughout their ride, check out their blog post, or follow them on Instagram @northsouthblog.
Have you recently embarked on a challenging journey? Are you planning one? Tell us on social media, using the hashtag “YourJourneyAwaits.”