RAD RACE x AURORA Tour D’Iceland 2015 – Stage 2 – Hveraellir-Varmahlid
120K – 1.024m altitude (Expected. Our Garmins all ran dead due to no electricity...)
The Strava Track is here (not completed!)
We were soooo scared of this stage. Day 2 on the „35“. This fucking road killed us on day one. The rental car company strictly forbid us to ride on this street and of course we didn’t do it. We promise we would have never done it. Really. Promise. We wouldn’t be that stupid. Stage 1 was a dry day and if it would have rained, any car that is not a 4WD would have been fucked... We were lucky though and had a hell of a bus driver...
So the night was short and cold but great. A fantastic MyMüsli breakfast and some bad coffee later we looked at day 2. 100k of a crazy gravel road that we called the washboard, plus 20K on the ring street ahead of us. To be honest we didn’t think we would make it today. We just knew it would at least take us 6-7 hours on the 35 plus some more on the ring street.
We started the ride with only six riders, some were suffering of some altitude sickness, crazy headaches and nausea. The combination of not enough water, the altitude, no breakfast and heavy cycling just did its magic on some of us. BUT: the sun was shining, the light was beautiful and everybody was psyched to start another day on this beautiful island.
Hitting the 35 was like meeting an old girlfriend. You just don’t wanna see her again. But we got rid of her faster than we expected. After 12K or so the 35 turned into a regular gravel road. Still shitty but it felt like being on another planet. It was just so great to finally ride 25 or more. And from this moment on the road got better and better. Every single meter we rode was better than the last. What we found astonishing that the landscape turned so fast too. We left the highlands and Iceland was suddenly green. As green as you can fucking imagine. We don’t wanna bore you with landscapes. But seeing wild iceland horses and being in this green felt like being in an episode of Game Of Thrones.
We rode faster and faster, had quick breaks to drink and a lotta Clif Bars and some Vitaminwaters and really made or way quickly further north. A quick not to 2 of our sponsors. We celebrated 30 years of Gore Bike Wear and we cannot say how much we appreciate to get some of their amazing apparel. The rain jackets and windbreakers are not only in iceland colours but we have all never worn so awesome bike shit. They sincerely keep you warm when they have to and cool you down when you’re cycling uphill.
Even more the Black Panther Xtreme tyres from Vredestein (that is no joke, they are really called Black Panther) give us so much comfort and protection on the gravel roads. PLUS although the streets are so bad we didn’t have one single flat tyre so far. Unbelievable. Thanks so much!!
After 100k or so we hit the highlight of the day. The emphasis lies on „HIGH“. We had a look on the altitude profile the whole day and it just looked like a fucking wall. So we just thought oh my god how are we ever go up that thing with already 200k in our legs. Especially Max is riding a Bombtrack Arise, a single speed that we turned into a shifter with four gears. In reality he’s just using 2. One for riding up and one for going down. It really takes some legs to manage the climbs here on Iceland. To cut a long story short. We all made it. The wall was just awesome and even better: the downhill ride was so much fun.
We entered our campsite alive and well. Everybody enjoyed Lars amazing pasta and at 1am we all hit our Heimplanet tents. Today we’re expecting 100k on the ring street. The weather looks cloudy but dry. Thanks for being with us.
The kids all ride.
All photos taken by Lars Schneider, Etienne Heinrich & Benjamin Zurek.