09-04-2007, 06:50 AM
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: near the arctic
…and follow the long and slow caravan of weird looking offroad cars and trucks… with sparetires, jerry cans and lots of equipment on the roofs.
I think most of them were just on holiday actually…but their vehicles looked like something a volcano rescue team would use..:)
And there were lots of mobile homes and ordinary cars also. But not many motorcycles.
Well, no need to ride slow when on a motorcycle.. so I started passing them. Sometimes I wonder what they think when a 63 year old motorcycle do a flyby at wide open throttle..
Iceland and the Hringvegur
Anyway, the next town after Seydisfjordur is Egilstadir ( #5 in the map). The ring road (Route #1) pass this place, and I had already planned to follow this route to Reykjavik. The ring road is mostly covered, and the gravel section is usually not rough. I would have brought an ordinary car there, but I’m not sure how well the glossy painted plastic fairing on my Ducati 900ssie would do on the gravel roads with a 1940’s standard. But I saw both modern and older roadbikes there, and there were quite a number of Harleys and plastic racers near Reykjavik.
The Hringvegur (Icelandic for Ring road) is a near 1400 kilometers roundtrip of Iceland. However it take a shortcut at times, so one will miss some of the fjords and scenic places. I believe most of the tourist choose this route, with detours to the tourist places like the Blue lagoon, Geysir, Thingvellir etc.
I got out the ferry just before lunch on Thursday the 2nd, but my plan was to arrive in Reykjavik sometime the next day. Well, with almost 800 kilometers ride to Reykjavik it was a bit optimistic. Especially on a 1944 model indian with frequent gas refills, and also there were lots of places to stop along the coast.
But, I started riding, and was ready to adjust the plans as the trip progressed.
After a while I met an intersection where I could save some hours by riding over the mountain at Øxl, or do the Eastcoasts and the Fagridalur.
Well, the “intersection” actually looked like something you will meet when walking in the mountains.. but this is how it is in Iceland.
I had finally found what I was looking for… GRAVEL roads.
The steep descend from the Fagridalur (translates into something like Beautiful valley) was interesting to ride, narrow hairpin curves with loose gravel and rocks. And off course nothing to stop you if you start sliding over the edge of the roadJ
Fagridalur ( I think..)
Fagridalur was nice, rough terrain mixed with some farmland. I would guess it’s hard to grow things there, with the strong winds.
When my Viking (I’m from Norway) forefathers settled in Iceland, they must have had a rough time in the beginning. There were birds and fish there, but the sheep, horses etc had to be transported there by the Viking ships. Actually the first settlers were farmers who fled the mainland just to find peace and new land.
11 % of Iceland is covered by glaciers, however some believe they called it Iceland to keep people away. Greenland is much more like an “Iceland” actually.
After riding along the coast for some hours, I was running out of gas...oops.
I must have passed the gaspump along the way. Good thing I brought the 5 liter jerry can, but can I get to the next gaspump with just 5 liters..
Believe me.. there are long stretches without any people and houses to see in Iceland..even on the ring road..
The gastanks on the chief carries about 12 liters..and the roads and headwind caused an increase in fuel consumption. Plus some gas exited the fuel cap ventilation on some hard bumps. So it was now using more like 8l per 100 kilometers.
But a short calculation showed that I could make it to the next gas station. So, out on the road again…
Just a few seconds later I caught up with two offroad cars with Italian license plates, and passed them at near 100km/h.
Suddenly I heard a very loud roar and in my mirror I could see…