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Old 08-21-2010, 08:18 PM   #1
bc_seattle OP
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Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Seattle
Oddometer: 118

My first ride report.

My buddy Manny turned 50. He wanted to do a series of adventures for his 50th. Ours was riding motorcyles accross Iceland for eight days.

One of my favorite trips ever. Phenomenal country to ride motorcycles, honestly crazy good terrain. I could easily spend a couple of months (or maybe a lifetime) and not get bored.

Things I learned:

Iceland is about the size of the main island of Japan.
Japan's population is 127,420,000.
Iceland’s population is 320,000.
127 million Japanese could leave Japan and the population would still exceed Iceland by 25%.
July weather in Iceland is similar to March weather in Seattle.
Hotdogs are very popular in Iceland.
If you insist on sampling the most traditional food in Iceland, you might get a half a sheep's head and other items you probably won't be familiar with.
Common American stove fuel (white camp gas) isn't common in Iceland. Icelandic "Grill fuel" is barely flammable and doesn't burn in American stoves.
Icelandic air flies direct from Seattle to Reykjavik.

Day 1 getting to Iceland, getting the bikes.

About the language. Thank you is one of the easiest phrases to say. The language is near impossible for an American. I gave up trying to pronounce place names. Manny told me that the airline-industry-disruptive-volcano, Eyjafjallajökull, is referred to as E15. It starts with the letter “E” and has 15 more letters. We used this. Stykkishólmur became Stykki (sticky) - 7. If anyone wanted to know where we'd been or where we where going I had to bust out the map and use my finger.

Me. Hair shorn to helmet length. The day before I rode the Seattle-to-Portland bike ride on a tandem with my daughter… but that is another story. I don’t recommend starting a motorcycle trip with a severely sore saddle. Or having to rush your packing… Manny’s texted me “pack light”…

Icleand has long sunsets in the summer. About half the 7 ½ hour flight seemed to be a sunset.


The bus ride from the airport, Keflavík, takes about 45 minutes. Why? This is where our military built it in WWII, the base was used to shuttle GIs to England.


Picking up our bikes from Eyþór (or Eythor, prounounced “A-thor”) at Biking Viking. These guys came highly recommended from an inmate that had visited Iceland and was also vouched for by an Icelandic inmate. Eyþór is the man. On his advice and since we were traveling to the Highlands, he advised us to switch our reservation from the BMWF650GS to more dirt oriented bikes. I can’t say enough good things about the Biking Viking operation. I got a Kawasaki KLR 650 with soft bags and Manny got a Yamaha 660R with Pelican hard bags. Both were in perfect working condition but I was befuddled by the water in the KLR’s headlight and speedometer. I had failed to learn the Icelandic phrase for "has this motorcycle previously fallen during an attempted river crossing in the Highlands?"

more later...

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