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Shared Territory Cycles Iceland

Shared Territory: Iceland
Photos by Ian Matteson, video by Justin Balog, and words by Remi McManus 

The plan was simple… Ride across Iceland following a little know, and even less explored medieval route through the highlands of Iceland. A route that skirts Europe’s second largest glacier, numerous active volcanos, and areas which had recently been closed due to emission of poisonous natural gases. A route by which all accounts is made up of mostly deep black sand, jagged lava fields, frigid glacial rivers, steaming geothermal fissures, and is populated only by ghosts, witches, trolls, and hidden people.

In an effort to document our journey through the unique landscapes we encountered, and share the stories of the Icelandic people we met along the way, we would pack nearly a dozen cameras but only 2 small jackets! It turns out although cameras are very important piece of equipment while documenting your travels, perhaps 10 cameras and 4 jackets may have been the wiser decision when traveling by bicycle from the arctic circle through the heart of one of the worlds most desolate areas.

Our journey turned out to be one filled with adventure, awe, fear, elation, luck, isolation, and one of unprecedented beauty… a beauty that is nearly indescribable. One, so powerful it is only experienced when fully amerced in it, the crunch of porous crumbling lava rocks under your tires, or inhaling cool wet air, or winding through moss carpeted mountains on jet – black gravel roads, or feeling the power and cold of glacial rivers rushing over your knees. The experience was one we will not soon forget, and one we are so looking forward to sharing.

 

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