Iceland Ends: Egilsstadir to Seydisfjordur - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

August 14, 2013

Iceland Ends: Egilsstadir to Seydisfjordur

I had done all I needed doing before leaving. Then outside the Bonus supermarket, I was looking at another touring cyclist's bike leant against the window when the bike's owner approached. He looked the spitting image of the former Danish cyclist Bjorn Rjise, but he was German and he said that we'd met before, but I couldn't think where. Then he reminded me, and I remembered we'd met two Sundays ago on the F910 road. That meeting was only brief so I didn't get his name, but later he told me his name was Lasse.

Lasse's bike.
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I was going to have company for the ride across the mountains to Seydisfjordur. I wanted to get there early, but Lasse seemed in no hurry and we set off together at five, riding abreast and talking about our time in Iceland. But soon there was less talking and more deep breathing as we began the first steep straight up the mountainside. We had joked a little earlier about holding onto the back of a truck that had passed, then saw the same truck slow and labour up the stretch we were now on.

We talked about the wind too. I mentioned that there was a hazardous crosswind the day I arrived and was descending this road. Lasse said on his first visit to Iceland, he came down here faster than he'd ever ridden before, but, on the day he arrived this time, he only done twenty-five kilometres per hour because of the wind.

There was a fantastic view back down into Fjotsdalur, with the pale whitish green Lagarfjot river and Snaefell off to the south west, and we said we'd stop at the view-point near the top to take a photo. We did. There was good light this time of day and silver white clouds blew in lines across the sky, so I aimed skywards.

Last look back down Fjotsdalur with Lagarfjot, the water feature in the middle and Snaefell on the horizon.
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To cross the mountains was so much more today with clear sky, than the day I'd arrived when I couldn't see farther than a hundred metres because of the fog. Today I could see brown and white escarpment, permanent patches of snow. And the reservoir I didn't see much of, I just saw an iced over lake and snow to the side then. Today the reservoir was blue, all the ice and snow having resided.

Lasse rode on ahead on the descend as my brakes weren't up to slowing me down on the steep ten per cent gradients. I vowed to change to vee-brakes as all my cantilever brakes with the wrong blocks did was make a lot of squealing. I'd to walk down the steeper parts When I eventually rode into Seydisfjordur at half seven, I found the petrol station and got rid of a load of Icelandic coins buying a coffee.

Dropping down to the reservoir, before the descent to Seydisfjordur.
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Following the wind and the clouds.
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Four weeks earlier, when I arrived in Iceland and was riding in the opposite direction, this reservoir was still iced-over and snow was drifted up against the causeway.
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Today's ride: 26 km (16 miles)
Total: 4,410 km (2,739 miles)

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