Sunday, August 13, 2017

Iceland Bike Trip 2016 // Exploring Europe's best tour destination // Slow Bicycle Touring // World Bicycle Travel

Cycling in Iceland has been a highlight for my transitional year back in Canada. After a decade teaching in South Korea and China, I landed labor jobs in my hometown - including professional lawn mowing the past few months for Rosati construction. Although I wasn't ready to ride, with the help of my brother/father (Pub rescue the night before the train/plane/flight, I made it to Keflavik, Iceland and checked into Start Hostel.

 Arrival on Iceland Airlines. Keflavik airport. then assembled and cycled into Start Hostel. (: I slept for several hours and awoke, still daylight outside (18 hours of sunlight in August). I returned to the parking lot where I rode the rental bus shuttle, the driver understood I needed to drop at a safe spot and assemble my bicycle, load the panniers and suitcase (overloaded) and then I returned for the 29er box. I used the same box from Windsor to Toronto, Ontario (VIA Rail train), Icelandair to Keflavik, Iceland.
On the first few days, I wanted to avoid the busy Route 1, so I started south towards Hafnir and jogged the southern coast to Grindavik (day 1) after visiting the Blue Lagoon (sight seeing only) I cycled through the rains and strong winds into a campground. The next day, the weather lightened up to 10 Celcius and sunny, I continued to pedal through Selvogur, and settled into another camp site in Porlakshofen (day 2). I explored the local spas/family swimming pools and started to soak up the Icelandic sun.

Keflavik Airport is conveniently located nearby a former U.S. Air Force base. The housing complexes are now home to friendly Icelanders and Hostels like the Start pictured above. Hostels are not cheap in Iceland, this place had beds in shared rooms for $70 USD per night. It's best to start/finish a tour here. And camping runs about $17 USD per night across Iceland, plan to add $10 for the local Spa/Swimming Pools. It is well worth it to plan ahead for Iceland, or visiting Europe for a bicycle tour. It's expensive for bike travelers.
Smooth bike path and Highway access to Reykjavik, Iceland for those traveling North towards the West Fjords is a popular route from Keflavik airport in the southwest. I chose to pedal across the southern coastline towards the Blue Lagoon.

Smooth Icelandic open roads beckon and welcome travelers, campers, cyclists, caravans from Europe and Iceland. I met German, American, Canadian, French, Italian, Spanish, and many other Europeans at campsites and some visiting the local municipal swimming pools to soak in geothermal water. It's awesome!
 Expect different types of weather, I was soaked to the bones - absolutely frozen wet inside and out.

Land Rovers are popular vehicles for F-Roads and camping across Iceland.

My Daily Routine in Iceland:

Each day, sleep, eat, cycle all day, find a municipal swimming pool with spa and check into a campsite. I would setup my tent, lock the bike, and enter the swimming pool as soon as possible for a warm soak. Once I settled down for the day, I would swim, socialize and sun tan poolside, and repeat!.

I cycled inland and up to Selfoss (Day 3/4) (the southern hub for trekking/cycling trips into the interior. There I met David at the local Spa/Geothermal Swimming pool in Selfoss. We also met some Norweigians and had a great conversation about the country. The warm waters in the jacuzzis contrasted perfectly following ice-cold days cycling, the hardest being wet from sweat, and wet from rain blowing in horizontal due to all the prevailing winds. Iceland lives up to it's name, even in summer, but the geothermal energy is harnessed and water flows into the Spas in most larger towns. Icelanders prefer hydroelectric and geothermal power over the wind-turbine technologies being towered across Canada today. The prefer to preserve the natural landscapes, and I am sure visitors from around the world on tours prefer it.


More stories and photos coming soon! (:


 (Foss) Waterfalls are abundant in Iceland, they are marked on maps and roadsigns. Some are 500 meters from the main roads, others are hidden throughout the backroads. It's easy to explore here, 100,000 square Kilometers of landscape, with a local population of 320,000 people, Iceland is a unique country with culture, customs, language and friendly locals that take their time and welcome visitors. It's the place to explore.
Pedal slowly, see more Flora details in the landscape. Here in Iceland, it's a world to explore.
“Riding bicycles will not only benefit the individual doing it, but the world at large.”
Udo E. Simonis, Emeritus Professor of Environmental Policy at the Science Centre, Berlin


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About the Korean-World Author

Brian Perich was an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) lecturer for a decade, father, and adventure cyclist based in South Korea.

Previously, Brian has led Canoe adventures in Quetico Provincial Park, Atikokan, Ontario, Canada (1993/1999); led Grand American camping adventures (2000); lived at Paramahansa Yogananda's SRF Ashram for 5 months (see the film "AWAKE"), formerly worked in titanium welding at Agilent Technologies, formerly worked in Winery industry in Marin County with Kendall Jackson in California; Surfing and Meditation continued for several years in California, British Columbia, South Korea, Yoga training in California 1999-2000.

Between 1994-1998 - Brian completed his own adventures with motorcycles. His motorcycling marathons took him across the United States and central/western Canada, while traveling solo over an astounding 24,000km in 60 days! Brian endured 900 mile/1300km average days in the motorcycle saddle and apparently loved every minute of those adventures.

Today, he has given up motorcycle adventures altogether, but finds an outlet for his enthusiasm in outdoor recreation while bicycle touring and micro-blogging about those experiences on his mountain bikes.

While employed as an English teacher in South Korea, Brian has became an advocate for bicycle touring on his mountain bikes. The Korean-World blog originated from those small adventures in Korea, now expanded to cover his recent trek down the TransMongolian highway to the Gobi Desert, cycling 900km east through the Khentii grasslands and in 2012 crossing Mongolia in 45 days, 2500 kilometers 1553 miles. HimalayasX expedition Brian previously cycled across western China, the Taklamakan Desert, the northern Himalayas of East Turkestan Xinjiang/Uyghur Autonomous Region, the corrugated back roads and mountains of Kham Tibet. Brian successfully completed his 2011 mountain bike expedition with 3200 kilometers / 1988 miles unsupported, on/off road MTB adventure cycling.
Brian has completed his second mountain bike journey, MongoliaX expedition - Crossing Mongolia 2012, an unsupported mountain bike MTB expedition across 2500km of Outer Mongolia from Ulanbaatar to Altai Taven-Bogd National Park bordering China, Russia and Mongolia.

In 2013, as a sequel to a trilogy of cycle tours, Brian enjoyed a more leisure bicycle tour onboard his Koga-Miyata World Traveller seeing the northern tier of the United States and western Canada covering 3400 kilometers / 2000 miles in 30 days. This North American cycle tour was called Totherocktour. Enjoying the adventure of bicycle travel and every great conversation started while traveling on the road - has refueled his inspirations to cycle around the Earth. In 2013, while he cycled solo from the Great Lake State of Michigan, United States to Banff National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. He weaved through local communities and reconnected with friends, family and community after spending almost a decade in Asia.

Brian is now supporting several non-profit foundations through expeditions: IDEAS Foundation of Canada IDEAS is the acronym for Intestinal Disease Education and Awareness Society which supports the IBD community, those suffering from IBD-inflammatory bowel disease, also known as Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis.

The second non-profit foundation is ETE.ORG - Education Through Expeditions, UK which supports educational outreach programs inside schools around the world. ETE connects explorers with students in the classroom, through an interactive online program in development (Beta).

Brian is researching support for a 18000 kilometer bicycle expedition across the Americas: North, Central and South America - ONE -Arctic to Argentina
Please contact him if you are interested in helping out.

Twitter: Cycleagain
Location: Gangneung, Gangwon-do, South Korea or southern Ontario, Canada.

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Brian's friends have also been...Cycling in Korea!

Brian's friends have also been...Cycling in Korea!

Cycling in Korea, Warning: always wear a helmet! (I gave mine to my friend)

Cycling in Korea, Warning: always wear a helmet! (I gave mine to my friend)

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