It’s your classic bike trip really, starting with one bike lost by the airline, so that Backstedt sits out the first day’s ride. When it turns up on Day Two the 2004 Paris-Roubaix winner hits the road with his companions.
Not that there’s much tarmac in evidence: almost the whole ride seems to be on cinder and gravel tracks with rivers to wade through and stretches of pebbly beach and snow thrown in for good measure. But the scenery and the riding are amazing. And the waffles and cakes which feature at the end of each day’s riding look pretty good too.
The weather in North West Iceland in summer looks a lot like Scotland only colder. There’s a couple of sunny days at the start before the clouds roll in and the riders seem to have their Gabbas permanently glued to their backs, with arm warmers and tights to match. There’s also the proliferation of biting insects.
The ride was organised and shot by XPDTN3, who say they are “a new collective of photographers, ex-pro cyclists, adventure-seekers and people who work in the bike industry who love expeditions.” They promise more three day cycling adventures off the beaten track and around the world over the next few months.
The riders are on 3T’s new Exploro bikes, which 3T says is the first aero off-road bike, thanks to its Kammtail truncated aerofoil down tube. It’s also got really wide clearance and will take 650b wheels and tyres for extra air volume.
Photos: Magnus Backstedt, Marc Gasch & Marcel Batlle