When Chris from Big Mountain Adventures gave me the opportunity to explore Iceland on their Tectonic Treasures tour, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. This strange, otherworldly land has fascinated me for a long time. I couldn’t even begin to imagine how awesome it was going to be experiencing these landscapes by bike.
Three months prior to the trip, Mummi from the Iceland Bike Farm invited me out to his property since I was coming to Iceland. Only a couple weeks later, he followed up to let me know he needed someone to build for him. What did this mean? That I could visit Iceland twice in one summer! I flew in for the first ten days of July to work at the farm and help cut some singletrack out of old sheep trails. We also built Iceland’s first dirt pump track! What I didn’t realize prior to visiting is that there are no official bike trails in most of Iceland; the Bike Farm is one of the only spots. They offer a unique setup where you can shuttle up to the top of the property at multiple starting points.
I couldn’t get over the endless green rolling hills, massive canyons, and waterfalls that just seemed to have appeared out of nowhere. If there’s a cliff, there’s a waterfall. It seems the whole country is just one giant spring, and it’s a photographer’s dream. Going twice in one summer gave me the opportunity to experience the riding prior to filming, I would also get to shoot the trails I had worked on. This was a rare and exciting opportunity as this never usually happens on big trips overseas. And to me, riding and documenting something you’ve built is one of the most rewarding feelings.
My second visit at the end of August started off back at the Bike Farm. Calvin Huth and I spent a few days out here reaping the benefits my hard work from the first trip. From there, we joined the Big Mountain Adventures crew and went on a weeklong hut-to-hut adventure through the Highlands.
Day 1 in the Highlands, we jumped right into the Hrafntinnusker region. The flowing singletrack and dramatic views were incredible:
Iceland’s landscapes and trails are so diverse. It’s crazy to think I have only seen a small part of this country so far, even after two visits. I’ll definitely be back next year to visit the farm and explore more of the country.
A special thanks to everyone who made this adventure come to life: Bike Mountain Adventures, Iceland Bike Farm & Marin Bikes.
Photography by Ryan Creary, Mark Matthews, and Calvin Huth