Post by Yuri Hauswald
Community Development & Elite Athlete Manager
It’s not called the land of Fire and Ice without good reason. Iceland sits on a mid-oceanic ridge between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, and lies above a mantle plume, a powerful flow of magma that is located in the central highlands near Vatnajokull, which means that this place as been on fire for eons. Volcanoes and glaciers have, literally, shaped the geologic and human landscape. And you know what else Iceland has because of all that geologic activity? Gravel roads.
And it’s gravel that brings me back to the land of Fire and Ice, namely The Rift, a 200k and 70k, first year gravel race through the heart of one of Iceland’s most volcanic regions, an event schemed up by the mad scientists from Lauf Cycling. Two years ago I was “lucky” enough to be invited over to be part of a small scouting crew for the event and experienced a traditional summer day in Iceland, which meant it was 39 degrees, raining sideways, and blowing at gusts of up to 50 mph, enough to push more than a few of us off our bikes. Throw in multiple glacial river crossings, a few of which were a wee bit above thigh high, and you have the recipe for hypothermia. Welcome to summer in Iceland!