I biked over 120 miles of Icelandic volcanoes, through rain, hail, and strong headwinds, and this is the cycling gear that got me through it
- The Rift, a 124-mile race through Iceland's Mid-Atlantic Ridge, might be the most beautiful gravel race going. If you're thinking that this event needs to go on your bucket list, you're right.
- I selected gear to travel to the race and complete it, with a focus on reliability and versatility. Thule's excellent Roundtrip Pro kept my bike safe in transit.
- With rain, hail, the occasional sunny spell, and plenty of headwind, The Rift really taxes your wardrobe. I combined Velocio's Luxe bibs with their other accessories to stay warm without overheating.
- Sign up fast for next year as start numbers are very limited. That goes for accommodations, too. I stayed at Midgard Base Camp, a hotel geared toward outdoor adventure.
Gravel cycling, which consists of long rides on drop-bar bikes over rough roads, is the fastest-growing part of cycle sport in decades. Gravel races take riders to remote places and combine the fitness and endurance demands of a century ride with the technical skills and backcountry adventure that we associate with mountain biking.
This year saw the inauguration of The Rift, a 200-kilometer (124 miles) gravel race across the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in Iceland. In addition to the spectacular vistas, incredibly steep climbs, and rocky descents that other top-tier gravel races offer, The Rift adds river crossings, lava fields, and near 24-hour sunlight.If you're thinking that this event needs to go on your bucket list, you're right. I've raced every gravel race going, and nothing else compares to the unique experience that is racing at 25 miles per hour across black soil underneath a volcano. The ride was hard, incredibly hard, but it's difficult to feel sorry for yourself when you look up and realize that you're traversing a volcano on a bike for work.
Here is the cycling gear I used to bike across Iceland's volcanoes:
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