In the summer of 2012, I traveled to Iceland with my friend and ex-college Roommate, Brandon Roesler.
Brandon and I sat next to each other in a Freshman English class, became roommates the following semester, and stayed close friends throughout our college education.
Throughout our college years, I spent my summers bicycle touring across the United States and Canada. And after I graduated from university, I started cycling in foreign countries all around the world. I tried to get Brandon to join me on my bike tours on several occasions, but for whatever reason, I could never get him to fully commit.
Which is why it surprised me a little, when more than a decade after our first meeting, Brandon called me up and said he was ready to join me on a bike tour in Iceland.
During our first couple days in the country, Brandon and I met a French bicycle traveler named Calite who joined up for part of the tour. Adding a third individual to our group made the bike tour in Iceland even more special.
While I’d love to say that cycling in Iceland with Brandon was a totally positive experience, the truth is… it was a fairly challenging time. Brandon hurt his knee during the first day on the bike, my face swelled up on several occasions (due to dehydration – I think), and it was cold, windy and miserable for a great deal of the ride.
But we pressed on and we survived. We spent 25 days cycling around the country and I was impressed by Brandon’s abilities. He was strong, despite the obstacles we encountered, and he was constantly making me laugh.
Looking back on our Iceland bike tour now, I’m not sure if Brandon enjoyed his time in the country. We’ve only exchanged a few short Facebook messages since the trip ended almost three whole years ago.
So while I can’t speak for Brandon, I know that for me at least, it was an overall positive experience. Yes, I was cold and miserable at times. And yes, we got on each others nerves. But I think that when I look back on the experience now, the cold and wind and pain has disappeared from my memory, and all that remains is a bike ride with a friend in a beautiful, isolated, and stunning land.
* * *
Learn to conduct your own incredible bicycle touring adventures with The Bicycle Touring Blueprint – my popular bicycle touring handbook that walks you through the ins and outs of short and long-distance bicycle touring. This is the book that has helped thousands of people from all around the world conduct their own self-supported bicycle tours. Get it now! www.bicycletouringbook.com