Dan's Sing around Iceland cycle tour – let's build a bike!
Singing around Iceland ... OK, the gloves are on (almost), the promises and bold pledges made, the flight tickets, travel money and insurance bought... now all I have to do is actually do it! Greetings from Iceland! – a three-hour flight and a world away from where I was a week ago. Currently 00:24 and the sky is still blue rather than black – okay, very dark blue – and have been in short sleeves, shorts and suncream for two days while Northeast England gets flood warnings. I'm sure this will all change.
Well, after four weeks of emailing, buying, researching and buying camping gear and bike parts (yes, in that order!), doing the rounds of publicity, interviews, more emailing, bikework, the occasional silly long ride, trying to learn Icelandic, practicing performance songs, creating images, posters, flyers, webpages and websites (thanks, Nicky!), fighting with Google Maps and flirting with Google Translate, and, oh, the occasional afternoon's sleep, – I'm here, with only what I carried with me on the plane to wear and live in or on for the next two months! I've been welcomed royally once more by my Icelandic friends, fed, watered, chauffeured, entertained and hugged until I'm ready to go. Yesterday was spent buying food, general supplies and an Icelandic mobile, making new friends and starting work on unpacking and rebuilding the bike using the parts and tools I had with me. Delightfully it was my host's ten-year-old, ballet-excelling daughter who offered to help with this (for two hours, chatting happily to me in English) rather than the equally charming and in-demand footballer twelve-year-old son – though he was benevolence personified in his thoughtful and considered help with my food shopping in Reykjavik! A delightful family who struck me first with their beauty, followed so closely by their warmth, humour, humbling intelligence and command of language, and disarming selflessness, approachability and love of fun. I wish more families I knew found life as simple to do this well.
Tomorrow I set off on my travels, meeting more press (Icelandic this time), the charity I will be supporting, and maybe visiting Iceland's highest waterfall if time allows – if not, it will indulge me on Tuesday! Just the front rack to fit and a trial ride to ensure all is well – though it has done six miles today complete bar the racks without a hitch (taking me to an inpromptu performance with some Danish friends of my hosts who are visiting Iceland for a week!)
No more photos at this point though I hope to show some detailing the flight (smooth and ahead of schedule) and unpacking operation (fun and focused – the first time it had been this bare since I first breathed life into its veins three years ago) – and maybe of my hosts and friends here too! But as I know you're all eager to hear about the riding I shall break off here and get some sleep so I an pack up and set off tomorrow in the best possible state. Cheers for reading, I hope to keep you entertained with a proper day-or-two's-worth of riding when you next hear from me! Cycle fun folks. Dan