The Further Away The Better

The first-ever unsupported ride to cross Iceland’s Sprengisandu

Feature type Video

Read time 20 min read

Published Mar 03, 2021

Base editorial team
BASE editorial team BASE writers and editors who live and breathe adventure every day. We love adventure storytelling as much as we love adventure itself.

In the centre of Iceland sits the Sprengisandur. A highland plateau between the Hofsjökull and Vatnajökull glaciers. Considering its position, it’s everything you might expect it to be. Harsh and remote and unforgiving. Perhaps not the first place you’d be expecting to ride bikes designed for the road.

More than 60 years ago, Ron Bartle joined Dick Phillips, Bernard Heath and their guide Raymond Bottomley set out to complete the first-ever unsupported ride to cross the Sprengisandur. They spent ten days in the wilderness, crossing rivers in inflatable dinghies and pushing their bikes for miles over boulder fields until they finally reached the first farmstead in the north. Now in his mid-eighties and still an avid cyclist, Ron recounts the story of his unexpected Icelandic adventure.

Don’t miss a single adventure

Sign up to our free newsletter and get a weekly BASE hit to your inbox

  • facebook
  • twitter
  • linkedin
  • whatsapp
  • reddit
  • email

Other posts by this author

VideoBASE editorial team • May 16, 2022

Jet Suit Takes on Helvellyn

Reaching the summit of one of the highest Lake District peaks in 3mins 30 seconds

VideoBASE editorial team • May 13, 2022

Danny MacAskill Schooled in the Art of Wheelie

In his latest film 'Do A Wheelie'

VideoBASE editorial team • Apr 22, 2022

Where Roads End

Bikepacking a shorter more gravelly version of the NC500

Komoot

You might also like

VideoBASE editorial team • Apr 22, 2022

Where Roads End

Bikepacking a shorter more gravelly version of the NC500

Komoot

VideoBASE editorial team • Mar 29, 2022

Wild about Bikepacking

A 496km bikepacking route connecting the Scottish islands of Mull, Jura, Islay and Bute

Komoot

StoryHannah Mitchell • Mar 23, 2022

Hot aches and cold snaps

Reflections of Scottish winter from the wider BASE community