Cycling in Iceland – Riding With Faith on the Open Road
The story of the Israeli adventurer Roei Sadan is remarkable. After he cycled around the world for four and half years where he covered 66 thousand kilometers and visited 42 countries in six continents he suffered a terrible injury in 2015, when he fell half a kilometer while trekking in the the Himalayan mountains. After completing the first phase of his recovery this intrepid explorer went cycling in Iceland on his trusty bike which he calls Faith. In late 2017 he released a video documenting his trip to Iceland
Roei joins the group of amazing people I have had the privilege of interviewing for Stuck in Iceland Travel Magazine.
Thank you Roei for agreeing to be interviewed. Why did you choose Iceland as the first place to cycle in after your recovery?
I chose to ride in Iceland because it is not such a difficult country to ride, and it is a Western world and everyone speaks English. Everything is much more organized and planned. So for me it was a good choice to start in Iceland, because it is so organized and beautiful.
Can you describe your journey across Iceland, did you go around the island?
Iceland was amazing, it was very beautiful, as we expected. Except for the weather that is fickle and the country is relatively cold for me. Everyone understands English. The Icelanders are amazing, people who want to give you everything and help beyond what they can.
You are cycling in Iceland with your brother Ido, can you describe your relationship?
I rode with my brother, and it was an amazing new experience for me because we have never rode together. We were close all our lives, but I was always in the area and did not appreciate it, so I’m glad we took advantage of this opportunity because I really get to know my brother better. It was a crazy experience for me, with amazing scenery, with time to talk leisurely about all the crazy two years we’ve been through since my fall and just say thank you and see him enjoying me and dreaming with me that gives me a lot.
How has your accident changed your attitude towards traveling and adventure?
The accident made me think more about the risks in my life. That’s why now I’m not climbing mountains. I want to minimize risks and be in control of it as much as possible. Always be with a helmet. All my life I lived my dreams well because I knew it was inspiring and that interested me in what others think. But in the fall you understand the price of the fall to my family and friends and I regret it, I hope that in the future I can give them pride and tell them really thanks.
You call your bike “Faith” – can you explain why that is? And what kind of bike is it?
I have been calling my bike “Faith” since I rode throw Mexico on my journey around the world, I took a break and went to the side of the road to relieve myself. Suddenly a pickup of locals stops by my bike where I left them and starts loading my bags into the car. I ran to them and shouted “dream dream” in Spanish. Because the bike was my dream and my instrument for making it happen. One of the locals put a gun to my head, So i helped them load the bags, they left my bike and drove away.Then I realized that as long as I have a working head, a pair of legs and a “Faith” with me, nothing would stop me. And from there the name “Faith”.
My bike is made by Thorn Nomad. These bikes were built specifically for my measurements, and I have cycled the world with them The best bike for long journeys
How does cycling in Iceland compare with other countries you have visited?
If I compare Iceland to other countries I visited, it is a very comfortable country for riding and very welcoming for tourists, not difficult and not close to what I had in the Andes or Himalayas or the deserts and everything is comfortable. Everything is very beautiful.
What was the most surprising about visiting Iceland
The most surprising thing about Iceland, it was no surprise. I knew it was very beautiful, very neat. It was amazing to see how much order and cleanliness there are in the streets and people who smile, it was for me perhaps not a surprise, but always does well to see.
What advice would you give to those who want to go cycling in Iceland?
I want to say that this is an amazing journey, very beautiful, very comfortable. You are much dependent on the weather. During our journey we had two bad days in terms of the weather. In Iceland you can feel sometimes four seasons in one day. There are days when you can not ride, you have to consider it. And maybe we will not be able to see everything, we have to remain flexible.
Can you recommend any gear that you think those who are cycling in Iceland should have?
I would invest mostly in winter equipment, but also equipment for all weather. If it’s wet weather, there should be a good tent, a good mattress that will not be close to the cold ground. Anyone arriving in Iceland should come with information and be prepared in terms of equipment for every possible scenario.
What are your future plans? Any new adventures being planned?
On 02.02.18 I am going back for a journey in India, A journey of closing a circle and thanking everyone who was part of my rescue. With the Israeli guys and the Indian instructors who rescued me from the mountain. The Indian doctors who were there by my side at the most critical moments in the hospital. I go on a trek called Chadar Trek Frozen Zanskar which is the river to which I would have reached had I continued to fall down the mountain.
I realized that compared to my previous trips, I could not make more trips alone.
For the sake of the upcoming expedition, I prepared a mass-funding campaign. I collect the money so that I can film my Back to life film in India. All extra proceeds will go to to Tel Hashomer hospital in Israel, to the rehabilitation department where I was in for about 7 months.