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Watch: Payson McElveen crossing Iceland by bike

Payson McElveen's chronicle of his September adventure riding across Iceland without stopping.

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From north to south, Iceland stretches just over 250 miles. The terrain is desolate and rugged, and the weather is unforgiving.

Read also: Payson McElveen rides across Iceland in less than 24 hours

On September 11, 2021, ultra-endurance cyclist Payson McElveen rode the country’s length in 19 hours and 45 minutes without stopping. He said that the effort was equal parts physical challenge, mental exercise, and adventure.

“The competitor in me will always enjoy racing to throw down a fast time, but this project was less about an FKT effort and more about just seeing if it was possible to ride across the whole country in less than a day,” McElveen said. “Ever since the success of the White Rim FKT in 2019, I’ve been thinking about other geographically focused routes to do a big effort on. To me, those are the challenges that inspire me most these days. Start at one landmark and ride as fast as you can until you literally run out of road or trail. In this case that was hitting the ocean on the southside of the country.”