More than 100 cyclists took part in a socially distanced group ride on Thursday from Siglufjörður to Akureyri in North Iceland, RÚV reports. The event was part of the Akureyri Cycling Festival, which started last Saturday and will end on Sunday.
Competitors were organized into different race groups according to distance, the shortest of which, for adults, was 78 km [48 mi] and the longest of which was 102.8 km [639 mi]. The longest route took cyclists through the Héðinsfjörður and Múlagöng tunnels. And although climate conditions aren’t ideal in the tunnels, festival chair Árni F. Sigurðsson admits, being able to cycle through them is a unique opportunity. “It’s humid and cool,” he said, “and Múlagöng tunnel is one-way and very narrow, which makes it a bit of a struggle. But there’s no other opportunity to bike a route like that in a competition.”
Árni said that some people withdrew from the race because of the current rise in COVID infections, but assured that organizers were conscientious about safety measures. Riders were split into smaller groups, some of which never had reason to cross paths with one another. The award competition was also split between two locations and top prizes were given out before all competitors finished the race. “We gave [winners the awards] right away so that people wouldn’t gather together and wait.”
This is the fifth or sixth time the Akureyri Cycling Festival has been held, said Árni, and he encouraged people to take a look at the remaining schedule of events (here) as all events are open to the public spectators and take place outside over a large area, in compliance with current COVID guidelines.