Icelandic Laugavegur route receives IMBA Epic status
17 August 2015
For more than a decade, IMBA has recognized trails and trail systems around the world that stand out as models for the best that mountain biking has to offer. From rugged, long-distance treks to front-country networks that challenge and excite riders of all ability levels, the Model Trails program is designed to inspire the kinds of experiences that keep mountain bikers coming back for more.“More” is definitely the right word to describe the 2015 class of inductees. In the Epics category, the six selected rides average over 60 miles in length, and offer stout challenges—along with jaw-dropping scenery—for even the most experienced trail enthusiasts. In the Ride Centers category, the interest and growth in this designation has absolutely exploded, with an unprecedented number of applications and fully 13 of these outstanding trail systems recognized this year.This year’s class includes our first round of renewing Ride Centers: Each location is now required to resubmit an application every four years. To maintain a high level of consistency a reviewer from IMBA’s Trail Solutions team conducts an on-site visit to evaluate the center’s trail system, bike amenities and other criteria. “Earning a top-tier score keeps getting more difficult,” says IMBA Field Programs Director Chris Bernhardt. “We want to continually set the bar higher—just as riders’ abilities are always expanding and improving, so should the facilities that we recognize as the best places for mountain biking.”European riders can add a new Epic Ride to their bucket list. The 54 miles Laugavegur Route in Iceland. A mind-blowing, multi-day, overland route in the highlands of Iceland. On this point-to-point hut adventure you’ll ride singletrack through a multitude of landscapes including geysers, multi-colored Rhyolite mountains, bubbling mud, endless lava fields and glaciated mountain vistas. The 54-mile trip is best tackled as three long days or five shorter rides. The last day from Þórsmörk to Skogafoss is truly epic and travels between two major glaciers, across the slopes of a cooling volcano.