The Hring: A New Off-Road Racing Adventure Unveiled in Iceland


In an exhilarating fusion of raw road grit and the convenience of the capital city, the creators of the renowned Rift gravel race present ‘The Hring,’ a groundbreaking off-road event set against the stunning backdrop of Iceland during the summer solstice.

The Concept: Racing under the Midnight Sun

Inspired by the idea of holding a 24-hour-style race on the day with 24 hours of daylight, the organizers leverage their 15 years of experience in similar races to bring a fresh and innovative concept to life. The event unfolds in the picturesque locations of Hólmsheiði and Heiðmörk, renowned for their single-track loop trails and expansive gravel roads. The event takes its name, ‘Hring,’ from the most popular loop trail in the area, HRINGLEIÐER.

Photo courtesy GRO Promotions/The Hring

However, in a deviation from the traditional race against the clock, the organizers introduce four distinct categories: the Sufferfest, the Gritfest, the Gravel Trek, and the Pebble Trek. Each category boasts its own unique distance and start time. With base camps strategically located at the Airplane Hangers and the Old Hall on Lake Ellidavatn, the race employs segment timing, ensuring neutral zones for rest and refueling. The Old Hall will also serve as the epicenter for treats and the post-race celebration.

What to Expect: An Unpredictable Adventure

Iceland’s unpredictable weather and dramatic landscapes add an extra layer of challenge to the race. The course features a dynamic mix of double-track, road, bike path, and single-track, with off-road sections demanding riders to navigate rugged and technical terrain. Summer weather in Iceland can range from sunny and calm 62-degree days to cooler temperatures of 55-degrees accompanied by rain and heavy winds.

Photo courtesy GRO Promotions/The Hring

Designed initially as a gravel bike event, the organizers welcome participants on mountain bikes, recommending a minimum tire size of 42mm to tackle the diverse terrain.

Traveling to Iceland: The Logistics

For those eager to embark on this thrilling adventure, several airlines, including Iceland Air and Air Canada, offer direct flights from the US to Iceland. Both airlines permit participants to bring their bikes as luggage, a highly recommended option considering the scarcity of bike rentals in the country.

Upon arrival, navigating ground transportation proves to be hassle-free, with two bus companies shuttling between Keflavik Airport and the capital city of Reykjavik. Numerous lodging options are available. The race start is conveniently located just 10 kilometers from the city center, easily accessible via bike paths.

As ‘The Hring’ gears up to mark its inaugural year, participants can anticipate not only a challenging race through Iceland’s breathtaking landscapes but also a unique and unforgettable experience in the land of fire and ice.

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