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Emily Batty’s journey across Iceland: “A Line in the Sand”

Canadians team up with Chris Burkard for bikepacking epic

Emily Batty A Line in the Sand Photo by: A Line in the Sand. Photographers: Chris Burkard, Jordan Rosen

What do you do when the objective you’ve been working towards for four years gets postponed? If you’re Emily Batty, you join a nine-day bikepacking expedition traversing Iceland.

Emily Batty A Line in the Sand
Traversing snow in Iceland. Photographers: Chris Burkard, Jordan Rosen

With her return to the Olympic cross country race in Tokyo on hold, Emily Batty refocused. The Canadian mountain bike star set her sights on a very different objective. A 1,000-km multi-day traverse of Iceland.

The trip assembled an illustrious quartet of riders. Emily Batty and her partner and coach Adam Morka, elite mountain racers, on the one hand, and two experienced adventurers on the other. Eric Batty, a veteran of several brutally cold bikepacking expeditions closer to home, and renowned photographer and filmmaker Chris Burkard.

Emily Batty A Line in the Sand
Crossing remote expanses of desert in Iceland. Photographers: Chris Burkard, Jordan Rosen

Together, the four set out to ride from the Easternmost point of Iceland, across the center of the island to the Westernmost point. Along the way, they passed by volcanoes and glaciers, through ice-cold and raging rivers, and rode surfaces ranging from deep sand to tarmac.

All of this is documented now in Burkard’s film, A Line in the Sand, as well as in Batty’s own video blog series.

Chris Burkard: A Line in the Sand

From Sony

“The Olympics being cancelled this year signified so many things, but for the athletes, it meant uncertainty in their training efforts and when they would be able to get back onto the road to the next summer games. 

For Professional XC mountain biker and lululemon Global Ambassador Emily Batty, who had been focused on training for her third consecutive Olympics, the new time she had allowed her to take the trip of a lifetime and renew her purpose in training and mindset. This August, Emily traversed across Iceland by bike with her husband, brother and renowned outdoor filmmaker Chris Burkard, who caught the hauntingly beautiful trip on film and in photos. They rode 75 hours across nine days, bikepacking along the entire way.”

Film Credits
Director: Elli Thor Magnusson
Camera: Daði “Deth” Jonsson, Elli Thor Magnusson
Drone: Steve Lewis
Sound: Ívar Pétur Kjartansson
Colorist: Daði “Deth” Jonsson
Sound Engineer: Sveinbjörn Thorarensen
Executive Producers: Steve Lewis, Chris Burkard, Mike Sandifer
Athletes: Emily Batty, Adam Morka, Eric Batty, Chris Burkard
Supported by: Sony, Lululemon, Redbull, Iceland Air

Emily Batty A Line in the Sand
Coast-to-Coast in Iceland. Photographers: Chris Burkard, Jordan Rosen

Dive deeper into adventure with Emily Batty’s Iceland blog

Emily Batty is also documenting her Icelandic bikepacking adventure in a series of video blogs. The first part of Bikepacking Iceland is live now below:

Emily Batty: Bikepacking Iceland – Part 1

From Emily Batty:

“Finally! We are revealing the first of many episodes documenting our bikepacking journey across Iceland. In this episode, we travel to Reykjavik, build our bikes, buy all of our riding food and catch a sunset in Iceland prior to beginning the journey.”