My First Beach Ride
By Jeff Price
It’s nearly two years since I first got my fat bike, the 2014 Salsa Mukluk from Keep Pedalling, Manchester, UK. I knew the type of riding I could do was going to be different, but wow, it’s been a totally new riding experience.
After 2 weeks the Surly Nates were hitting the sand of Newborough beach and in the time that followed, they have been back many many times.
I had a rough idea of where to ride, across a large warren which was a mixture of grass and sand. I then had some dunes to ride over, and then the beach itself followed by the local forestry. I was intrigued to find out whether this new bike was as good as people say when it came to beach riding. Virtually from the off, the terrain felt so natural to ride the Salsa on as she gripped to the soft sand perfectly. With the sun being out for the day I decided to do a spot of filming, and I’m so glad I did! After riding the warren faultlessly, I crossed some land that had been below the tide mark as the ground went a little soft. But once again the bike and the tyres gripped the slippy ground to keep me onboard. My first sand dune descent was of about 35 feet through some very soft sand. I was a little worried at first but I knew it would be a soft landing if I came a cropper. After descending the dune and riding through the remnants of happy memories washed up on the high tide mark I rode onto the coast itself.
I was amazed once again at how the bike handled especially now over large loose rocks and pebbles. The sound of the stones underneath the bike was one of these new experiences I would encounter when beach riding. As I headed north on the wide open beach with no one else around I imagined I could have been in the depths of Alaska with bears gazing on curiously. I must admit I felt pretty awesome as I rode along the sand with the waves crashing in on my left hand side. The sight of the sea birds taking off as I approached, the noise they made, it was all new thanks to the fat bike.
Having crossed the low tide to the ancient island of Llanddwyn, it was great to ride amongst the historic buildings and lighthouse which dates back to 1845. The views at this point were magnificent, with the mountains of Snowdonia to my left rising up from the sea and the coastline stretching northwards with its sandy beaches. The last leg was through the sandy pine forest where I followed some single track and also as ever on a fat bike some off piste riding.
As I drove on home I must admit I was grinning from ear to ear at this ‘new’ riding experience that a fat bike gives you.