An excuse to go for a ride on a shiny Salsa Mukluk fatbike (borrowed, once again from Keep Pedalling) on a beach presented itself at the weekend. Telling myself that going for a ride on an almost-empty and very-familiar stretch of sand on Anglesey would be ideal preparation for the Battle on the Beach race in a couple of weeks, I dragged the kids and their grandparents (and the dog and a kite) out for a daytrip.
After confirming to various passers-by that the contraption I’d just pulled from the back of the car was indeed a bicycle with four inch-wide tyres, I trundled off down the slipway and onto the sand. As it turns out, quite soft sand and quite unlike the ‘concrete-hard’ sand of the actual race I was preparing for.
While the bike took the conditions in its stride, it turns out that soft sand is pretty hard work if you want to go reasonably fast. Once you accept that you can’t simply mash a tall gear and get away with it then ease off and take in the views, things are a lot more civilised.
Hard cornering is exciting, as is hitting a very soft patch at full-pelt. So exciting in fact that you’re probably going to crash, much to the amusement of your kids.
I also re-discovered that very wide tyres throw up a lot of debris and water in the general direction of your face and your bum. So I got soaked and covered in sand, which would have been ok had I not been riding in jeans and a woolly jumper. Which would have been ok had I had something else to wear in the café later on that wasn’t a pair of downhill shorts and a pair of Fantastic Mr Fox socks…
A cracking day out, then. Do I feel more prepared for Battle on the Beach? Ermm…….