Saturday, 7 February 2015

St Albans Bay

It was pretty obvious that the North East was going to be over-crowded with mountain bikers today, so I asked myself the question ... where could I go riding and have the trails all to myself ...

West Sandy Point
The answer ... St Albans Bay ...


St Albans bay is part of a 4WD route that runs from Bridport through the dunes and along the beaches to Bellingham (you can check out the parks information on the route here).

It is not however a mountain biking route because to get onto St Albans Bay (which is itself soft sand at high tide) you have to first get through either East Sandy Cape or West Sandy Cape ... and that involves a lot of very soft sand and a lot of pushing, let me show you ...









So if you do want to go there, and you want to ride, then you'll need to get one of these ...

Norco Bigfoot 6.2

Yes, Santa (I do like that jolly old fellow) bought me yet another present (albeit that he charged it to my credit card)  ...

I'VE FINALLY GOT A FATBIKE!!!






 (Sorry ... did I shout that out loud)

Anyway, I've had this new toy for a few weeks now and I've been chaffing at the bit to actually get out and ride it ... so much so that I took a detour on the way to the Blue Derby Trails to somewhere where I thought it would get a real test.

And that's how I (really) found myself at St Alban's Bay.



I learnt so much about fat biking today:

I learnt that even with a fatbike, a fat, unfit guy still can't ride up every dune or along every beach (I know - damn - but don't panic, I've heard that there's an electric fatbike on its way).

On the flipside, I also learnt that you can ride so many more places that a normal bike couldn't even begin to ride.

You can scoot along flat, dry sand ... like it's tarmac (albeit slow, dead tarmac).

You can fly down soft sandy rutted tracks with a huge grin on your dial (without that over the handlebars moment that comes on a normal bike).

I learnt that when the tide is coming in, the sand gets sticky and heavy and is very, very hard to ride through.  Even on a fatbike (damn again).

I learnt that the heavy chain oil that came with the bike is a really bad choice for a fat bike (my chain was so thickly covered in sand by the time I'd covered about 15kms, that it started getting stuck to the front chain ring and I couldn't pedal the bike - did I mention the bad luck I've been having lately?)

I learnt that there's lot of 4WD's on 4WD tracks in Tasmania (I mean a *lot*) and that the drivers and passengers are a pretty good bunch (I'd say great bunch, but not one of them offered me one of those cold drinks I saw them all clutching through the windows as I stood in the thirty plus degree heat).


But my most important lesson of the day was a simple one ...

There's lot of flies on Tasmanian beaches (I mean a **lloott**) ... and you can't outrun them on a fatbike (damn, damn, damn and damn).

You have no idea how much I hate flies .... anyone know where I can take my fatbike that doesn't have flies?




Notice the registration plates on the tree

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