Monday, December 12, 2011

Getting Fat

No, I'm not talking about myself. Really. Are you looking at my gut?

Some years back Surly released a bike called the Pugsley. It featured huge, four-inch tires. It's main purpose, at the time, was for riding in snow.  I looked at it and thought, "Meh." Not for me. I can't stand the cold.

Time went by, and we bought a place in Tahoe. I revisited acquiring one of these beasts, now referred to as fat bikes. In the end I just didn't think I would use it in the snow enough to warrant the purchase.

Then I saw a thread on the MTBR fat bike forum dedicated to beach riding pictures. I knew then that I wanted one. The thought of riding along a beautiful beach with the Pacific Ocean lapping at my feet sounded awesome.

After a little eBay and Craigslist liquidating for funds, I had the bike in hand. The maiden voyage would not be along the ocean, however, but along Folsom Lake.

I started on the far south side of Beal's Point near the Dyke. The water is getting low, so there was plenty of exposed lake bed to explore.

One of the weird things right off the bat was riding with flat pedals. After riding with clipless pedals for 18 years, it took some getting used to. I didn't know what the hell to wear, so I went with these Nikes. They worked fine.

I figured that the bike would do well, but I tried to temper my expectations. I didn't want to over-hype it in my head and be disappointed. Not an issue. The bike rolled over everything.

This was the only place I fumbled on the entire ride. After dropping the air pressure in the tires, I motored right through this deep sand. Like most people do, I started with too much pressure. It's just hard to wrap your head around 10 PSI when you see it on the pressure gauge.

At times it wasn't that hard to imagine myself on the ocean.

Some of the granite areas like this one were fun to navigate.

This point reminded me a bit of Monterey, complete with sea birds on the water.

Lunch time.

Enough said.

This section was challenging, but I made it through.

Red Solo Cup:

This is the basic route going from south to north. Probably about six miles of beach. The water is currently lower than when this Google Earth image was taken.

I was out for about three hours and I had a blast. It's pretty cool to ride wherever the heck you want and have a bike that handles it with ease. Without the need for an actual trail, a lot of new riding possibilities are now open to me. I am wondering if I can actually ride around the entire lake . . .


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