Friday, 8 June 2012

Bribie Island fatbike shakedown run

With the fat bikes built, it was time for field testing and refinement. Best place for us was an island we used to spend a lot of time driving and camping at many years ago, Bribie Island.

Bribie is in the shadow of Moreton Island, the southern most beaches tend to be steeper with softer sand at low tide. We were planning an out and back ride, loosely timed with the tides but not concerned about high tide riding - best way to test ride in the soft stuff is to be forced there by lapping waves!

We dropped in just past the surf beach, plenty of slack jawed stares from beach goers as we rode past. The Pug had 5psi in the front, 7psi in the rear.  Moon had 7psi front and rear. Beautiful day.

There are a few lagoons to cross that empty over the beach, tea-stained from the tannins in the leaves of surrounding trees. Quick process of strip off shoes/socks/gaiters, cross, dry feet then reload. Easy now, but proved a challenge later in the night...

Pet monkey sits high and dry on her LOCT seat, she has sat on the front of my bikes since she was 12 months old (now 6 and a half). Countless daytrips, many multi-day tours, as well as the daycare and school pickup each day.

Great time for some camera play.

This is about the closest we get to a family portrait.

We didn't quite make to the top as I'd planned, but it was a relaxed family day, not an epic. Besides tide had turned and we were slowly running out of beach.

Running out of light too.

Just had to stop and admire the moon.

We had two more lagoons to cross. Got to the second last one, to find it had turned into a 50m wide, fast flowing inlet. I tried a few spots, right down near the low water mark was waist deep, eventually found a section to cross and carried the monkey across with wifey in tow, then the bikes. Great fun, but I don't know what the fishermen on the other bank thought when they saw us on bikes, would have just seen headtorches and the AYUP handlebar lights bobbing about - with red blinky lights on a stick on each bank as guide beacons. 

Last lagoon caught us out. I was JRA, rounded a fallen tree, with a steep sand bank on my right, then the surf came for the monkey and I - didn't realise we had ridden into the inlet for the lagoon. We wedged up close to the bank, but could do nothing to prevent getting swamped. Water came up to the BB, but as we were next to the bank, the inrush ramped higher and dredged sand up with the water, engulfing the drivetrain. Wifey got caught as well, she couldn't hear me over the noise of the surf. There was a short lull, enough time to cross between surges. Drivetrain not happy the rest of the way, it's just gotta HTFU, felt like I was riding a big peppercorn grinder.

Showers at the end to aid cleanup.

All up was a great test for the bikes, ready for the weeklong trip in a few weeks time.

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