If you have to check the tide times before your ride you know its going to be a memorable one!

I have always wanted to ride a fat bike, and if your honest with yourself so have you!

They look mad with their enormous tractor like tyres and feel clumsy on the road. You can’t simply take them for a spin around the block to have any idea of the potential that these bikes have.

Quite simply they are made for adventure and exploring places other bikes can’t.

In our case this it the shoreline of the south coast. However, the trouble with beach riding as it turns out is it generally relies on the tide being out and as such can have you up at 4am on a weekday with the promise of a pre-work micro adventure.

Our destination was the golden sand of Hayling Island’s beach, but in order to get there for low tide we had to leave early and first ride around Langstone Harbour. This gave us a good opportunity to compare the Surly Pugsely’s to my Surly Troll and Alex’s Cinelli Zydeco CX bike on some familiar gravel. The ride was fun, comfortable and confidence inspiring, but slow. Nothing to really get excited about…

… that was until we hit the sand that they instantly became alive!

Suddenly we had no path other than the beach itself and the feeling of finding then loosing grip in the drying sand as the sun came up was more than a bit serial. I had tried riding beaches on my Troll with some very small measure of success, but nothing compared to this. The sence of being within sight of home, but feeling a million miles away was awesome as we battled into a headwind avoiding rather amused looking kite and windsurfers as they hurried from their campers into the sea.

Heading home aboard the newly relaunched Haying Ferry the captain enquired as to the point of those crazy looking bikes. That’s the other thing about fat bikes, you’re going to get some serious attention!


Big thanks to Bike U like for the hire and guided ride. It’s great to see them adding fat bikes to their hire fleet, alongside their vintage tandem and classic sports bikes. Drop them a message and take one out for a spin yourself to see what all the hype is about.