There are many good reasons to try a fat-bike ride. For starters, it’s really fun to say “fat bike.” And fat bikes look a little like two-wheel monster trucks, so there’s that. But maybe the biggest reason is because it makes going for a ride on the beach a realistic, fun experience for anyone who can ride. And, in the case of this route, your fat bike will take you someplace you can’t even get to by car: Road’s End Point.
Lincoln City is known for its slogan, “Seven miles of smiles,”referencing the unbroken stretch of breathtaking beach that offers easy access. And what better way to see the beach than on a fat bike? Odds are that no one in your travel group has ridden a fat bike on a beach, so this is the perfect introduction – a beach ride for any level of experience. You can take the family for a quick spin along the ocean before you build that sand castle or fly that kite or search for washed-up treasures – or you can make a bigger adventure out of it by heading north to explore the tidal pools and the cape at Road’s End Point.
It’s easy to get started on this ride can’t get any easier—Safari Town Surf Shop rents fat bikes, and it’s the perfect starting point for this ride. Use the crosswalk that’s visible from the shop door to cross Highway 101 (be careful; this is a very busy road) and make your way to the beach. If you’re riding a fat bike for the first time, try riding on pavement for a few blocks so you can get a feel for it. The wide tires feel like their own suspension system, and their huge traction footprint provides impressive stability. It’s a different feel from a road or mountain bike, though, so test out cornering and braking a few times.
Once you’re on the beach, check out the riding on a few different sections of sand. You’re likely to enjoy the hard-packed sand along the waterline the most; it’s what feels most like riding on pavement, plus you can spray up a little surf if you want. But if you like a challenge, try riding on softer sand; it’ll give you a workout! Once you’re settled in and comfortable with the bike, take a minute to remember why you enjoyed riding a bike so much when you were a kid: because it’s really fun. And now you’re doing it on a beach. Take the time to enjoy the scene – look around at all the people (odds are many of them will be looking at you, wishing they were riding a fat bike), and listen to the surf, the birds and the delightedscreams of little kids running from waves. (Hint: ride very carefully around little kids running from waves…)
Head north up the beach, toward the large bluff. Make as much of the ride as you like; you can stay close, stopping to explore tidal pools, sea life and anything else that captures your attention, heading back to the bike shop if you start to feel tired.
Or, if you feel like more adventure, head all the way north to Road’s End Point. As you pedal north you’ll find more large tidal pools, and even cross a few streams, feeling like you’re on a giant, go-anywhere SUV of a bike. You’ll know you’re at the turnaround point when the imposing cliff walls make it clear you’re at the northernmost point of the ride. And think about this: The only other way to get here is to park a car a ways away and hike to the point. But you just rode right up to it on your fat bike. Feels good.
If you go: Wherever you go fat biking on the Coast, check the tides and try to go during low tide as much as possible. Beware of sneaker waves and stay off rocks and small, enclosed beaches. Respect the sensitive micro-environments, whether it’s birds or anenome you encounter. In particular, it’s critical for people and pets to avoid areas that are closed due to western snowy plover nesting season, March 15-Sept. 15. Look for bright yellow signs nearby Oregon’s beaches and more info about how to protect this threatened species here).
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