More sandy fun – 10th June

After an evening at Kings YHA supping a selection of Conway Beers while talking to a Geordie bloke who was in the middle of 2 weeks walking the Welsh Coast Path I got the early morning call from my phone at 6am. Low tide was 08:31, and I wanted to get to Harlech at least an hour before then. the plan being to ride the coast from as close as possible Afon Cwmnantcol up to the Dwyryd/Glaslyn, the rivers that run past Portmadog.

The clear skies and early morning sun made getting out of bed not as bad as you’d expect…. and I needed a piss. A bowl of Cornflakes later and I was pointing the car out of the YHA and towards the car park in the dunes below Harlech Castle.

With the time at 7:15, I’d got an hour maximum to get out to the furthest point in the estuary I could, allowing a bit of time in case of delays. The last thing I wanted to do was to find myself out on the sandbars and stranded. I headed off and 45 minutes later I’d got to the point where the breakers were breaking over the outflowing river. Just looking at the way the water was swirling around made me think how screwed you’d be if you ended up in there.

With plenty of time before low tide I headed along the side of the river, following the buoys that mark the channel for boats. I stopped and looked back, I’d come a fair way, and looking towards the dunes, they seemed miles away…ahhh. Checking the my cycle computer  I’d still got plenty of time before the tide turned. I decided to head for the dunes, but pretty soon pedaling was really tough. The bike was floating over the very soft sand, but it was hard work, and looking at the distance I still had to go to the dunes I decided that stopping for a rest and putting my feet down was probably not a good idea!

I retraced my tracks and followed the river backout towards the sea, then when the sand looked a little better headed for the dunes. Most of it was fine but there were some parts where I certainly wouldn’t have fancied putting my feet down.

Back on hard sand again I headed back down the beach and did the making squiggly tyre tracks bit,  seeing just how tight I can turn before the front starts to break away, and getting it rolling as fast as possible, then …….Skid!!!!! Wooo hooo!

I headed south to the furthest point I could ride then sat on the rocks and had a mid morning Bakewell tart snack. Then into the dunes for a bit of loonacy, although to be honest the dunes at Morfa Dyffryn are better for riding. Then back to the car, clean the bike and point the car home. A great two days, and I learnt a hell of a lot about riding on sand……. (which I’ll post when I’ve sorted out the list!)

Ride – #102     Bike – ’12 Salsa Mukluk

Miles – 13.5     Total 2012 miles – 2049.2


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