But this summer, I got myself a Giant ATX off-road bike with disc brakes and some big fat tires. I wanted it so I could do more off-road riding. The newer off-road bikes now have 27.5 in wheels (versus the old 26 in standard) and tend to use fatter tires.
While I usually take a road bike with me when I’m RVing, this winter I decided to take my new off-road bike to Florida. With those big ol’ fat tires and low gears, I’ve been able to pretty much go anywhere. I can jump curbs, go on grass, and don’t have to worry about sand patches. And, it’s a lot softer ride with the big tires.
I did a test ride with it on a portion of Fort Myers Beach. The beach is flat with plenty of firm sand near the water line. I found that it was pretty easy going even when the sand got soft.
That was enough for me to plan an excursion to take my fat tire bike and ride the whole beach. Fort Myers Beach is 7 miles long and you can pretty much walk (or ride) the whole thing.
The RV park I was staying at is on San Carlos Island and is about a mile from the beach. What made this excursion easy is that there’s a trolley (with a bike rack) that stops right in front of the RV park. The trolley runs over to the beach and all the way down Estero Blvd to the southern end of Estero Island to Lovers Key State Park. The trolley saved me 8 miles of riding. All I had to do was get on the beach at the southern end and ride back north.
I picked a day when the wind was from the southeast so I’d have a tail wind all the way. This was an excursion, not a work out ride. I was in no hurry. I took it slow, stuck close to the water line, and just cruised past all the beach goers. Here’s a short video I shot while riding. Its a little shaky but gives you a feel for what is was like.
I stopped about half way and had lunch at Junkanoo, a beachside restaurant. After lunch, I pedaled the rest of the way up to the Pier and rewarded myself with a stop at the Salty Crab beach bar (formerly Nemo’s).
I had a nice 5 mile ride. The middle section of the beach doesn’t have the crowds that are at the southern or northern sections. It took me about 1 3/4 hours of riding to do the whole beach. Much easier than a single track in Colorado Rockies. It’s a fun ride and something I plan on doing again. It’s also another example of what I do in this snowbird lifestyle!