Estimated Rolling Date: Feb. 12, 2012
By 1100 hours it was known that a bike ride needed to take place. Where was the question. So the Truck started out rolling toward the diesel fuel pump to get enough fuel to carry us to anyplace within reason. The wind was calm at the campground but a touch of chill was in the air. As we rolled different places were discussed with the Truck. The Truck was insistent on Padre Island National Seashore (PINS) and would not listen to any other suggestions at all.
PINS was not very busy and we parked at the Malaquite Visitors Center parking lot. It is a huge parking lot so we had lots of room to get ready to ride. Finally we made the mount and off we rolled. SightSeer (SS), the bike, was anxious to strut its stuff but the OFM was a bit more restrained. A turn to the left and quickly we were at the beach. A stop at the end of the paving was made to think about this and take a picture of some of the campers on the beach.
Last time we tried to ride on the beach it was very difficult, but the sand had not been trampled down like it is today. In the picture above you can see where lots of vehicles have been compacting the sand. SS decided it could ride on the compacted sand so off we went. But not very far. Even the compacted sand could not stand up to the 65 psi pressure of SS’s tires. Check out these ruts made before SS and I parted ways.
SS was walked all the way down to the wet sand.
What was decided was that a special bike just for beach riding is needed! Something with super wide low pressure tires and very low gears that you can afford to replace every three years or so due to rust.
When we stopped to get me some new pants at Academy, a sporting goods store in the south, some bikes were checked out. There was one there that should do the job with only minor changes for a great big price of $79.99. The main change would be to replace the torture seat with a quality Brooks saddle. Then you would have a good beach bike. Another toy Hmmmmmm.
After SS was walked across the sand to the pavement, we headed out for some miles of riding. Naturally some wind was starting to get into action in the afternoon. As part of the path we rode, we went through the paved campground near Malaquite Beach. There were fourteen empty spaces waiting for someone to come enjoy the park. These spaces are right against the large dunes and will handle very large rigs with ease.
Behind me are the sites on the surf side. There are small dunes between the beach and these sites. These sites are gravel/sand and catch the brunt of the salt air coming ashore. There are several tent sites on this side. In general it is a nice campground with fresh water and a dump station right at the entrance. You provide your own electricity in this location. There are nice rest rooms with cold water showers.
Small units and big units are all welcome here for the $8 a night or $4 a night with the old farts pass for those of us over 62. All sorts of interesting folks camp here.
The fellow in the small camper was a nice fellow to visit. He had found a rod and reel washed up on the beach a day or so ago. But the best part he told me was that when all the folks catch too many fish, they have big fish fry’s for the campers. He really likes not having to cook.
After only 7 miles my legs were shot. This makes me think that biking can build hiking legs but hiking does not build biking legs. Anyway some beach walking was done. A lot of fish carcasses are still up near the dunes. Most of them are mullet but this devil was definitely not a mullet. Check out those teeth that even show up in the shadow. That was not a fish to grab by the lower lip to land it.
It was getting to be late afternoon and time to head home. The stop at Academy put us on the road after 1700 so we went back to Rockport by the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge. The traffic flowed very smoothly to my surprise. The Castle was waiting for us and had the inside warmed up just right. Bike riding, beach combing and shopping for new pants all joined together to make a good day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.