Published Somedays

Figure 8 Island Beach Ride

(updated: Apr 5, 2012)

So you may be wondering what happened with the Tues night rides? Well, they are still happening, I've just been going to the beach to ride the Pugsley instead. It's a lot cooler in than the woods, you get to jump in the water when you get hot, and you still get a great workout.

Bikes on board.
Surly Pugsley on boat

You don't need a Pugsley to ride on the beach, however. All you need is some fat tires, like the Schwalbe Big Apple's for 29er wheels, and the ability to not wince when salt water gets on your bike.

We've been taking the bikes on Ed's boat and mooring at Figure 8 Island. I'm sure we'd get kicked out if they saw us taking the bikes out onto the beach because it's a private island with multi-million dollar beach homes on it. And now that I've written this, it wouldn't surprise me if they are waiting for us the next time we show up. The site is fairly popular and shows up on google searches. And I am a surly person, literally.

Anchoring at Figure 8.

Michael trying out the Pugsley on some softer sand.
Surly Pugsley at Figure 8

The island is just over five miles from tip to tail, and we anchored at the north end and rode from one end to the other and back for a total trip of 10+ miles. Interesting fact about this island is that a friend's great grandfather used to own it, and sold it at some point for just $200,000.

Rider: Michael.
Surly Pugsley at Figure 8

There's one area of beach on the north end that is so eroded that the water at high tide comes up to the homes, and they've placed huge sandbags to try and delay the inevitable. The sandbags are actually fun to ride over.

The beach is pretty much empty at this time of day, so we can ride by the shoreline or up toward the dune line. Ed and I both agree that the Pugsley is indifferent to the type of sand, wet or packed or dry and loose. It pretty much goes over everything.

You can even launch off of this with the Pugs.
Surly Pugsley at Figure 8

When the sand is really firm and I'm cruising along the Pugs sounds like a truck -- it's easy to hear me coming from behind by the sound of the buzzing tires. Well, almost... According to Michael I apparently freaked out two women as I speed past, doing a bunny hop over a sand bar. They probably ran and called the authorities.

Riders: Ed, Michael.

I was also able to hit some drops off of a few sharp ledges of sand. It's also fun to use small humps in the sand to launch off of. I'm having a blast riding this bike.

In a couple of weeks, possibly the 16th, I'm going to do a Ft. Fisher to Bald Head ride.

When you live by the ocean where it's flat, challenging terrain is difficult to find, so being able to use the sand opens up whole new areas to ride.


More photos...

Surly Pugsley at Figure 8

Surly Pugsley at Figure 8

Surly Pugsley at Figure 8

Surly Pugsley at Figure 8

Surly Pugsley at Figure 8

Filed Under: Ride Reports > North Carolina > Wilmington


1. Sir Hike-a-Bike said...

Why don't you go to Masonboro Island. It's 8-9 miles long and if you picked the right time, you would probably have the whole island to yourself.

Aug 2, 2008 @ 12:47 PM

2. SBA said...

Yep, that's the next stop. There's also the uninhabited one north of Figure 8. So tell me, why aren't these islands all built-up like Wrightsville, Figure 8, and Topsail? Is it because people were more conservation-minded back in the day? Because, if it were like recent real-estate bubble times, those places would be so covered with roofs you wouldn't see any sand.

Aug 2, 2008 @ 6:43 PM

3. jeezer said...

there are several islands/beaches in NC just like those, most are privately owned or protected by the government or both.

Aug 3, 2008 @ 1:30 AM


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