Published Somedays

Topsail + Pugsley + 50 miles on sand = Beat like a rented mule

(updated: Mar 17, 2013)

I finally did it. I rode the entire length of Topsail Island out and back for a total of 52 miles. On sand. On the Pugsley. Took me about four hours. All the elements lined up ... the tide, the weather, the bike, and my schedule. Even the wind, which never cooperates, was manageable. Michael and I started in the middle, and accompanied me to the south end and back and then a little further north, before he had to head home. Then I continued on, all the way to the north end and back.

At the start of the ride, the sand was still very wet as the tide receded and from the rain the night before, and the huge tires still sank into the sand. This was slow going for a while.

Topsail is a long island. 26 miles long. They have been doing beach renourishment at the northern end. Looks great there now but towards the middle the erosion is worsening. I wonder if it has anything to do with the project at the north end. It's a different county, so maybe Onslow County is attempting to fix its eroding beach at the expense of Pender County to the south. That would be ironic. Who knows? So now Pender County is pushing its beach sand back up against the dunes using bulldozers.

Michael at the south end of Topsail:
South end of Topsail Island

Dredging at the south inlet, with Lea-Hutaff Island in the background:
Dredging at South end of Topsail Island

South end of Topsail Island

Erosion occurring at middle of island. Sand dune fences exposed that used to hold sand.
Erosion at middle of Topsail Island

Erosion at middle of Topsail Island

Collapsing house foundation:
House victim of erosion at middle of Topsail Island

At the north end the beach is nice and wide now. I remember the water used to be much closer to these houses.
North end of Topsail Island

Is a bicycle a vehicle? That is the question. One that at least Wrightsville Beach has already answered.
North end of Topsail Island

Ride a bike, be an outlaw. If Josey Wales were alive today he'd totally ride a Pugsley.
Outlaw Jose Wales. Topsail Island

I won't be doing this again for a long while, but it's nice to have finally done it.



Filed Under: Ride Reports > North Carolina > Topsail


1. Steve T. in Wilm. said...

I am a 64yr old biker(Mtn and a little Road) and i have been
a regular visitor to your site for quite a while,just wanted you to know that i really enjoy what you do here. The photos and info is informative. Keep up the good work.

Mar 13, 2013 @ 8:07 AM


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