Saturday, March 29, 2008

Riding the Shell Banks

My first proper ride today since getting food poisoning. I expected to have no strength in my legs after 8 days of not riding but I felt fine. I took a detour off the normal Saturday morning amble and rode to one of my old stamping grounds as a kid. We used to play for hours on the shell banks in Little Shoal Bay and it was like going back in time riding along there again. I don't know what conditions cause it, but in this inner harbour bay there is a long breakwater of shells about 100 metres offshore. There is mud, and there are shells, and there is nothing in-between. No sand to be seen. It is much firmer than sand and you can even ride off-camber on the slopes without slipping, but you don't want to come off - this stuff cuts you to shreds.

Little Shoal Bay

Between the shell banks and the shore are mangrove swamps. As children we called these "the muddies" and had a lot of fun chasing fish and torturing innocent crabs. We would come home covered from head to toe in the sticky black mud with cuts all over our legs.

A very different surface to sand


Today I just cruised along, happy to be out on the bike again and listened to the shells crunching below my tyres. It was magic.

Saw this on the way home - Laughed out loud


Doug said...

Do the shells damage the tires at all?

Antoine said...

I guess you could get unlucky and slice a tyre. I don't ride often enough on this stuff to know. The cockle? shells are pretty small and I'm only running 10psi which would help prevent a puncture.

Anonymous said...


Glad to hear that your over your SICKNESS!! Shells? Interesting, Nice photo's love the backdrop, Reminded me of when I was up the hills of FIJI with my trike and kept on getting attacked by swarm of Brown Gulls!!!

Do you have any Brown Gulls In the Shell Banks?

Ninja Biker!!

Lulu said...

Interesting to know.