My One Fall Ride contribution involves riding a board, not a bike. Stick with me….
Twice a year wind junkies from across Minnesota flock to the warm sandy beaches of South Padre Island, Texas for season opening (April) and season ending (November) kiting trips. I've taken part in the past four April trips, and this year was my first November trip. It was also the first time I had a proper surfboard as part of my quiver. I've kiteboarded in the waves on the Gulf side of the island several times, but this was my first experience kitesurfing on the Gulf.
Kiting in waves on a surfboard instead of a standard twin-tip kiteboard (think wakeboard) was like the first time I rode a legit downhill bike. I'd ridden down these tracks before on smaller bikes, and had fun, but once I experienced them using the proper tool for the task, there was no going back. Carving turns on rising faces and feeling the energy of the wave propel the board forward and back down the wave was like zipping along a swoopy, hilly, well-tracked ribbon of snowy singletrack on a fatbike. The rider and his ride - perfectly tuned for the environment encountered. In a word; optimized.
Speaking of fatbikes, a small plan was hatched in my mind this past trip. During any one or two week trip to Padre, there is inevitably a low wind day or two when kiting is not possible, and we find ourselves loafing around, checking the wind reports. My plan involves getting a couple Salsa fatbikes down there on my next trip. to allow exploring of the endless beaches, dunes, and mud flats of the barrier island that extends all the way north past Corpus Christi. The road north out of Padre ends at mile 12 give or take. Past that, I've never been, and if all goes well, I plan to change that.
Endless beach and dunes - I have yet to see a fat tire track down here…
This post filed under topics: Pete Koski
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Hi, I'm Pete and I am a product development engineer for Salsa. I like all kinds of riding from commuting to dirt jumping. I think flat pedals make you a better bike handler, that the thru-axle is vastly superior to the quick-release for off-road applications, and that moving through the world on bicycle allows one to see things they might not otherwise. I suffer daily from hunger-induced anger, also known as hanger. Outside of work and riding, I enjoy kiteboarding, traveling, and watching hockey.