At some point in time, most cyclists come across the occasional daunting stretch of sand. In areas around the ancient temples of Cambodia, Thailand, and Bagan, sandy patches are especially common. Whether encountered while traveling the world or in local backyard trails, it helps to have a few tips on cycling through sand smoothly. Grasshopper team member, Christie, gives us a run-through of keeping momentum, direction, and confidence in mind when cycling through the sand.
The following tips will not only prevent you from getting stuck in the deeper parts, or even a possible tumble (though most often a soft landing), but with a little practice, confidence can be built to see those grainy seas as simply a fun challenge in the midst of a great ride.
Tips for Cycling Through the Sand
Maintain the same speed when approaching the sand and don't slow down much. Make sure the bike is in a low gear and pedal on through it.
It’s important to keep the front wheel straight. Try not to change direction while in the sand as this will slow down the momentum and increase the chance of getting stuck. Hold the handlebars firmly, but not with an iron grip.
It's tempting to look at the sandy challenge beneath the wheels, but keeping a straight gaze ahead helps in maintaining a straight wheel and mentally eases the mind as the focus is on getting through it.
Another tip for cycling through sand is to keep your weight in the seat and avoid leaning into the handlebars. Putting more weight on your front wheel digs the tire into the sand and prevents smooth and quick movement.
In all these things, approach that sand with confidence! After a few tries implementing these tips on cycling through sand, this terrain will start to seem less of an enemy and more of a chance to increase riding skills. That leaves more energy for enjoying the surroundings and having a great time!
Don’t forget, practice is a great way to get past your fears and succeed! See you out on the trails!