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David heads to west Wales for the Battle on the Beach, and films the opening lap of beach action

Beaches are normally the place for buckets and spades, Frisbees and footballs, but yesterday beautiful Pembrey Beach in west Wales was overtaken by 600 cyclists on a wide assortment of bikes, from massive fat bikes to cyclocross bikes, and a few tandems, in the second running of the howies Battle on the Beach.

The very unique race started on the beach, with the first of three laps featuring a long 10km section on the sand. The battery on my GoPro run out just as the course turned off the beach and headed into the sand dunes and woods that made up the majority of the course. Subsequent laps used a shorter, but no less punishing, section on the beach, making this one of the most unique cycle races I've ever done.

And also one of the most fun, exhilarating, exhausting, rewarding and entertaining events I've ever done.

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

11 comments

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bendertherobot [1543 posts] 4 years ago
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Brilliant event, brilliant day.

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Benjamin Nickolls [63 posts] 4 years ago
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Interesting mix of hard to full sus MTBs and cross bikes in there. I see not one fat biker made it past the first 30 seconds at the head of the peloton.

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ct [198 posts] 4 years ago
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It was indeed epic. I have a sunburnt nose.

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a_P [18 posts] 4 years ago
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"Interesting mix of hard to full sus MTBs and cross bikes in there. I see not one fat biker made it past the first 30 seconds at the head of the peloton."

Look more closely at the turn off from the beach on the ramp at what bike is in front of David...

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millskid [45 posts] 4 years ago
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where did you finish?

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ct [198 posts] 4 years ago
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Under the banner like everyone else

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David Arthur @d... [958 posts] 4 years ago
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I finished 21st in category, 33rd overall, quite chuffed with that, found the beach section hard work, quite a headwind even though it wasn't really that windy, and unfortunately found myself with a bunch to shelter in on the third time up the beach

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ct [198 posts] 4 years ago
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Strangely, I found the beach a respite... Time to spin and breathe... Some of the loose sandy bits I found really draining....

Must reiterate though, epic day

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darrenleroy [336 posts] 4 years ago
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May I ask which bikes came first? Was there a trend e.g. fat tyres first or XC bikes first?

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monty dog [466 posts] 4 years ago
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Why the loathing for fatbikes? Compressed sand isn't really the territory for fat tyres anyway - but if it was 6" of soft sand, then it would be a different story.

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ct [198 posts] 4 years ago
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I'm really missing looking forward to the Battle...roll on 2016