Noosa to Rainbow Beach, feedback?

FloodSim
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Noosa to Rainbow Beach, feedback?

Postby FloodSim » Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:05 pm

I've had an idea for a weekend cycling adventure and am looking for some feedback from anyone who might have done something similar.

I want to ride from Noosa to Rainbow Beach along Teewah beach, on a fatbike.
It's about 80-90km each way. The plan would be to leave from Noosa one day, stay the night at Rainbow Beach, and return the next day.

I know this beach is open to 4wd, so I don't think there would be any problems with the route. Has anyone driven or ridden this before?

I don't own a fatbike nor have I ever ridden one.
Ideally I'd like to be able to hire a bike just for this trip. Google tells me there are fatbikes available for hire in Noosa, but I question whether they would be maintained to a level that would make this type of ride viable.
Any fatbike owners in the Noosa area already? Or know of any stores with decent hires? I'm based in Brisbane.

How difficult is riding on sand?
I've only ridden road before and I expect sand will be tough, so I'm not sure where my fitness needs to be at for this.
The ride would be more of a cruise, I'm not going for speed, I'm wondering if 90km on sand is physically possible?

Any thoughts are appreciated

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RonK
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Re: Noosa to Rainbow Beach, feedback?

Postby RonK » Mon Oct 24, 2016 2:05 pm

I have driven that route many times. Never ridden it - I wouldn't subject my bike to such conditions, but it's not unusual to see MTB's on the beach.

Beach conditions vary considerably depending on recent weather. After a spell of calm weather it can be like driving on the highway, after bad weather there can be km after km of exposed coffee rock. I'm not aware of the current state of the beach. You can get a condition report here.

At low tide the beach is wide and firm - fine even for ordinary mountain bikes. At high tide you will be forced up on to the soft sand close to the frontal dune along with the 4wd's. It's likely to be deeply rutted. A fat bike may handle it ok but I've never ridden one and can't say for sure.

You would need to time the ride to coincide with low tide. Given the distance involved this may be difficult. I suspect 80 km riding a fat bike in sand will be a big ask.

It's not that far but at Double Island Point you will probably have a walk/carry across the neck to Rainbow Beach if you get that far before the tide comes in. After this your troubles will start. The beach is very narrow in places and by the time you arrive at Rainbow (Mudlo) Rocks will probably be impassable. Many 4wd's have met their end here - the gallery of photos in the wall in the Rainbow Beach pub bear testimony.

Other things to consider - the beach is like a desert on a warm day. Can you carry enough water?
And how much will your progress be slowed when the inevitable headwind starts blowing.

This could be a lot of fun, or a real endurance test. I suggest you will need to camp for it to be doable.

Also the beach and camping areas are very busy during holiday periods and long weekends. Best avoided then.
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daft1024
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Re: Noosa to Rainbow Beach, feedback?

Postby daft1024 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:20 pm

Try reaching out to Neil Ennis. This blog post has part of the route your considering. I'm guessing he will tell you if Noosa - Rainbow route is suitable/desirable. Certainly the rainbow loop in the blog post looks awesome.

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RonK
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Re: Noosa to Rainbow Beach, feedback?

Postby RonK » Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:03 pm

daft1024 wrote:Try reaching out to Neil Ennis. This blog post has part of the route your considering. I'm guessing he will tell you if Noosa - Rainbow route is suitable/desirable. Certainly the rainbow loop in the blog post looks awesome.

If you read Neil's earlier blog where they went in the reverse direction, they abandoned the attempt to reach Teewah.
Last edited by RonK on Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RonK
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Re: Noosa to Rainbow Beach, feedback?

Postby RonK » Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:14 pm

You don't have to go so far to have a fun day fatbiking on the beach.

Check out Troy Szczurkowski's Moreton Island blog (Neil was along on that one too), and his North Straddie trip.

Moreton Island 3 day Wintersun bikepack

North Stradbroke Island fatpacking trip

Troy is the head mechanic at River City Cycles. It worthwhile calling in and having a chat with him. And the shop is full of fat bikes.
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Re: Noosa to Rainbow Beach, feedback?

Postby PiratePete » Wed Nov 09, 2016 11:48 am

Along Ron's theme, if you pop over to Tangalooma you can hire a fat bike at the resort and go for a ride on the beach. Sand there is coarser than the surf beach north of Noosa but it will give you a fair idea.
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Dannymac
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Re: Noosa to Rainbow Beach, feedback?

Postby Dannymac » Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:54 am

Gidday. In fact a mate Jeff and I did that very thing yesterday!! although did not overnight and do the return trip. We hired 2 fat bikes, a Pugsley and a Wheeler, from Bike On Noosaville (for $60 for 24 hrs, highly recommended) and rode from the Noosa ferry at 6am arriving at Rainbow at about midday. Low tide was 7.30am and this wasn't an issue with plenty of firm sand available. We had never ridden fatbikes or beach previously but they're easy to ride and will take on as much as your fitness will allow. We had some low cloud and no head wind until about halfway through and this only became an issue the closer we got to double island point. We took the Leica cutting near D.I point, not freshwater to shorten the trip and allow us to ride past the excellent coloured sands. Total distance from the ferry to Rainbow on Jeff's Strava was 71 km's. We carried about 4 litres of water and didn't run out, along with snacks and had a 5 minute break each hour, which stretched out a bit towards the end!! I recommend wearing a broad brim hat or cap with chin strap as there's no let up from the sun, plenty of SPF and a high viz long sleeve shirt for the other traffic and if you hire the above mentioned bikes, definitely swap out the seats as they were probably our biggest issue comfort wise. Other vehicles were not really an issue, giving us heaps of space and people were amazed we'd taken it on. Trip was a great challenge but we were truly stuffed by the end and fell into the surf at Rainbow and due to my lack of bike prep, took a while to recover. I'm surprised more people don't take this on, so give it a shot, ride with a mate for safety and sanity and let us know how it went. Dan

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RonK
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Re: Noosa to Rainbow Beach, feedback?

Postby RonK » Thu Dec 22, 2016 10:55 am

Great stuff! A 71km ride along the beach on a fat bike is a commendable acheivement. Sounds like you had near to ideal conditions.

So you took around 6 hours to cover the distance. Timing the tides are really the main difficulty to my mind - it's useful to know that the distance can be completed between tides even riding at steady pace.

Next challenge - Fraser Island. :wink:
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Dannymac
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Re: Noosa to Rainbow Beach, feedback?

Postby Dannymac » Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:09 am

Cheers Ron. Fraser? Pass. I reckon the prevailing North Shore wins tend to favour Rainbow to Noosa. Did have good conditions and probably could have run with my 29er for 90 per cent of it. Anytime we had to push the bikes through soft sand knocked the piss out of us and I can't describe the joy of a cold iced coffee (AT) Rainbow. Middle aged bikers eh? Stay well. Dan

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foo on patrol
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Re: Noosa to Rainbow Beach, feedback?

Postby foo on patrol » Sat Dec 24, 2016 5:30 am

Good stuff there, Dannymac! 8)

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Re: Noosa to Rainbow Beach, feedback?

Postby ldrcycles » Mon Dec 26, 2016 5:10 pm

You would need to be in really top notch form to get all the way from Noosa to Rainbow in a day, and then come back into an almost certain headwind the next day. I was over there a few weeks ago on my motorbike and the second you leave the hard stuff down by the water the sand is hard yakka even with an engine.
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Dannymac
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Re: Noosa to Rainbow Beach, feedback?

Postby Dannymac » Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:06 am

I did the same thing on a WR450 the previous week mate, as a recon ride, and you're spot on. The main issue with beach riding, even on hard sand, is the lack of glide. Most mtb rides I believe have about 30 per cent downhill. The North shore ride was 100 percent pedalling!! The only exception being a 20 metre concrete section at Leishas crossing near D.I point. Will have another go in autumn hopefully with a tail wind!

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