Howies Battle on the Beach 2014

News is in from top bike racer and event organiser blokie, Matt Page, who tells us about a bike race with a difference – it’s on a beach. This kind of racing is pretty common in Holland, and popular among masochists in the winter months. Inspired by these events, and the growing fat bike scene, Matt Page is organising a beach race that will also incorporate the inaugural UK fat bike champs. There should be up to 400 racers on the beach on March 16th. Here’s Matt to take up the story:

“Howies Battle on the Beach is set to not only be the UK’s first cycle beach race but will now also become the host for the inaugural UK Fat Bike Championship, sponsored by Surly.
The former M.O.D munitions facility at Pembrey, Carmarthenshire, will be the host for one of the most exciting new cycling events in 2014. Battle on the beach will pitch all types of bikes and riders against one another to see who can rule the beach!

Are you feeling the joy yet? Pic: Anthony Pease

“With increasing interest and sales in fat bikes within the UK, the time is right for a UK Championship and we are proud to be the inaugural event, set on terrain that will see the bikes excel. One company at the forefront of Fat Bikes globally are Surly Bikes and they are proud sponsors of the 2014 UK Fat Bike Champs. Surly will also be on site from Saturday providing demo bikes, including the Pugsley, Pug Ops and Moonlander.

We didn’t say it was all on the beach. There’s tree-lined singletrack too! Pic: Anthony Pease

“Surly calls these bikes OmniTerra. These are not just off-road bikes, they’re bikes that go where other bikes can’t. The hallmark of the OmniTerra line is bikes with tyres at least 3.8” wide, designed to be run at low pressures, with very wide rims. These bikes supply a high degree of float and traction and a low degree of ground impact. Whether you want a complete bike with 3.8” or 4.8” tyres or a frame and a collection of parts, Surly make everything you need for your Fat Bike.”
With a fantastic, family friendly venue with plenty to do and a campsite will full facilities including showers and licensed cafe & bar there enough to keep a family occupied all weekend.

“Entries for the event opened on January 1st and sold out within 3 days, with interest from all over the UK and further afield, including professional riders from the Koga-KMC team, based in The Netherlands who will be heading across to Wales to do battle and a chance to win the £250 cash prize in each of the Open categories!
For riders who missed out on an entry, the only option is to contact Battle on the Beach and join the waiting list, or keep an eye on Howies social media and a chance to win a place.”

‘Just head for that cloud’. Pic: Anthony Pease

We have heard that many waiting list riders stand a good chance of getting a place, so get your name down if you’re keen.

And what of these Dutchmen and women, coming over? Koga has just sent us their propaganda piece, bigging themselves up and challenging all comers. Koga actually makes a bike specifically for beach racing. We told you they were nuts…

Koga says “Martin Schuttert, Stefan Vreugdenhil and Karen Brouwer will be at Pembrey competing on Koga BeachRacer bicycles. Watch them, meet them, and check out their bikes.”

The Battle on the Beach is sponsored by Howies and organised by ACycling. Already sold out, this is the UK’s first competition on sand. Find out about the event here: www.battleonthebeach.co.uk

Koga’s UK distributors, Maxtrack, will be showing the highly acclaimed new BeachRacer to spectators and competitors at the event.

Here’s Koga on it’s special bike: “The BeachRacer won last year’s Eurobike Award and is a combination of a cyclo-cross bike and a 29’er mountainbike. The result is a remarkable bicycle with unique riding characteristics. Designed specifically for beach races but also very useful for fast riding off and on road.

“For technical enthusiasts the BeachRacer is based on a high quality, slim frame made of Aluminum 7005 tubes in combination with a KOGA Pinza full carbon fork. The geometry is very sporty with a steep seat tube angle that results in a position close to the bottom bracket. The special KOGA oversized alloy handlebar allows for an aerodynamic riding position. The BeachRacer features disc brakes for optimal control and a crankset with a durable 38 teeth single steel chain ring. The bike runs with a Schwalbe Thunder Burt 2.1 tire at the front and a Supermoto 2.35 beach tire at the rear. Koga bicycles have a reputation for comfort, quality, and reliability. Founded in 1974 “to build the best bikes for passionate riders, without compromise” that mission still rules today.”

You can visit Koga’s website at www.KOGA.com to find out more about the BeachRacer and the Koga range. And see www.battleonthebeach.co.uk for more details on the race.

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