Beach Biking Made Easy

Electric bike tour lets you zip along the sand without knocking yourself out
BY: LACEY STORER

The tour companies in Los Cabos offer multiple ways to ride through the desert and along the beach: on camelback, on horseback, driving a four-wheeler. And now, Cabo Adventures has added a new form of transportation to the list: electric bikes.

The bikes, called Radrovers, are all-terrain, fat-tire bikes that can handle the soft, loose sand. And while you have to pedal to keep the motor going, you don’t have to pedal very hard or fast to gain speed. The bikes can go 20 to 25 miles per hour, which might not seem very fast – and it’s not when you’re riding in a car – but it feels fast when it’s just you and the bike and the wind is whipping past your face.

elebike.JPGThe tour takes place on Cabo Adventure’s property they call Rancho San Cristobel, which is just a few miles outside Cabo as you head towards La Paz. Before starting, riders are suited up with not only helmets, but shin guards, elbow pads and gloves as well, which can be interpreted as bad things are possibly coming. The guide gives a pretty brief overview of how to turn the bike on, adjust the speed, (important), and on using the throttle, and then riders are given a few minutes to practice riding and get used to the bikes’ acceleration.

The first part of the tour loops riders through the desert, winding through the cacti and brambles and rocks. If you have any off-road biking experience, that will come in handy here. The second part of the ride takes us along the beach, where the terrain is mostly flat, with a few hills, but the sand is much thicker and softer and sucks us in. At certain points, not even cranking up the throttle is enough to get the bikes going, and most riders have to walk their bikes a little way until the sand firms up.

A word of caution: If you’re not typically active, or you’re not comfortable on a bike, this probably isn’t the activity for you. Yes, riding on a motorized bike means you don’t have to put out as much effort (the guide says that these bikes are for fun, not a workout) but there are other things to consider. The technicalities of driving the bike – we’re talking braking, throttling, making sharp turns and driving in loose sand – can be intimidating. And dangerous if you are extra inept.

On a recent tour, there was one woman who, on the first sharp turn of the bike route, skidded, wiped out and came inches away from planting face first into a cactus! OK, OK, that woman was this intrepid reporter. (In my defense, I have skied, snorkeled and hiked up Mount Solmar several times without incident, so I’m not a total sports klutz.)

Now, I don’t want to scare people off, because I was the exception rather than the rule (my fellow riders had no issues maneuvering their bikes along the desert trail). And the guide, seeing my distress after my near cactus collision, radioed for another guide to meet me on the trail and take me to what was essentially the bunny slope of bike paths. A flat, wide and easy trail that led us straight to the beach. And when the rest of the group caught up to us and then went on to a trail with hills and jumps, I continued down the beach, enjoying the breeze and the waves.

After the bike ride, which lasted about an hour and a half, came the really fun part: margaritas! The tour included a margarita making class, and several members of the group also got to help make molcajete salsa (that’s salsa where all the ingredients have been smashed together with a mortar and pestle). Drinks in hand, we enjoyed the beach view, took some pictures and then sat down to a delicious lunch of three different types - mushroom, poblano pepper and pork belly in red sauce – of freshly made quesadillas. It was a satisfying end to the morning’s activities.

The electric bike tour costs $99 USD for adults and $79 for children. For more information, or to book a tour, visit the Cabo Adventures website at http://www.cabo-adventures.com/tours/electric-bike-beach-adventure. These are the same folks who bring us the dolphins and zip lines, among other cool stuff.