If you’ve never done this before / didn’t know it’s possible, do it!! Biking on the beach is AMAZING!
No, you don’t sink into the sand if you are biking along the wet part, in between where the waves reach and dry sand… That was my first doubt too! Note though that ocean water (salt) is really bad for the metallic parts of your bike, rust will show up in no time if you don’t clean the salt water off after using it.
I bought my bike for $R 360 (approx. $140) from a local shop in Canasvieiras called Eric’s Bike, run by a pair of professional mountain biker siblings Eric and Aaron. I figured that when I leave Florianopolis, I can try to sell it off. Either way, the value the bike has given me has already exceeded its value and more 🙂 I take it to run errands every day, and bike to adjacent neighborhoods on the north of the island.
By the way, Florianopolis is a very mountainous island, and every “neighborhood” is basically separated by a mountain. So, when I tried to bike from Canasvieiras to Jurere, I almost fainted climbing up and down 3 hills… ha! However, the trick is to go through the beaches, then you don’t have to share the street with cars or go up or down the hill. At the division of Jurere and Canas, there is a rock separating the neighborhoods, but you just have to take the bike over a small hill and continue biking along the beach.
Biking is not a practical way to get to know the whole island; Florianopolis is on a big island, it’s not possible to get around the “city” by biking (unless you’re hardcore about your biking). As an example, driving from the north of the island to the southern tip takes more than an hour. Most the time, there are no bike lanes. I would suggest biking for short distances and getting from neighborhood to neighborhood only!