On Sunday we braved the early morning cold and got up at 6am for an adventure out to North Stradbroke Island, the largest of the many islands which form the barrier between Moreton Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The crisp morning air demanded jumpers to be worn with our shorts so it was hard to raise the motivation to throw our bikes in the car, rummage through the cupboards for food and drive out to Cleveland where the car ferry begins the 45minute journey across to the Island.
Having parked the car and assembled my bike (seriously one day I am going to buy a bike that fits in a car or even a standard bike box) we bought our tickets just as the ferry started loading. The calm and beautiful conditions on the crossing confirmed to us that it had been worth getting up, and that we weren’t mad.
Our early morning ferry trip confirmed that today would be a good day!
Arriving on the island we were immediately in the shade of the sand hills the dominate the island. Panic filled me as my ideas of riding around on a perfectly flat island with lots of beautiful bays was shattered, but a coffee from the bakery restored my earlier optimism and we started riding towards Point Lookout at the northern tip or the island. The riding is easy, with good roads that seem well thought out and aren’t steep.
The hills are relatively large (80m maybe), the the slopes are gentle making them easy enough to ride. Continue reading
Enoggera Dam sits 10km west of the Brisbane CBD and is just near the entrance of D’Aguilar National Park. The dam was constructed a long time ago (relatively) so the lake has had time to develop into an ecosystem and plant and bird life are abundant.
Today I went out to explore the mountain bike trails at Daisy Hill Conservation Park for the first time. It is 5 days since it last rained so I thought that there would be a bit of mud lying around but that the tracks would generally be dry enough to ride. How wrong I was….
It turns out that the tracks at Daisy Hill hold water like nowhere else, despite 5 days on sunshine and winds many of the fire trails in the park were under an inch or more of water which made for a gloriously muddy ride. To make things better a few of the creeks were still swollen and what looked like shallow creek crossing turned out to be a hub deep hole on a number of occasions. Despite this I couldn’t have asked for a better day out because the fast flowy trails punctuated by rock gardens and water crossing made for a day to remember.
I rode about 35km inside the park, plus 7km each way to get there from the train station and it was all pretty awesome. You can see the maps and vertical profiles here.
It was a wet and windy weekend and all through the house chilly drafts filled every corner. The alarm stirred two sleepy figures who opened their eyes, mumbled a few words about how terrible it was and rolled over to go back to sleep.
Ten minutes later one figure sat bolt upright and declared that it was time to go riding!
Our plans for the weekend we’re fairly simple. We would catch a train to Rosewood, run an undefined distance and following an undefined route as far as we could be bothered which would hopefully be Lake Moogerah. We would then turn around and come back if we had sufficient energy. Amazingly it worked out quite well and to plan, though that was never going to be hard.
Our route for the June long weekend cycle tour and the vertical profile. Click on the image for an interactive version.
So on Sunday morning we rode to the station and headed off to Rosewood with little or no plan, but a good supply of food and some shelter in case it all got to hard. One of the best things about Brisbane is that it is really easy and cheap to get out of it by public transport. From Rosewood we turned south along the Rosewood-Warrill View Rd into a head wind that made riding like riding on sand, every spin of the pedals was harder than the one before and progress was slow averaging only 16km/h.
Anyway the ride improved after a stop for hot chips in Rosevale and the afternoon saw us riding along the nicest road we’ve ridden. The road ran between Rosevale and Aratula and was well graded gravel winding up a beautiful wooded valley with a creek next to the road. If anyone is in the area take the time to ride it!
After a late lunch we rode the last 12 kilometres to Lake Moogerah Caravan Park which is situated right beside the lake. We didn’t take any photos because we were tired and it was far to nice to lie on the grass. Instead I have provided some photos from their website to entice you!
On Monday morning we packed up in record time and started heading north. With sore legs and hills to contend with he first few kilometres nearly made us weep, but once we crested the last hill it was downhill for kilometres with rapid descents and very little pedalling to be done. The joy on our faces going down the hill would have looked amazing, but it was good enough to declare it our second best ride (after the day before of course). To top it off we finished the morning riding at brilliant cafe in Kalbar called the Art Cafe Du Kalbar, you all know I get pretty excited about coffee but this place is up there with the best. It has arm chairs in the wind, with books and magazines discreetly placed on the table and is wonderful. Also they now know how to temper soy well after yours truly educated them as part of my quest to enlighten the masses.
After coffee we rode on into the rain and wind, stopping only to put on rain coats, overshoes and play with historic water pumps.
Like all nerds I spent today trying to see the transit of Venus across the Sun. My early attempts from home proved futile so Gael (our French couchsurfer) and I cooked up an ingenious method of enhancing our viewing apparatus until we could see the transit! As with any engineering solution it included the bathroom mirror, a chair, the lid of a jigsaw puzzle and a map of Australia.
Okay, it wasn’t he most elegant solution but it worked, the extra distance gained by the mirror made the image of the Sun large enough o see Venus
The photo didn’t work out, but we could see the spot of Venus on the image of the Sun.
So after 6 weeks in Brisbane it seems like it is time for my second general update on what is going on and why I still seem to have no free time, even though I am unemployed. If you have suggestions on what I should be doing let me know, otherwise I’ll just keep enjoying the life of a leisure!
I thought that since I have to give at the moment I should give it. In my last update I talked about how I had been helping out with the National Parks Association of Queesland, and I am still doing a little bit here and there. Last week I started a new volunteer role with MS Queensland helping to get all the rider packs ready for their upcoming Brissie to the Bay charity ride. This ride is Queensland’s biggest charity bike ride with up to 5000 people partaking. The scary thing is that all of the ride packs for the event are packed by hand which takes up the staff’s time when there aren’t enough volunteers to help. For anyone who has ever take part in a charity bike ride, or any other charity activity I’d really like you to spare a thought for all the people who make these events happen.
I’ve finally started getting out on my mountain bike in the past few weeks. I’ve been riding with the people from the Gap Creek Trail Association a few times and have spent a bit more time helping to build trails, including a fairly sweet little berm and switchback section at Gap Creek.
One of the berms I helped build at Gap Creek mountain bike park. Continue reading
I spent this afternoon riding out of Brisbane with Thomas our crazy dutch cycling friend.
Thomas has already ridden around Tasmania, New Zealand and from Melbourne to Brisbane. He hopes to make it back to Melbourne (the long way) by December.
For info on his ride or to see his amazing photos go to http://thodo.nl
While out riding the other day I snapped this shot of what sunset does to the Brisbane sky line. The shot is taken from Mt Cootha.
Just a nice photo I took while out for a walk last night.
Today I set out with the aim of exploring several of south east Brisbane’s major bike ways, in particular the SE Freeway Bike Way and the Bulimba Creek Cycleway. These two cycle ways let me ride about 35km with only short sections of back street to link them up. All in all it was a successful little exploration.
Along the way there were a number of interesting occurances that I wouldn’t have expected on such a suburban adventure.
- Firstly I had to ride over flooded sections of track. They weren’t significantly flooded by any means, but enough that I thought it best to raise my feet from the pedals to avoid getting too wet.
- I saw a snake, on a path in Brisbane. It was only a little fella, but it was brown and once I had swerved to avoid hitting it I had no interest in investigating further!
Anyway, below are some pictures of the very scenic ride!