Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Cycleway to Manly

Just a quick spin this morning using more of the excellent cycleway the Queensland government has funded. You'll probably guess from the erratic route I did a couple of unplanned detours. There's 150km of this stuff and it is no officially on my bucket list to come back and do the lot in one day. I went the opposite way to previous rides with the end destination of Manly. If I'd had longer I'd have gone fully round the stunning harbour but you'll see from the pics I was a bit spoilt for views as it was!

Well signed route

Same sign other side over looking Tinpala River

Through the mangroves

Lota Park


More Park

Look how well segregated the cycleway us from traffic

The really impressive thing for me is the time and effort put into all this public space. It's like 
someone very wise got hold of the cash and said:"our greatest asset is our space, let's make it accessible, provide enough facilities for everyone to use it for recreation whilst conserving our flora and fauna, oh and let's make sure we do it well." People have big houses and gardens here but even if you didn't there's so much public space you just wouldn't care. Hopefully I will get one more ride in before we come home but now it's time for yet another experience as the queen of cakes and I are having four nights in Sydney.

Happy pedalling 

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Return from Straddie

They say a picture tells a thousand words so this will be short and sweet and then a load of pictures of my new favourite place. I left the superb fishes at the point cafe on Claudius at 12:30 knowing I needed to make the 20km ride to Dunwich in time for the 14:00 ferry. Easy you'd think. However, it was hot, dry, windy, I was on a heavy mountain bike and the first 9km are pretty much up hill. I did make it though, in plenty of time in fact by 13:35. The 35 min ferry ride was not the best things for me legs and the dreaded cramp struck when I got back on Claudius in Cleveland. I also took no risks with Strava so I kept it on for the ferry ride, I'm not in any challenges this month so it's not really cheating, in case anyone is wondering there are also no ferry segments! Pictures shortly but I'll end n this: as I left Straddie I knew it was only fair well, not goodbye!

Ok I didn't take this one but we did see whales from our apartment balcony

Waves on main beach

Main beach from North gorge - it's 32km long!

North Gorge

Sunset over cylinder beach

Dolphins who came to say hello whilst we were fishing

Sook it's not pics of the cycling. To give you an idea the island only has flat beaches. Everything else is up or down. The roads are relatively quiet which is good because they're not really there for cyclists. I did read warnings about heavy vehicles due to mining but I did see this as an issue. Like the rest of Oz it was utes and 4wd.

The big story was the wildlife. As well as whales and dolphins we saw a seal, turtles, rays, big shoals of fish, kangaroos, a massive colony of bats and lots of interesting birds including my favourite the Brahminy Kite. 

Not the best cycling I ever done but definitely the best place I've ever cycled.

Happy pedalling

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Ride to point look out straddie plus strava fail!

Check out my 16.5 mi Ride on Strava:

OK so this is the ride to point lookout on straddie.  Well it would be if strava wasn't being a dick. I want expecting this but I have observed rule14and been a bad ass in bad weather.  Ride London pah! The practised route to the ferry was a breeze, the (boat) ride over to the island was smooth as but ominous clouds over the island were a warning. In short it was a bit dark over Bruce's mother's. 

What a ride though.  Very moist with roads turning to rivers and some good hills. I have to say the journey back might be testing because I had some good descents. 

Claudius once again proved a worthy companion and flip me the rabbits are big round here!

Well that's it for now I'm hoping for a bit of exploration this week so look out for more oz bike blogging. 

Happy pedalling

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

First Australian Ride: Straddie Ferry Reccie

How ya goin? Is the standard greeting out here in Queensland. I quite like it! I'm not sure if it's a genuine enquiry or a bit like a Northants 'alright?' Which is never to be answered with anything other than a return 'alright,' or at worst 'yeah you?' The standard reply appears to be 'good thanks.'  Today on my first Aussie ride I got lots of nods, the odd wave and a mix of hi and hey. Lycra loonies are the same the world over it seems.

The route today was a practise for tomorrow when we go on 'holiday' to North Stradbroke Island. My sister has bigged the place up to the max so I'm really excited. I sort of joked about making space in the car by biking to our holiday home destination of Point Lookout and like all good cyclists when others agreed I decided it had to be done. More on Straddie tomorrow when I've done the ride. Today 
it was about testing the route to the ferry using the 150km of cycle path the Queensland government 
have kindly provided in their quest to create an East coast cycleway. My steed for the day, which I have named Claudius, is my brother in law's full suspension Claude Butler Ark. As Andy (mention) used to sell these I believe he's a bit excited about seeing the old girl.

Standard view on the route

Disappointed no Koala's today

I do love a good war memorial

Made it to the ferry

Can't wait!

Dear KBC and NCC this is a cycle path!

Stuff like this is everywhere

View from the cycle path...slight improvement on the Grand Union Canal

Clearly marked

Some more good stuff

The route is a mix of dedicated cycle paths and clearly marked lanes on roads. Nothing had any sign of a pothole, I did not encounter broken glass and even the under path was decorated in a fantastic mural and did not smell of wee. I like it here...can you tell? My average was hampered by a few factors, Claudius is in good shape but isn't a fast bike and the rear suspension means you lose power transference climbing. I'm not complaining though, I'm quite taken by the classic red BRITISH bike. I did keep checking the route on Strava, which performed pretty well but unlike a dedicated sat nav doesn't have a way of keeping you on track. However like my bike for the holiday it's free so I won't be a whinging POM. Finally it's just so bloody stunning and interesting that I'm spending more time taking in the sites than getting my head down.

It's winter here now and the Aussies are saying it's cold. I've seen people in coats! Well to me it's warm. The weather forecast last night was hilarious. It was all doom and gloom and cold and rain! Well they've said that every day and it's dribbled down for five minutes about twice. So I checked the met office for Brisbane. What the Aussies warn of as big chance of rain, our lads in blighty were calling sunny intervals. Do check my pictures and make up your own mind!

One last thing. My ear worms on today's ride were bizarrely Supergrass - pumping on your stereo and more logically Madness Prince Buster because I sing that to my sisters dog Buster who we've all fallen in love with.

Buster Dog

So some things are the same and some things are different but there's one thing that remains ever constant: I absolutely flipping bloody love riding bikes.

Happy Pedalling