What a fantastic day! I discovered some cool dedicated cycleways all over Brisbane and found 25 geocaches while out cycling just under 150km. I spent the whole day out; leaving home at 6:15am and arriving back home at 5:00pm.
I woke early and spent a couple of hours getting ready. This included frying up a batch of banana and ground almond drop scones. I bought some pre-packaged foods yesterday afternoon to take with me but needed a few more calories.
It was a perfect day for cycling. Of the 146.62km I completed, about 120km were on bicycle paths, whether on-road or through parks. I never knew Brisbane had so many cycle ways. I realised when I was using Geocaching.com to set my route. I decided on the route by deciding which 35-odd geocaches I was going to look for.
After about 30km of riding along roads, many with cycleways, I came to the Bulimba Creek Cycleway. This followed Bulimba Creek through parklands almost to the Gateway Bridge, which crosses the Brisbane River.
The Bulimba Creek Cycleway took me past a model plane club, which was in full swing. I stopped briefly to watch the competing planes zooming around in the air. It also went past the Murrarie criterium track where waves of cyclists were racing around and around. I used to race criterium when I was a junior so it brought back fond memories (though it didn’t make me want to take up the speedy version of cycling again).
I crossed the Brisbane River over the Gateway Bridge and then followed a few roads down to the Kedron Brook Cycleway. This cycleway follows Kedron Brook all the way to Nudgee Beach. It was busy on the cycleway, with cyclists of all varieties going about their days. Triathletes raced past with their deep rim wheels and triathlon bars. They were easy to identify because they were going fast and just rushing past everyone else. Touring cyclists cruised along enjoying the scenery with handlebar bags, panniers or rackless seat post bags. Parents rode beaten up old KMart bikes while they supervised children on BMXes. And road cyclists heading to the nearby criterium track (I passed two criterium tracks on my ride today) rode in bunches spinning lightly as their team lycra shimmered in the heat. There were even a few helmet-less people on really old bikes.
When I arrived at Nudgee Beach I remembered how lovely it is here. This is an under-rated little bayside suburb. It has an estuary where fisherman, kayakers and boaters play. It also has a bayside beach, which is protected by North Stradbroke Island. The water here is shallow for a long way out so the beach goes out a long way when the tide is out. I took a short lunch break in the park.
After Nudgee Beach I continued to follow the off-street bikeway north to the Boondall Wetlands. The Wetlands have grassland and bushland. They are pretty to ride through and visit. Birds sang in the trees and families rode along the bikeway. It was hot by now. My GPS said that it was 35’C (95’F). But I’m feeling fit and strong, and had plenty of water with me so I didn’t mind the heat too much. Though I didn’t put as much suncream on as I thought because I have some burnt patches on my skin where I missed spots.
The parkland cycleways ended at the Boondall Wetlands, the most northern point of my ride. From here, I followed Sandgate Road to the city. I used to cycle this road to work many years ago before the cycleway was created and it was a much more pleasant ride today with the cycleway. The scenery isn’t inspiring; the road is just a major arterial. But it’s pleasant riding because the road surface is fantastic.
I stopped in the inner-city suburb of Tenneriffe to find a couple of geocaches and ride along the river. One of the geocaches was in a new park from which I could see the highrises in our Brisbane CBD, including the tall skyscraper.
After the city I rode home down the South-East Freeway Cycleway, which I rode on Wednesday after my physio appointment. The ride was uneventful and I enjoyed the cruise. By the time I got to the shops 15km from home I had been out on my bike for over 10 hours and had found 25 geocaches. I decided that was as good excuse as any to buy a can of Coke and shelter in the shade of the petrol station before making the final push.
I had a magnificent day out. Even the four magpie attacks didn’t dampen my spirits.
Total: 146.62km. Average moving speed: 21.1kph. Average speed (including searching for geocaches): 13.7kph. Maximum temperature: 35’C (95’F). Elevation gain: 1,483m (nice and flat). Calories burned: 5,182.