Tag Archives: Redlands

Kayaking Coochie

Kayaking Coochie by Andrew Gills
Kayaking Coochie, a photo by Andrew Gills on Flickr.

A half metre swell, four children under eight, two kayaks and team Whoops Witch Way. It was a morning to be grateful for.

There’s a joy in the way children see the world. Mangrove trees poking their tops out of the water at high tide amazes them. The waves bring excitement. And a stop on the beach is a chance to frolic in the sea.

In a world that’s so serious and focused on results, the joy of taking children into the outdoors is such a reward.

Total: 2 hours kayaking

Back on the MTB

Lorikeets sang their twittering song. Magpies warbled to the sun. My tyres scrunched over the gravely single track. What better music to wake up to.

This morning was the first opportunity I’ve had to ride trails with my new clipless pedals, handlebar grips, chain and cassette, and off-road tyres. Boy, what a difference it made! I felt a much stronger connection through my bike and to the ground.

By being clipped in I could focus on my balance and cadence, rather than on whether my feet would slip from the pedals. This made it easier to negotiate logs and rocks, as well as making tight turns feel more natural. I was also able to climb more easily through the increased power that comes from having an upstroke, not just a downward push. Hills I’ve never climbed became manageable and I got further up other hills that I am not yet fit enough to ride up.

The new handlebar grips with me something firm to hold onto and aren’t sticky like my old ones. They were worn down to the smooth inner rubber that became a gluey mess in the heat. I even think I might need to get myself some riding gloves now that I have the new grips (I haven’t ridden in gloves since I was a teenager – not on road or off).

The new chain and cassette ensured I could actually hear the birds singing instead of the squeak of my old rusty number turning through worn cogs.

And what can I say about the sensation of riding with off-road tyres instead of the hybrid road ones I used to use. It was just a whole new experience. I actually could take turns in gravel without the bike wanting to go straight ahead.

I’m excited about the upcoming adventure racing season now that I have set my bike up. All that’s left to do is to install the new brake cables I bought yesterday so that I don’t have to squeeze the levers all the way back to the handlebars to get any cessation of momentum.

Total: 14.63km MTB

Walking the trails with Mum

You're Kidding, Bayview Conservation Park

You’re Kidding, Bayview Conservation Park

Mum and I went walking this morning. It was fantastic. I introduced her to some new trails, including You’re Kidding. We covered 7.6km in the warm summer sunshine.

My SIJ injury is still giving me trouble. It’s been a month today and I’m still having some bad days. I’m going to see Mum’s friend tomorrow who is a Chinese medicine practitioner and then the physio on Thursday. If it’s not settling by Thursday I’m going to let the physio send me to a sports physician for scans and a cortozone injection. While I am loath to get an injection, I am starting to think the physio might be right that I need to do something to break the cycle of inflammation that seems to have set in. While SIJ injuries are slow, I’ve read that five weeks is a long time, especially when I’m seeing the physio every week and am actively doing my ‘homework’.

Total: 7.6km walk

Walking at running club

Victoria Point jetty

Victoria Point jetty

After last night’s mistake, I woke early and found my way to Victoria Point where the Brisbane Bayside Runners and Walkers have our regular Saturday morning run. This morning is the last Saturday of the month so we had our monthly time trial. I’ve only attended two previous time trials but turned up this morning because the club was holding a charity event for Young Care.

William Wragg (who was a special guest at our club this morning) is running 50 marathons in 50 days to raise money for Young Care.Young Care provide support to young people with disabilities and their families. The charity tries to help them get out of aged care homes and into more suitable accommodation. Both William’s epic adventure (he will be completing marathon #50 on 2 December) and his personal story of moving from being chronically injured to achieving this amazing feat are totally inspiring.  I look forward to running with him in the future because I can see so much of my own injury struggle and philosophy to running in his story (especially after chatting with him this morning). William is sharing his journey on his blog and I encourage you to have a look.

This morning at the time trial, everyone donated a gold coin (or a little more) and nominated a time they thought they would complete the 5km course in. The closest to their nominated time was the winner. I nominated 52 minutes for the 5km because I was walking it. I came close, finishing in 53:36 after enjoying a very social time with Bruce and Tony, who also walked the course.

I’m just about to head out to our annual Christmas picnic for the day. There is also a party at the pub tonight and I would like to go but also want to spend some time with my partner, who I have barely seen this week. So the picnic will have to do … I need to be around my friends right now to feel their support and share laughs rather than get caught in my own head.

Total: 5km walk

Brisbane Koala Bushland Reserve and Buhot Creek Reserve

Pretty trees in Buhot Creek Reserve

Pretty trees in Buhot Creek Reserve

The forecast this morning predicted heavy rain and storms but I had no intention of staying indoors today. I am enjoying being back outdoors and walking is good for my recovery. So I wrote down some geocache coordinates in the Brisbane Koala Bushland Reserve and Buhot Creek Reserve. My route would require me to walk about 10km if I wanted to search for each of the caches I wrote down.

Brisbane Koala Bushland Reserve

Brisbane Koala Bushland Reserve

I started in the Brisbane Koala Bushland Reserve. The 2.5.km return walk to the geocache was mostly along bitumen trails that have been installed to make this beautiful park accessible to a wider range of people, including the elderly and people who use wheelchairs. The hum of cicadas was deafening, exascerbating the oppressive humidity with the way their sound almost felt like a physical presence. Not that I’m complaining: I quite like our humid summers because sweating makes me feel like I’ve exercised. Frogs added their song to that of the cicadas, especially as I walked through the low-lying areas and across the boardwalks. It felt like home.


Buhot Creek Reserve

Buhot Creek Reserve

Dam in Buhot Reserve

Dam in Buhot Reserve

After successfully finding the geocache in the Brisbane Koala Bushland Reserve, I rode my motorbike the 2km to Buhot Creek Reserve where I set off in search of another 13 geocaches. I came here earlier in the week and explored a few of the trails but today I had more time so I could travel further into the reserve. Buhot Creek Reserve is incredibly varied. It has narrow reed-filled creeks, lilly-covered ponds and dams, and black water swamps. It also has acres of thick lantana weeds, open bushland and thick scrub. I spent three sweaty hours exploring the trails and managed to find ten of the thirteen caches I searched for; the other three eluded me.

Geocaching scratches on my calf

Geocaching scratches on my calf

Other than the risk of seeing a snake, the most dangerous thing about geocaching is getting scratched up by prickled weeds and plants, and sharp blades of grass. This makes it quite a safe passtime for the whole family. Some caches are hidden near roads and trails, while others are located hundreds of metres off trails through untracked bushland. I found my share of such bush-bash caches today. I also took some nice shortcuts.

Fortunately, the rain stayed away for the most part. There were a few heavy showers but the area I walked in didn’t get any of the strong storms that the city expierenced. Not that I would have minded: summer rain is warm anyway.

Total: 10km walk and 11 geocaches found




Morning walk

JC Trotter Memorial Park

JC Trotter Memorial Park

I met with K from running club this morning for a walk at JC Trotter Memorial Park. K has injured her achilles so is also unable to run.

I played tour guide to K, who hadn’t explored these trails before. We had a lovely time getting to know each other (it was our first time meeting). The 4.5km walk was probably a bit too fast for my SIJ because I felt it afterwards but I don’t think I did too much harm (or at least nothing the physio wasn’t able to fix this morning).



Walking trails in White's Hill Reserve

Walking trails in White’s Hill Reserve

I had an hour to kill between my walk and physio appointment so I rode my motorbike down to White’s Hill Reserve where I went for an easy 1.5km walk. I’ve never been to White’s Hill Reserve despite it being only about 30km from my home. I’m glad I went there this morning because it’s lovely. The reserve is hillier than JC Trotter Park so it will be a good place to add to my trail running regime once I’m back into it.

I found a geocache while there and still have about half a dozen left to find so will be back. I focused on technique while I was walking at White’s Hill. That might sound strange, given I was ‘only’ walking but I think that my walking technique will feed my running technique. My focus today was on short gentle steps, rather than on extending my stride (which is what I unintentionally did while walking with K).

Total: 6km walk and 2 geocaches found.

JC Trotter Memorial Park

Lakeside morning

Lakeside morning

After yesterday morning’s return to training, I was excited to jump out bed to hit the trails again today (though I my exit from bed was more a slow roll because my back won’t yet allow me to jump). Instead of returning to Buhot Creek, I went instead to JC Trotter Memorial Park. This little patch of bush is near Buhot Creek where I was yesterday. I was drawn there  by three geocaches that promised easy finding and plenty of walking between each cache. And the fact that I’d never been here before.

Ancient grass tree family

Ancient grass tree family


Nature's stories

Nature’s stories


Mmmm ... soft

Mmmm … soft

JC Trotter Memorial Park is delightful! It will be an excellent addition to my trail running when I am able to run again. But for now, it made for lovely walking. I think there’s plenty to see along the trails. There’s sculptural ancient grass trees that stand over a metre tall and look like little families. Mother Nature has written her stories on the bark of scribbly gum trees. And multiple varieties of grasses grow along the track, including some whispy long soft grasses that look like they would make a comfortable mattress.

The view through the 'window'

The view through the ‘window’

The geocaches I found were all large and easy to locate, unlike the challenging little micros I searched for yesterday. One was hilarious because it was a bucket with a toilet seat on top of it placed in a hollowed out tree. The tree had a ‘window’ in it, which made the cache look a bit like the small room we all have in our homes. The view through the ‘window’ was pretty and really encapsulated the atmosphere of JC Trotter Memorial Park.

I ended up walking 5.25km and felt good afterwards. I didn’t experience any pain during my walk, though I think perhaps it was slightly too far because I had some slight pain after I rode my motorbike to work (nothing like the pain I have been experiencing though). The really promising thing is that my calves and shins are still feeling great after my walks: no shin splints.

My physio is going to try to hook me up with a local guy who does chi running. I think it will be good to learn some new techniques in my quest to return to running and enjoy the sport injury-free. During my walk I tried to focus a little bit on keeping my body aligned and using gravity to my advantage. I tried taking small steps and having my feet land under me, rather than in front. It’s not a scientific approach but I’m just trying new things to see what might work.

Total: 5.25km walk and 3 geocaches found

Scene from Monday’s cycle commute

We have a local flower farm

We have a local flower farm

I cheated on Monday morning by accepting a lift to work with my partner. She was heading into ‘town’ to use the gym so we packed my bicycle in her car and I arrived at work unaffected by sweat. My excuse is that I was tired from the long day out in the weather on Sunday.

I did still ride home though and it was lovely.

Total: 12.9km cycle home


A ride with friends

Quiet roads and cheerful company

I haven’t been road cycling with my running friends in a little while. Our schedules just haven’t linked up in months. So it was a great pleasure to meet up this morning to enjoy the early morning sunshine and quiet roads together.

The girls met at a coffee shop in Redland Bay at 5:30am. I was running late so they met me a kilometre or two down the road. The sun was already rising steadily into the sky and the humidity was starting to thicken the air. For the first section of our ride, we rode with the early morning commuter traffic. Fortunately, the roads here in our area are wide so the cars and trucks could wizz by without scaring us.

At about the 6km mark we turned left down quiet semi-rural roads. We spread out across the entire road, making the most of the opportunity to talk and laugh. I used my mirror to keep an eye out for potential traffic behind us, but we had the road to ourselves for about 5km.

Back on the main road, we rode towards the commuter traffic for the rest of our loop. We passed a few horses and cattle, as well as wide empty paddocks of grass and trees. The last section of our ride took us over the seven sisters; seven short sharp rolling hills. After whooping down each hill we rolled as far up the next as possible before cranking to the top and whooping down the next hill. It was a lot of fun.

I left the girls at the coffee shop because I needed to head a work commitment to rush off to.

Total: 31.34km cycle

Mountain biking with friends


Heading down Grass Trees track

R messaged me yesterday afternoon to invite me out mountain biking in Bayview  Conservation Park with M, a mutual friend’s husband. I jumped at the chance for some social exercise.

At 7am we saddled up and hit the trails. We rode a mix of fire trail and single track enjoying a yarn and laugh along the way. R and I managed to stay upright but poor M ate dirt three times. He didn’t hurt himself though so it was funny.


Goanna in tree

We saw a goanna while out riding. R spotted it. All I heard was scurrying in the bush and I hoped it wasn’t a big snake.

Total: about 15km mountain biking.