Thursday, 27 June 2013

*CYCLING PARK TO PARK, BRISBANE, QLD. AUS. -- Newstead Park to Norman Park

The bike way runs along the waterfront with Brisbane skyline in the background.

This ride takes you on  bike ways which run along the side of the Brisbane River for most of the journey and as such makes it one of the most picturesque rides in Australia.

File:StateLibQld 1 115048 Unidentified sailing ships moored at Eagle Street Wharves, Brisbane, ca. 1885.jpg

This is a good representation as to how the  upper scene would have looked in the mid to late 1800's

This waterfront is steeped in history. Up until quite recently, this was all wharf area originally  servicing sailing ships bringing whatever was needed in starting up a new colony including  wide eyed migrants from the other side of the world with expectations of making a new life for themselves and their families. My own family ancestors would have been on one or other of those ships in the mid 1800's as they originated from Ireland, Scotland and England. If only they could see it now.

File:StateLibQld 1 186675 United States Army base at Bulimba during World War II.jpg
American forces base in Bulimba, Qld. with troopship in the background

During World War 2, Brisbane was the staging post for the battle of the Pacific with General Douglas MacArthur's headquarters located here. As well as our own troops, there were thousands of Americans and hundreds of warships moving in and out of Brisbane during these turbulent years.

The entrance to Breakfast Creek from the Brisbane River

 As this ride is from Newstead park to Norman Park, we start from the entrance to Breakfast Creek which runs adjacent to the northern side of the park. Just for your information, there are some fantastic rides on the other side of this creek as well, a number of which I have already posted about.



Above are an assortment of views on this bike way as it makes it's way from Newstead Park through Teneriffe, New Farm, Brisbane City, past the City Botanic Gardens, across the Goodwill Bridge to South Brisbane.

After crossing the Brisbane River the ride meanders through Kangaroo Point, East Brisbane to Norman Park. Following are a number of views of this stretch of the south side of the river.



This ride is suitable for the family, being 36km long and if this proves to be too long there is the option of catching a ferry back from several ferry terminals along the way.

Brisbane may not be the tourist mecca of the world but it is a great place to live. Perhaps I am wrong with this statement, as a British Rugby Union fan visiting our beautiful city a short time ago said,  "In Brisbane you don't have to make plans you just hit the town and wing it for a fantastic time."

Cheers and safe riding,

Jimmy Bee

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

CYCLING CLIFTON, QLD. AUS. -- Cambooya return via Nobby


I know I have stated this before, but this part of the Darling Downs in Queensland is truly a great place to ride. Why?......well, for a start it is only 2 hours drive from Brisbane and 40 minutes from Toowoomba if you strike serious mechanical problems with your bike. All of the rides could be classed as easy to moderate depending on your level of fitness. The road surfaces are mainly sealed but there are a few dirt roads which can cause you a little grief after rain. There are enough hills to get the pulse rate up but although long, the gradient would only vary between 2 and 4 percent. You can experience four seasons within the year but not to the extreme. At the height of summer you can experience some hot days and in winter early frosts and of course the dreaded westerlies in August. I am only an intermediate recreational cyclist and have experienced all of the above conditions from time to time but nothing that has caused me any real angst. When you ride through the varying panoramic vistas throughout the district the rest pales into insignificance. The routes will take you from east to west and north to south and it is just as easy to spend a week here as it is a day and the traffic is generally light.
Clifton to Cambooya.......55 km return
I wasn't aware of the potential of this ride until a friend pointed it out as being an alternate route to Toowoomba but with the fraction of the traffic one would encounter on the New England Highway. My wife and I decided to check it out  and I found to my delight that it would make an excellent ride that would be of interest to both the riders of road bikes and hybrids alike.
My brother in law and I decided to ride it on a beautiful morning over the Easter weekend. The ride to Cambooya was pleasant and we encountered very light traffic, possibly because it was a holiday. We took our time whilst admiring the many and differing rural views particularly as we were climbing the only hill on the route.
Cambooya is another small rural town servicing the many small crop farmers within it's district. We took the opportunity to take on fuel at a local cafe and admired the well known Bull and Barley Hotel which has the reputation of serving delicious meals (click on the blue print for a direct link).
 There are a couple of other roads between Cambooya and Clifton but, as we were both heading back home after the Easter break, we decided, due to time constraints, to backtrack along the same route.
Map courtesy of "Map my Ride"
 I find that Map my Ride maps are easy to use and due to incorporating the elevation are invaluable when planning an exploratory ride.
Cheers and safe riding,
Jimmy Bee

Tuesday, 4 June 2013


As I stated in my last post "The Gap",  you can either retrace your ride from The Gap to where you started the ride or alternatively, follow Enoggera Creek to Albion Railway Station.

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The above map only depicts where the overall route can take you including possible start and finish points. Each kilometer of the ride is flagged with a number. The alternative route along Enoggera Creek starts at flag 12, St. Johns Wood and finishes with the red flag (partially obscured at the top of the map) which is Albion Railway Station.

When looking at the above collage, you can imagine being in a nice serene setting to while away some time or maybe to contemplate and solve a problem you may have.

When the flooding rains come, this creek becomes a whirling mass  of water capable of taking out bridges and inundating houses causing millions of dollars of damage. Mother Nature has a way of letting us know who is boss.

When riding, I'm always on the lookout for beautiful or unusual architecture to photograph. The above photographs show some of the house designs found around the inner suburbs of Brisbane and originally built in the earlier part of the 20th century and of course, beautifully kept or renovated. Having owned and lived in this type of house over the years, I found them to be suitable to the Queensland climate with their large, open planning and high ceilings, allowing for the flow of air and having sufficient windows, suitably situated to catch the prevailing breezes. I often wondered about the stories and family secrets these homes held of the previous occupiers. It's almost as if wood has a soul, as you can feel it move  and hear it creak at night and you sense that it really does have something to tell you.

Is this building a blight on the urban landscape or could it, with a bit of  architectural flair and ability, be turned into a beautiful urban landmark, perhaps a number of theatres with associated bars and restaurants. What do you think, if you had the money, would you put it at the mercy of the wreckers ball or would you prefer to see it turn into something admired by many. So many buildings these days, tall and small alike,  are put up just to turn a dollar, they have no identity, just beige and lifeless.

Here is an imaginative bit of window dressing which made an ugly road system more easy on the eye. When taking this photograph, my eye was drawn to the blending of colours, line, form and texture and I found it somehow compelling to capture it.

This is the type of ride to take on a weekend after a week in the workplace you would rather forget. It can be ridden alone, with a friend or the whole family, it is an urban escape and you have earned it, now enjoy it.

Cheers and safe riding,

Jimmy Bee