You don't often get the time to go on a long ride but sometimes the urge to get on the bike can be placated by having a number of short rides up your sleeve. So to-day, I am going to post a short ride that can be had around Cleveland and one that most people can partake in, even if it takes a little modification which equates to cutting out the hills.
A good starting point is Harbourside because it is right next to the Cleveland Railway Station.
On leaving Harbourside, follow the path towards the station. On the right as you approach the station car park, take the lane way which will lead you into Nautilus Drive. At the junction of Nautilus with Bainbridge there is an entrance to Ormiston Park. At this point there is a decision to make depending on how fit you feel at the time, whether you wish to include some fitness training by climbing the three hills leading off Raby Bay Esplanade, guaranteed to raise the heart rate in all but the best riders. The other option is to continue to the northern end of the park to take in the awesome seascapes but if you elect this option you will miss the thrill of coasting downhill and also the birds eye view from the top.
Retracing your steps, the next point of interest is Harbourside, which has it's own marina and abundant cafes, restaurants and bars to satisfy most tastes. I often have a coffee at Coffee Secrets when on a local ride and The Hog's Breath for a refreshing beer on return from a long ride.
|Endevour Canal with Ormiston Park and the Sleeth Street hill in the background|
On leaving Harbourside, proceed along Masthead Drive until you reach Portsmouth Place where you will see an entrance leading to a series of paths in Raby Bay Foreshore Park. This is a very popular bayside park particularly on beautiful sunny days as it attracts locals and visitors alike to swim in it's calm waters, having family picnics, relaxing on the beaches or taking the dog for a swim.
The path follows the beach line all the way until exiting onto Masthead Drive.
The French may be able to take their favoured pooch into a restaurant but do they have a dedicated beach for their beloved dog and their devoted owners to enjoy.
On re-entering Masthead Drive, turn to the right and continue until turning left into Bowsprit Parade. You may either continue to ride on road or you may elect to use the path through the parks until reaching and turning left into Paxton Street. On your right you will see an entrance to Raby Harbour Foreshore Park.
|Raby Harbour Foreshore Park|
|Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink!|
Raby Harbour Foreshore Park has a number of claims to fame including having a production team from Angelina Jolie's latest film "Unbroken" working from here. It is also a favourite spot to launch a kayak.
|Raby Harbour Foreshore Park with Cleveland point in the background|
Follow the path back and continue to take the left fork until you reach Shore Street North leading to Cleveland Point.
The Lighthouse Restaurant and Cafe on Cleveland Point is a favourite of mine to break the ride and savour a cup of coffee. It is particularly good when there is a high tide and the waves crash against the sea wall. Not so long ago, I was sitting having a cup of coffee and watching the wave action when a couple walked in and took a table right next to the front wall. They weren't there more than a couple of minutes when this wave broke close to the wall and almost drenched the couple sitting there. It was obvious they weren't local otherwise they wouldn't have taken that particular table when the bay is turbulant. They did however manage to laugh about their mistake and the locals gave that all knowing wry smile.
It shouldn't be a problem finding your way back to the station but if it is, take a peek at your map.
Distance: 20.55 km
Degree of difficulty: Easy
Surface: Bitumen roads and cement paths
Family friendly: Very
Useful information :http://www.redland.qld.gov.au/RecreationFacilities/Cycling/Pages/default.aspx
If using a smart phone link with http://www.mapmyride.com/my_home/