Sunday, 21 December 2014

CLEVELAND loop via Ormiston, Alexandra Hills, Thornlands and Cleveland Point.

It is quite easy to form a habit of riding the same route over and over again  but it doesn't have to be like that. Merely by changing the route slightly by adding a climb into the ride or an unfamiliar trail, the whole aspect of the ride can change and therefore doesn't have to become boring.

Two friends and I started the ride at Cleveland Harbourside climbing 3 consecutive hills in the first 10 minutes, the last two although short, had a gradient of approximately 20% which was enough to get the blood pumping through the veins. These hills are in the suburb of Ormiston, (Dundas Street East and Sleeth Street) and are excellent for training purposes. As an added advantage, the views overlooking Raby Bay from the top are spectacular.

Platypus Corridor

We continued on, weaving our way through a number of forested reserves changing from cement paths to dirt tracks following the creek line until we entered Alexandra Hills.

The ride takes you through 14 forested areas and park lands, in 35 km.

This route took us to Cleveland Point where we stopped at one of our favorite refresher stops, The Lighthouse Restaurant, where we ensconced ourselves for a short period sipping coffee etc. whilst engaging the view.

From here it was only a short ride of 4 km back to our start point.

As Christmas is only a few days away I would like to wish all of my readers a very happy and safe festive season.


Jimmy Bee

Thursday, 11 December 2014


The Peddling Pathfinders are part of the University of the Third Age ( U3A), Redlands group and was initially set up to search out paths, trails and roads suitable for the much larger Peddling for Pleasure group from the same organisation. We ride every Friday unless the weather is unsuitable and often take a train to the start of the ride and back again on completion. As we are purely recreational riders, the aim is more to the social side than speed and personal bests and apart from experiencing better health, the enjoyment is gained through riding in a variety of different locations around Brisbane. Each year, the number of suitable paths and trails expand and a lot of them actually criss-cross which offers a number of alternatives and variations, particularly if combining rail travel because you can start the ride from one station and finish at another. Our group is small and controllable which is a plus when crossing major roads, it is also easier seating 8 riders rather than 20 when stopping for coffee.

The benefits of riding with a group of friends are many:

You get to share great cafes and have a lot of laughs

There is safety in numbers and we support each other when things go wrong.

Cycling is an excellent form of exercise and it is much more enjoyable doing it together.

Taking in nature at it's best.

Sharing a conversation en route on the train.

or on a ferry.

Even doing the hard yards pushing up hill.

Some of us even wear outrageous socks.

Whilst others just don't give a damn,

All of this and more is a whole lot of fun when riding in a small group.


Jimmy Bee

Monday, 1 December 2014


Lady in red

After reading the title you are probably wondering who Poinciana is. She is a gorgeous, voluptuous redhead which slips into and out of my life once a year. In fact, the poinciana is a beautiful flowering tree which, when in bloom signals the coming of Christmas. This year however it burst into bloom far earlier than in other years, possibly alerting us to the fact that we are in for a very hot festive season. In all of the years I have lived in the Redlands, I have never experienced a spectacle such as we are experiencing now with these trees in full bloom. Streets of vivid red with just a dash of white.

Red heads are the order of the day

Quite voluptuous

We, in Australia are still in our spring season but a visitor to our fine land may well be mistaken for thinking they had arrived in the middle of summer. Just  recently, I had a friend from England arrive and although she has experienced our summers at their worst, coming from a northern hemisphere summer to the heat we are experiencing at the moment, was quite a shock and it is taking a while for her to become acclimatized.

Manly Harbour

Last week, the Pathfinders decided to ride to Manly for our weekly ride. Although this is a frequent ride for us it never becomes boring as there are a number of routes that can be taken which make for a more interesting ride. 

Wellington Point with King Island in the background

The ride from Cleveland Harbour to Wellington Point was slightly different in that we chose to cruise down the hill leading to the Point and then just to make it a little more interesting on the way back, we ascended the hill on the eastern side via a series of steps with just sufficient room on the side to wheel our bikes up.

Thorneside, Qld.

Birkdale, Qld.

As the next stage involved riding through Thorneside and Birkdale, we stayed on the cycle path following the coast line as much as possible. Like all of our cross suburb rides there is a necessity to ride on some back streets but these do not present any problems as they are in excellent condition and traffic volume is low.

Lota Creek boardwalk, Qld.
Lota, Qld.

From Birkdale to Manly is another pleasant section, crossing wetlands via boardwalks and bridges to Lota and then following the pathway to Coopers Restaurant and cafe, situated on the water in Manly. Although we do vary our coffee stop from time to time, Coopers seems to be the favorite, mainly due to the view, openness and the friendly staff.

Sensational view

On the way back, it's just a matter of retracing  the same route back to Cleveland. We vary our rides to and from Manly quite a lot. but unless you are a local or love riding with a map in your hand, it's best to stay on the beaten track and I have to say that it is the most scenic route.

Cleveland to Manly via Wellington Point, Qld.

If you haven't done this ride now is a good time to think about it.......another great ride with the beautiful poinciana's in full bloom as an added bonus.

Flaming Red, Bold, Beautiful and Voluptuous 

Although this route is approximately 55 km long, it is quite easy, however, if you are feeling the pinch, you can always hop on a train from Manly, Lota, Thorneside or Wellington Point back to Cleveland.

I use Map my Ride for simplicity and elevation information. Become a member (free) and find similar rides within the area and elsewhere.

Cheers and safe riding,
Jimmy Bee