I was looking for somewhere different to ride today. Somewhere fun, relaxed and interesting. Ideally, after last weekend’s tough 200km, I wanted somewhere easy. So, when Mum asked me whether I wanted to go riding with her today, it didn’t take long for us to agree on a ride down at the Gold Coast.
We drove for about an hour down to Mermaid Beach. While I had originally suggested riding from Southport, Mum had the brilliant idea to drive further south to avoid riding through the busy Broadbeach / Surfers Paradise areas. It turned out to be a good decision because it allowed us a more relaxed and chatty cruise.
Neither of us have cruising bikes so we looked a little out of place cruising the shared pathways on our racing machines but we still only rode at 13kph (8mph), so were riding in the summer holiday spirit.
We rode about 3km before stopping for fish and chips at Burleigh Heads. It was quite a delicious feed and fueled the rest of our afternoon. We soon reached the gate that separates the shared pathway from the pedestrian only path around the Burleigh Heads. I suggested we dismount and walk around, and Mum readily agreed. After-all, we had come to catch up and enjoy the scenery. I live just over an hour from here and have never walked around this headland.
From Burleigh Heads we crossed Talebudgera Creek. We used to come here on family camping trips when I was a child, so it brought back good memories of days spent paddling surf skis on the creek with my sisters and parents. Boys still jump off the bridge into the deep part of the creek and families still take shelter from the sun under the trees. I guess that no matter how much things change, some things stay the same.
We continued southwards, riding on as many pathways as we could. Sometimes this meant we had to ride on grass and sand, making it feel like we were on a real adventure. Through the old suburb of Palm Beach we ran out of pathways and had to ride on the road one street back from the beach; I’m glad they’ve stopped building right up on the beach now because the sea front should be publicly accessible.
We crossed Currumbin Creek and watched the SUP riders practicing their skills. There must be a hire place nearby because on the western (other) side of the bridge, there were tens of riders all drifting around. It was really cool – perhaps something to do one weekend.
And then we were back on the waterfront pathways rolling into Coolangatta where we stopped for ice blocks and a rest in the shade of a pandanus palm. As we rode back the way we had come, we found some pathways we had missed on the way down and managed to get ourselves a bit geographically embarrassed, ending up on private waterfront properties but fortunately the residents didn’t say anything.
We reached Tallebudgera Creek at around 3pm and thunder clouds were gathering in the west. Mum had brought her togs and I know how much she likes to swim, so I suggested she use the change rooms at the creek and take a dip. I knew it would still be about an hour before we reached the car again and I didn’t want her to miss out after the temperatures dropped off a bit. I enjoyed watching everyone in the water but didn’t feel like getting in.
Once across the creek we again walked around the Burleigh Heads rather than riding over the road. We enjoyed views of Surfers Paradise and the beaches to the north through the pandanus trees.
And watched the surfers catch some small waves at the point. The surf was definitely not up but I think the surfers were probably still having a good time. Shortly after this, we arrived back at the car to end our day out.
Total: 7km ride + 33.9km ride.