With overcast skies and my partner back at work, I was excited to hit the road on my deadly treadly. She’s still squeaking quite badly, either out of the rear derailleur mech or the bottom bracket so I was probably the loudest of the many bikes out today. But that didn’t stop me enjoying my ride.
I started by riding along wide roads from home to Carindale where I turned onto the Bulimba Creek Bikeway. This is an off-road bikeway that runs through a series of parks along Bulimba Creek. The path is generally quiet with just a few walkers and cyclists using it. This morning I did come across the tail end of a Park Run at Murrarie (there are five or six Park Runs in Brisbane). And there is a criterion track at Murrarie too, which can make things busy (and interesting spectating as the crit racers zip around). Unfortunately, there was no criterion on this morning. I love watching it because I used to race there as a teenager (C-class mens because there was no women’s competition).
At the end of the Bulimba Creek bikeway, I joined the often poorly signed Moreton Bay Cycleway over the Gateway Bridge. Unlike my ride over the bridge on Christmas Day, there were loads of cyclists and walkers on the track today. A large group of about twenty road cyclists at the top of the bridge taking a break at the viewing station. I decided to continue to the viewing platform half-way down the northern side of the bridge; it worked out well because this is the first time I’ve stopped here so I got some photos of the Brisbane River from a new perspective.
The Kedron Brook Cycleway intersects with the Moreton Bay Cycleway at Banyo, allowing me to continue my bikeway adventures. The Kedron Brook Cycleway is probably one of the most used and best known of all Brisbane’s cycleways. It runs from Mitchelton in the north-west to Nudgee Beach in the north-east. As the name suggests, it runs along Kedron Brook. It’s popular with families, runners and people walking their dogs. But the pathway is well-designed and you can usually pass people safely, either on the path or on the mowed grass alongside it.
From the Kedron Brook Cycleway I rode on the on-road cycleway to Victoria Park where I followed more off-road cycleways into the Brisbane CBD through Roma Street Parklands and across the river to Southbank. As much as I enjoy riding on cycleways, here the dangers that have been installed to protect cyclist safety became quite frustrating. The intersection above is a busy T-intersection but cyclists coming off the bridge (from where I’m standing to take this photo) are so busy trying not to hit the obstacles that there’s no chance to check for cyclists, runners or walkers crossing the top of the T. It’s an example of why non-cyclists should be banned from designing cycleways.
The West End cycleway was next on my list. This is a lovely path along the Brisbane River. Again, I have to make mention of the poor cycleway design we have in Brisbane: banana bars. These yellow bars are intended to stop cars or motorbikes from entering the cycleway but actually cause crashes because they are (a) invisible at night, (b) only wide enough for one bike to pass through at a time and (c) at handlebar and hand height. I sometimes choose to cycle on public roads next to cycle paths just so I don’t have to run the banana bar guantlet, particularly at night.
I stopped at the West End markets to buy one of my favourite treats: a Krazy Lemon drink. These deliciously sour refreshing bottles of sunshine are one of the best drinks for a long bike ride. I love the West End markets and the sight of people hanging out in the parks next to the markets. The fig tree roots make convenient bike parking and comfortable seats.
I rode slowly and carefully along the waterfront at South Bank, which is always packed on a summer’s day like today. Then I joined my final off-road cycleway for the day: the South-East Freeway Bikeway (aka the V1). This was one of Brisbane’s first cycleways. It is popular with commuters on weekday mornings and evenings. It is narrow and many sections of concrete have lifted due to the growth of tree roots. But this is more a reflection of this bikeway’s age; it was visionary for it’s day. I used to cycle this way to high school a couple of days a month (it was 50km each way to high school). The bikeway is mostly off-road for about 20km to Eight Mile Plains before it becomes an on-road cycleway (with some off-road sections) all the way to the Gold Coast: 100km from Brisbane.
I enjoyed the ride and was home on time to make lunch.
Total: 114.2km road cycle