What better way to celebrate Australia Day than with an all out shakedown ride on my new bike. And what a shakedown ride I gave it. I spent the day covering 108km (67 miles) of road, trails and paths. The only issue was that the seatpost kept slipping. I ended up putting duct tape around the seatpost to reduce the slippage. Hopefully the bike shop can help fix this on Saturday when I next have a chance to go in to see them.
My first destination was the Eat Bake Grow markets. They are just 5km from my home and are held every second Sunday morning. The Goat Pie Guy attends these markets and was my main reason for attending. His pies are to die for. Sure, a goat meat pie is not the healthiest of breakfast choices but boy did it taste good.
After my pie, I caught up with my friends Lisa and Colin for a ride through Bayview Conservation Park and the surrounding areas. I first met Lisa when we were both at Toastmasters together and then our paths crossed again when she joined the running club I was with. We’ve stayed in touch through Facebook and it turns out that we are now both getting into cycle touring.
I played host, showing Lisa and Colin around the fire trails and a short section of easy single track in Bayview. We also rode some of the surrounding roads to make a large loop. I had a billy, three mugs, and tea and hot chocolate in my seat post bag, and a 2L water bladder in my handlebar bag. Lisa and Colin had brought three muffins and apples with them. It made for the perfect morning tea: I think I like this touring style riding. The Vivente handled fantastically on the trails, which gives me confidence for the traveling I want to do on the bike.
After our ride through Bayview, I swapped back to my clip-in MTB shoes (I wore sandals on the gravel) and rode to Fort Lytton National Park. The park, which is a historic site, is only open Sundays and, while I’ve lived in Brisbane my whole life, I’ve never been there before. The national park is surrounded on all sides by the heavy industry of the Port of Brisbane. It just adds to the atmosphere of this museum about the defense of Brisbane.
While forts and the like are common in Europe, the UK and, possibly, the US, they are rare here in Australia. So it was really cool to explore. Fort Lytton was built in 1880 and was abandoned after WWII, during which it was only used as a secondary defense. The fort is now home to a selection of big guns from the different periods of its history.
It’s a pretty relaxed place. While there are barriers to prevent you from going too close to most of the guns, a couple have been left unroped. Once a month, two of the guns are fired out over the mouth of the Brisbane River. I took the self-guided tour and, while I read a about all the different guns and stories, I am not a history buff so to me they are all just cool big guns.
Fort Lytton also has three small museums. I love motorbikes so I have to share a photo of this groovy old Royal Enfield military bike. I think it would be seriously fun to ride one of these.
After the fort I rode back along the waterfront at Manly, Wynnum and Lota. A headwind buffeted me and it was all I could do to keep the bike moving forward. The wind didn’t let up the whole way home. While on a racing bike I would feel stressed by the slow 15kph (9mph) speed, the touring bike just made me feel like I was on holidays so I enjoyed the extra time to take in the sights.
Instead of taking the road straight home, I rode down to Lota Creek, where I watched the fishermen
Old boats hung on mooring lines and at the end of home made jetties that criss crossed the tidal swamps on the banks of Lota Creek.
Finally, I rode home, taking time to stop at the Lutheran Church at Mt Cotton to take one final photo.