Friday, 27 July 2012


It's quite amazing how many times you can just pass a beautiful area in suburbia whilst commuting by car and be absolutely ignorant of what you are passing. This is another good reason to take the time to research and explore to enjoy. In this particular instance, the area I'm referring to is on either side of the Carindale bridge crossing Bulimba Creek on Old Cleveland Road. I can understand commuters not knowing about the fabulous facilities that exist in this vicinity as I know myself, that if you take a quick glance to the right or left as you cross the bridge there is nothing to excite the senses, but if you take the time to research the area (a simple look at a street directory is sufficient) you will be amazed what it has to offer and only a few kilometres from the city centre.


Apart from the well known Pacific Golf Club, there are picnic areas galore, children's playgrounds and a well maintained shared bicycle/pedestrian path (Bulimba Creek Bikeway) which runs from Wishart to Murrarie. It's a wonderful place to take the family, have a BBQ or picnic. Lets take the initiative and revive the old fashioned picnic.....a great way of catching up with family and friends and it doesn't break the bank. Do it like the French....hop on your bicycle and if you don't have panniers, I'm sure you would have a backpack that you can use to take the following:
  •  French loaf + butter
  •  Knob of sausage or fresh ham + relish or mustard of choice
  •  Perhaps Pate de Foie Gra and stuffed olives
  •  Salad ingredients
  •  A nice bottle of wine
  • Red and white checked tablecloth (not obligatory)
and voila! you will have the makings of a great time.

I know! I know! .... the above photo doesn't depict something as simple as the suggestions above and it didn't come in a backpack but, hey! the tablecloth is genuine french.

The Bulimba Creek Cycleway is one of my favourite suburban bicycle rides. It is long enough to get some exercise but just slow enough to suck in some fresh air, alert the senses and chill out.

Boorabbin Picnic Ground
The start of the Bulimba Creek Bike way

When riding this trail, I find the best place to start is Boorabbin Picnic Ground in Wishart on the Southern side of Mt Gravatt - Capalaba Road. Enter by way of Stackpole Street and you will find ample car parking and toilets if required.

Heading under Mt Gravatt - Capalaba Road

The trail passes under the bridge on Mt Gravatt - Capalaba Road and meanders through a number of parks and picnic grounds, under Wecker Road and continues on until you reach Pine Mountain Road which you cross and follow the path beside the Pacific Pines Golf Club, turn left into Scrubb Road and cycle until you reach Kilmorley Street, turn left here and then a sharp left into Eromanga Street which returns you to the park lands. Eromanga Street is very steep, so take care. You will certainly get your thrill for the day but make sure that your brakes are in good condition......on the negative side, you have to climb up the hill on your return which will more than likely burn off a few calories on the way up.

Eromanga Street on left is the start of the big downhill decent.

The bike way crosses Bulimba Creek here and continues on the western side. I have elected to take the dirt single track in the past which makes the ride so much more interesting. As this is a walking track and I believe horses use it as well, it pays to be extra vigilant. There is no way, unless you were an experienced mountain biker that you could speed along this track as it is rough, there are exposed tree roots and the track is narrow in some sections. I normally ride this trail during the week, but on weekends there is a good chance that you may come across children playing near the creek or other pedestrians walking the trail, so take care.

The path is pretty much straightforward until you reach Minnippi Parklands and then it is a matter of following the signposts.

Minnippi Parklands

Minnippi Parklands
You can elect to turnaround here to begin the trek back or you can ride on to Lytton Road via the Murrarie Recreation Ground and Queensport Road. If you decide on the latter, it is best to turn left near Wynnum Road and follow the bikeway behind the industrial estate to the underpass of Wynnum Road and then it is pretty much straight sailing to Lytton Road. Only do this if you intend to cross the Gateway Bridge to ride the northside.

If your destination is Murrarie Railway Station, follow the path through Murrarie Recreation Ground and then crossing Murrarie Road at the junction of Queensport Road. The station is a mere 100m on the right along Queensport Road.

For those of you who are looking for something new to do on weekends link to or purchase a copy of Brisbane's Best Bush, Bay & City Walks by Dianne McLay published by Woodslane Press Pty. Ltd. (Most of these walks can be cycled as well.)

Happy and safe cycling and please consider taking off on your bikes for a picnic.

Jimmy Bee

Tuesday, 24 July 2012


via the Gateway Bridge

As a result of a couple of phone calls, a small group of recreational cycling friends decided to ride from Ferny Grove to Murrarie via the Gateway Bridge. Two out of the three hadn't ridden this trail before so it felt like we were embarking on a new adventure.

Due to the logistical problem of having to return to collect our vehicle we decided to take the train from Cleveland. As luck would have it, we only had a 5 minute stop at Roma Street and no change of platform before we continued on to Ferny Grove Station.

Before continuing with the story, it is only fair to point out that the Ferny Grove Bikeway has not been completed as far as Ferny Grove as yet and it is better to alight at either Keperra or Grovely stations to join the trail.

At present, there are a number of locations along the way which are under repair due to the flood Brisbane endured in 2011 so be advised to take extra care whilst encountering these repair spots. Other than that the quality of the trail is good and as it meanders along Kedron Brook you will pass a number of shopping centres only too eager to satisfy your caffeine intake for the day.

A collage of varied sights to be had on this trail

The day was fine and although some what cold out of the sun, we experienced only light winds which made the ride all the more pleasant.

We came across walkers, families on bikes, single cyclists and a couple on motorised scooters.The only wildlife to be seen was a colony of flying foxes (a type of bat) as depicted above in the collage. We had very little problem with navigation due to the quality of signage along the trail. That's not to say carrying a trail map would be a burden, what seems to be easy for some people is indeed a little more difficult for others, including myself who finds it extremely difficult navigating my way through large shopping centres. So much so in fact, that even the thought of them brings on a form of mild anxiety or perhaps it is only that I am suspicious that every shop keeper in the complex will conspire to relieve me of my hard won cash.

Good signage thanks to Brisbane City Council

As we were shortly to flit past Stafford Shopping Centre and it was lunch time,  a decision was made, that possibly this was a good time to stop for lunch. I won't name the premises, but suffice to say that the coffee was OK but the service was absolutely deplorable. I know, they are probably understaffed, economic conditions aren't real flash at present and probably a host of other conditions.........all I can say is .......well nothing really.

We continued on the pathway until we reached Melton Road, Nundah which turns into Widdop Street, as it passes under the East West Arterial Road, turning left into Gellibrand Street and then into Zillman/Kitcher Road, left again into Lancaster Road and right into Nudgee Road. Finally turn left into Kingsford Smith Drive and just before you pass under the Old Gateway Motorway turn right into Fison Avenue and follow the signs onto the Gateway Bridge.

Will she make it?

You bet she will!

It's all downside from here on !!
Coming off the bridge, cross (with extreme caution) Lytton Road onto the overpass and turn left into Queensport Road which will take you down a nice hill to Murrarie Station.

Murrarie Railway Station

On arriving back in Cleveland we headed for the Icon Bar at Harbourside for a nice cool schooner.

For maps of Brisbane cycleways hit

I'll leave you with this metaphor--life's journey is a bicycle ride down the hill.

Keep riding while you're still able to ride a bike. The aches and pains after a good ride will soon remind you that you're still alive.

Cheers and safe riding,

Jimmy Bee

Sunday, 22 July 2012


You have just read the heading and I can hear your mind working overtime. What the hell is a Spiny Emex? You're conjuring up all sorts of visions as to what this animal looks like and is it as dangerous as it sounds. An animal it isn't, a danger it is. Probably not so much a danger as a downright nuisance, especially if you are cycling on a country road. You may not even see it until it is too late and either you hear the air hissing out of your front tyre or you suddenly feel the bumpity bump of a flat tyre and even worse, both tyres. I don't know whether even kevlar lined or similar puncture resistant tyres would be much help in preventing these little fellows from penetrating a tyre.

The Spiny Emex or as it is commonly known, the 'Three Cornered Jack' is a weed, the fruit of which can be described as having 3 spines and being 7-11mm long.

It doesn't seem to matter which way they land on the roadway one side is always pointing upwards just waiting to snare an unsuspecting cyclist's tyre. There is little a cyclist can do to prevent an incident involving a 'Three Cornered Jack', it just goes with the territory. Unless they are still attached to a branch of the weed, it is highly unlikely you would see them. Just ensure you carry a good puncture kit. If nothing else, this information may help identify the cause of the puncture, particularly if you haven't seen any glass on the road and you happen to get multiple punctures in a short period of time.

As can be seen by the map, the weed is more prevalent in some areas than others.

On the lighter side......Mark Twain - Wisdom on Cycling, "Learn to ride a bicycle. You won't regret it if you live"

Enjoy your cycling, relax and make it safe.

Jimmy Bee

Tuesday, 17 July 2012


Shorncliffe, Sandgate, Brighton, Clontarf, Woody Point, Margate, Redcliffe, Scarborough, Newport

Our meeting place on this ride with U3A Peddling For Pleasure Group was Shorncliffe Railway Station. Once everyone had arrived our leader discussed with us the ride plan for the day which entailed the route we were to take and where we were going to stop to regroup, refresh etc.

Why pick the Railway Station, well, for a number of reasons actually. People have the opportunity of using alternative forms of transport. The station is in a handy location for people to find, and at weekends there is plenty of parking and a good park opposite to congregate.

U3A Peddling For Pleasure Group

The easiest way to find your way to the foreshore is to follow a map and then it is a simple matter of  following the shared path, passing through Sandgate and Brighton and onto the Ted Smout Bridge, crossing Bramble Bay and linking Brighton with Clontarf on the Redcliffe Peninsula.

The entire strip along the foreshore has a myriad  of parks with facilities such as toilets, shelters and places where you can purchase a cup of coffee or a snack. The paths are in good condition making riding a pleasure and on a beautiful sunny day when the water is glistening beside you, it would be difficult to recommend a better ride on the North side.

I can assure you that you will not become bored on this ride as you will be passing one scene after another and not all will be seascapes. Take for instance the many examples of early Australian architecture, whether it be commercial buildings, churches or housing typical of Queensland.

Snaps taken in the Shorncliffe/Sandgate area
Patterns in nature never cease to fascinate me and that is why I couldn't resist taking the photograph below at Shorncliffe. Modern art doesn't get much better than this and it is all around us, in cloud formations, flowers, sand, mud, water, leaves, the skin of animals, the feathers of birds and the list goes on. You don't have to be a Matisse to create a masterpiece, you just need a keen eye and a camera.

Low tide patterns at Shorncliffe

After many broken promises, a new duplicate bridge has at long last been built across Bramble Bay. Having it's own dedicated cycleway makes it so much better. There are so many beautiful areas on the Redcliffe Peninsula where you can stop off to take a breather, snap a photo or just admire the view. It may be to watch a skydiver floating in to land on a beach, a flock of Pelicans or a group taking advantage of the wind to fly their sophisticated kites.

Ted Smout Bridge spanning Bramble Bay

View of Woody Point from Pelican Park, Clontarf, Qld.

As we move on to Woody Point, take a photograph of the HMQS "Gayundah" wreck. The Gayundah was a unit of Queensland's early navy and was launched in Newcastle On Tyne 13th March 1884 and rermained afloat for 76 years.

HMQS Gayundah wreck

This is another ride where it is suitable to take the whole family cycling and if the entire return trip is too long, you can start and finish anywhere you please along the route. The kids will probably not notice the length of the ride providing you want to make a full day of it as there are plenty of attractions to keep them interested such as the Redcliffe lagoon for a short swim, sandy beaches, old wrecks, playgrounds and of course fish and chips.

Scenes around Redcliffe, Qld.

A lot of riders on reaching Scarborough, head for Morgan's Seafood where they settle in for a nice lunch of fresh seafood and it doesn't get much fresher as it is the retail outlet of the trawlers tied up in the harbour.

Fishing boats at Scarborough, Qld

At this point you can elect to carry on to Newport or alternatively turn around and head back to Shorncliffe. What a great day out.

A Few minor details:

Distance: Shorncliffe to Newport return....Approx 43k
Difficulty: Easy
Terrain: Mostly flat with a couple of hills
Surface: Cement & bitumen pathways with just a little on road.
Suit Bike: All bikes

 Cheers and safe riding

Jimmy Bee

Thursday, 12 July 2012



Dehydration can be defined as the excessive loss of body fluid.

There are 3 types of dehydration:

          1.  Hypotonic - the loss of electrolytes, in particular sodium
          2.  Hypertonic - primarily the loss of water.
          3.  Isotonic  - equal loss of water and electrolytes.

Cyclists can experience dehydration very quickly and I'm not talking about elite cyclists here. I am a recreational cyclists living in Brisbane, Queensland. I ride regularly and in all seasons and I have had the unfortunate experience of dehydration.

It was a very hot and humid February day. The ride consisted of both on road and bike paths and the duration of the ride was approximately two hours. The only stop of any duration was for a coffee break and during the entire ride I only consumed about 600ml of water and the cup of coffee. I was feeling fine and riding well and was not feeling at all thirsty until about two thirds into the ride when I had to negotiate a rather steep but short climb. Three quarters of the way up the hill, I felt that I couldn't pedal any further. I had hit a brick wall and was forced to walk the rest of the way to the top.

On reaching the top, I felt light headed and had trouble keeping my eyes focused. I didn't say anything to my friend, got on my bike and continued riding  until we reached our vehicle. Whilst my friend secured the bikes on his vehicle, I became increasingly nauseated and lost all colour vision. Everything became grey, the sky, vehicles, trees and people.

It wasn't until we had arrived back at my friend's house, unloaded the bikes and consumed a couple of beers that I started to recover, some 2 hours after I first felt unwell.

I saw my doctor (also a cyclist) the next day, who, after a few questions suggested it was probably dehydration but sent me off for a blood test to check the level of my electrolytes. The test results confirmed his diagnosis  which prompted a lecture on the pitfalls of not consuming sufficient liquids, particularly in such hot, humid conditions and that beer was probably not the best way of hydrating the body.

The doctor suggested drinking a litre of water regularly during each hour of exercise plus replenishing lost electrolytes with Gatorade Endurance or something similar. Being a good patient, I have adhered to his advice and am happy to say that I have not experienced a similar problem since.

Even if you don't feel thirsty, it is wise to have a frequent intake of water.

Signs of dehydration include headache, being dizzy and lightheaded, irritability, producing less urine, which is much darker in colour than normal, dry mouth and fatigue.

On the lighter side......... A pedestrian stepped off the pavement onto the road without looking and gets flattened by a passing cyclist.

"You were really lucky there"said the cyclist.

"What are you on about, that really hurt!" said the pedestrian as he lay on the roadway rubbing his head.

"Well, usually I drive a bus" replied the cyclist.

Keep peddling and stay hydrated.
Jimmy Bee