Thursday, 23 August 2012


Kangaroo Point, Brisbane, Qld.

Art has always appealed to me in one form or another, however, what is appealing to me may not necessarily appeal to someone else. That is what I find so fascinating about art, it is in the eye of the beholder and can take the form of escapism, or it may challenge your interpreting powers, as to whether or not it fits with that of the artist.

Kingscliff, N.S.W.

Kingscliff, N.S.W.

As Henry Ward Beecher once remarked, "Every artist dips his brush in his own soul and paints his own nature into his pictures"

Redcliffe, Queensland

This is the beautiful thing about recreational cycling on shared paths and cycleways, there is always something that will take your eye. Because this form of cycling is more relaxed, you have the time to appreciate your surroundings more. Apart from exercising the body there is also the exercising of the mind.

Pathway leading from The Spit to Main Beach, Southport, Queensland

Bertholt Brecht's interpretation of art....."Art is not a mirror to reflect reality but a hammer with which to shape it.""

"Art need not be sophisticated, as the simplistic tells the story just as well." Jimmy Bee

Kedron Brook Cycleway, Brisbane, Queensland

"The essence of a sculpture must enter on tip-toe, as light as animal footprints on snow" Hans Arp

Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail, Victoria
I think that the above photo depicts the simplicity of the art and as it is positioned next to the cycleway, the artist also tells a story. How you interpret it, is entirely up to you.

Southside of the Brisbane River, Queensland
Most cities would be devoid of colour and unattractive and boring, if it wasn't for the artist.

South side of the Brisbane River, Queensland
"Art is contemplation. It is the pleasure of the mind which searches into nature and which nature herself is animated." ......Auguste Rodin

East Gippsland Rail Trail, Victoria
A word from Pablo Picasso, "Art washes away from the soul, the dust of everyday life."

Balmain, Sydney, N.S.W.

I'll leave you with this quote from Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

"The work of art must seize upon you, wrap you up in itself and carry you away. It is the means by which the artist conveys his passion. It is the current he puts forth which sweeps you along in his passion."

Cheers and safe cycling,

Jimmy Bee

Monday, 20 August 2012


I've never really thought much about signs until I was riding the other day and noticed the number of signs confronting the cyclist each and every day we ride. That is of course unless you are a mountain biker and then you may not see any at all. Anyway it aroused my thought patterns and as a result I am here writing this post displaying a variety of signs I have personally ridden past.

Looking at all these signs makes me think of the song "Signs" by the Five Man Electrical Band where in one part the lyrics expressed.......

                                          " Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
                                             Blockin' out the scenery, breakin'my mind
                                             Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign"

Of course, on the other hand, without signs we would spend a great deal of time walking or riding around in circles, so I suppose that in some cases they are a necessary evil.

Good graphics always make a sign more pleasing to the eye. In the above case it evokes a feeling of helplessness, anger and frustration that animals can be made to suffer so much through the laziness, lack of empathy and sheer bastardry towards other creatures.

I find the above sign to be interesting in that the number 69 or soixante - neuf is held in juxtaposition to the sign "On this site in 1897 nothing happened", or is this purely co-incidental. I think it is clever in that it leaves the interpretation open to the reader.

This fruit concoction was as flavoursome as the sign suggests. Pure heaven for the thirsty cyclist after all those " sign, sign, everywhere a sign" signs.

Cheers and safe riding,
Jimmy Bee

Tuesday, 14 August 2012



My wife and I were having breakfast, discussing what a beautiful winter's morning it was. The sun was shining brightly, the sky an arctic blue with just a touch of wispy white cloud and the temperature hovering around 18 deg. C. It was much too nice to be indoors and my wife said "Why  don't we go for a ride through the Boondall Wetlands?" Being the ever obedient chap that I am, and always agreeable to a ride on a nice day, I duly packed the bikes on the car and we made our way to the Albert Bishop Park at Toombul. From experience I knew that there was a car park at the end of Hedley Avenue, next to the Criterion Circuit with easy entry to the pathway leading to the Boondall Wetlands.

The pathway to Boondall Wetlands

Three Black Winged Stilts and a duck trying their luck in this pond

This is an easy ride the whole family can participate in. The pathway is generally in good condition and wide enough to accommodate both walkers and cyclists. A word of warning though, because it is a good path, it is used often as a training track for the 'Roadies' and they tend to get quite agitated if you happen to veer out in front of them when they are riding past, and rightly so. All that is required is a little mutual respect and to keep to the left hand side of the pathway, unless overtaking. Oh! by the way, a 'Roadie' can usually be identified by the highly coloured lycra outfit, sitting astride an expensive and usually fast road bike. This species can be either male or female but not necessarily identifiable until up close and can be found all over the globe.

The path follows the flood way to the north eastern end of the Nudgee Golf Course where it then hugs the north western border of the golf course until it reaches Nudgee Road. Be extremely careful when crossing this busy road. Follow the pathway north along Nudgee Road for approximately 1km where the entrance to Boondall Wetlands is clearly signposted. There is a poignant reminder of how we must be aware at all times of our surroundings, at the site of a tragic accident on this section of Nudgee Road, involving the late Ian Gilmore and marked with an old bicycle and a cross bearing his name.

Thirty years ago this area would have been referred to as a swamp, now we look at it as a diverse Eco system sustaining life for a myriad of different species and life forms. An area where Scientists can  research and the ordinary Jo Blow can spend the afternoon relaxing with his family.

The return ride is only 26km and is in reach of all cyclists who enjoy moderate fitness. So give it a go, take your time and enjoy, who knows, it may be the start of a whole new way of life. Should you wish, you may continue the ride past the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, through Shorncliffe, Sandgate and onto Brighton.

For walking and cycling maps of Brisbane, contact the Department of Transport and Main Roads on 1800 651 632 or  or

Keep with the buzz,

Jimmy Bee

Wednesday, 8 August 2012


via sealed, unsealed, single track and horse trail.

Last Friday at my suggestion, three friends and myself set out to ride the old rail trail from Ferny Grove to Samford, North West of Brisbane. I had recently read an article by Leon Hill "Idyllic trails on the city's edge" in the March-April edition of Australian Cyclist. If I had stuck to his directions and with the added assistance of a Google map everything would have worked out O.K. Instead, the little guy on my left shoulder said "That's far too easy for you guys, after all, you call yourselves pathfinders, so make it a little more challenging, use a mountain bike trail map" and so I did.

The result was not good. I had no idea where we were but after following a number of pony trails, single track, fording numerous creeks, gullies and bogs, we eventually found our way out of the wilderness onto Mt. Glorious Road and from then on it was a breeze.

Trails like these expect a little more of their riders than just sitting in the saddle and listening to the bell birds as you do on well maintained, unsealed country  roads. These trails require a little extra skill and I think that is why they are so much more fun to ride.

Oh! I forgot to add that two of the 'sensible' members of our party after having tasted a  morsel of what was in store for them decided to split, stayed on the sealed road and arrived in Samford with no problems at all. In true Anzac tradition however,  my friend Weatherman said to me "We came out here to ride the trails so lets do it.",

When we eventually arrived, we were greeted with a look of bemusement from the other two but we just smiled back fully knowing that we had mastered the challenges of the great Australian bush with not so much as a single whimper, and we did it in style on two hybrids  The little guy on my left shoulder just gave a wry smile and a wink.

There is a memorial on the side of the road not far from the start of the ride, dedicated to Queensland's worst railway disaster and is a poignant reminder of how a happy occasion can turn into a disaster in an instant. It made me reflect on just how tenuous our lives are and how they should be lived to the best of our ability.

Pleasant country views near Samford

The mere factor of leaving the city to ride in the country is good for the psyche. less traffic, pleasant scenery and the cacophony of different sounds always makes it worthwhile.

Would I recommend this ride? ........absolutely, it was great fun and the coffee and delicious home made apple pie at the Black Sheep Caffe tasted all the better. I would however, advise the use of mountain bikes, if you wanted to follow a similar route to us.There are far easier rides to Samford and back to Ferny Grove Railway Station for the recreational rider. I suggest if you wish to ride in this area, take a look at a Google Map on your computer and devise your own route, making it as easy or as hard as you wish.

Cheers and safe riding,
Jimmy Bee

Sunday, 5 August 2012


The bicycle at the rear is the one being referred to in this post.
Whilst cycling the other day I was chatting with my friend Ken about the bike that he originally brought to Australia from Scotland, UK. The conversation was so interesting that I decided to investigate a little further.

Invergowrie to Monileith, Scotland

The bicycle, a 1963 model Triumph, was purchased for 15 pounds in 1974, from it's original owner, in the village of Monileith, a small town on the East Coast of Scotland. The elderly gent who owned the bicycle from new had placed it for sale, due to advancing arthritis in his hands and his inability to ride any longer. It was rather a sad occasion as the old man had tears in his eyes as he handed over the bicycle which he had kept in perfect condition since new. Ken believed that a similar style of bicycle was in use by the Scottish Constabulary at that time to ride the beat.

Invergowrie to University of Dundee, Scotland (4 miles)
The bike was purchased by Ken,  not for social cycling but as a means of commuting from his home village of Invergowrie to the University of Dundee some 4 miles away. As were a lot of the bicycles used for commuting purposes throughout the United Kingdom in those days, this model of Triumph was equipped with Sturmey Archer 3 speed internal gears making them a good choice as they needed little ongoing maintenance.

Cleveland, Qld, Australia

Ken brought the bike with him when he emigrated to Australia in 1976 and it gave him good service here for around 26 years, which when added to the 13 years in the U.K. totals approximately 39 years of service. This  bike was well known to motorists travelling the route from Sunnybank Hills/Sunnybank to the Griffith University, Nathan Campus, during this period. At the same  time he was involved in three accidents, the worst when a car turned in front of him and then ran over his front wheel. Ken wasn't badly injured but the front wheel didn't come off so well as it was pretty badly buckled. He tried to have it repaired but most of the bike shop mechanics just shook their heads until he heard of the 'Wheel Doctor' at Balmoral Bike Shop, who took the project on and was able to successfully straighten the wheel.

I tracked the bike down to Hein Alivier, the manager of the Redland Museum, in Smith Street, Cleveland. Queensland. He indeed knew the bike as he had purchased it from the owner of a local bicycle shop and did a complete makeover of the bike. It was placed in an exhibit of old bikes in the museum prior to  selling it to an interstate collector. He had a photograph of the restored bike on the museum computer and arranged to send me a copy.

My sincere thanks to Hein and staff at the Redland Museum. It was the first time I had visited the museum and was more than pleasantly surprised at the quality of the exhibits on display. Whether you live in or are just visiting Cleveland, it is well worth a visit.

A sincere thank you also to Ken Busfield for relating the story of his well travelled bike!

Cheers and safe cycling,
Jimmy Bee