Thursday, 24 January 2013


The name Downfall Creek conjures up all types of images and leaves you with more questions than answers. What it has done though, is to intrigue me to the point where I had to seek an answer. For the sake of expediency, I decided to Google the name and low and behold I had two answers, which one would  I choose? The first piece of evidence revealed a rather brutal killing of a man which took place in the back yard of the Edinburgh Castle Hotel on the corner of Edinburgh Castle Road and Gympie Road, Kedron, not far from Downfall Creek on or around 29th December, 1889. The second piece of evidence suggests the creek was so named due to the number of accidents and mishaps which occurred where the busy Brisbane to Gympie Road crossed Downfall Creek. A major gold find was made in Gympie in 1867 and as a result a lot of mining equipment had to be transported to Gympie and the only route was the Brisbane to Gympie Road crossing Downfall Creek. You be the judge after reading the evidence in the two links at the end of this post**.
Downfall Creek later changed it's name to Chermside as a result of a local schoolteacher petitioning the Governor of the day, Sir Herbert Charles Chermside.

Virginia Railway Station

The Downfall Creek ride was being considered for our broader group of riders "Peddling For Pleasure" but first it was necessary to check the suitability for a larger group ride.

Having made our way to Virginia Railway Station, this being the start point of the ride we located the cycleway on the western side which lead us into the Downfall Creek Parklands.

Keeping on the cycleway, we followed the creek line until Newman Road where we crossed and enter 7th Brigade Park. If interested in the history of this park click on    and then open World War 11.
7th Brigade Park
7th Brigade Park joins Marchant Park with Murphy Road dividing the two. You could take some time out and explore the parks by following each of the two cycleways. However, ensure that you take the pathway which leads to the junction of Murphy Road with Gympie Road. We found that crossing this extremely busy road could be dangerous, particularly for groups of riders, but with a little patience and keeping a wary eye out for the traffic, it can be crossed. Once across Gympie Road, we followed the path crossing Webster Road  and continue following the creek through Huxtable Park.

Walking the rainforest boardwalk in Huxtable Park is a welcome relief from riding, especially on a hot day. As we continued on, crossing Maundrell Terrace we entered the Raven Street Reserve where we came across the Downfall Creek Bushland Centre.

Grass trees

Just one example of the fine artwork on this ride

Raven Street Reserve has split paths and it doesn't matter which you take as both lead to Hamilton Road. We rode along Hamilton Road for a short distance and turned right into Trouts Road where we entered Chermside Hills Reserve. This is where the interesting part of the ride occurred. There are two trails within this reserve, one for walking and one for cycling. We chose, inadvertently, the wrong trail, which had a track up a relatively steep hill suitable for walkers, goats, spiders and perhaps mountain bikes with knobby tyres. Hence, none of us made it to the top riding our bikes, instead having to hoof it up by foot instead. Incidentally the hill was names Spider Hill. All was not lost however, as the view in my opinion was well worth it and the decent down the other side although challenging for hybrid bikes was good fun. We could have ventured further along Troutts Road where there was an entrance to a cycleway, but heh! we are called The Peddling Pathfinders and we do at times find ourselves in places where normal cyclists are loath to travel.

Chermside Hills Reserve

Chermside Hills Reserve

The path leads you to Dicapprio Circuit where we re-entered the pathway and followed Cabbage Tree Creek to Bridgeman Downs which lead to  a dead end. Having achieved our objective, we retraced our route back to Virginia Station.

On the way back we diverted to McDowell Village where we found a great little coffee shop called Deja Bru where we ensconced ourselves for a short time replenishing our reserves of caffeine.

As an alternative, we could have turned right as we exited Raven Street Reserve and followed Little Cabbage Tree Creek to the Aspley Hypermarket. Maybe we will do that another day.

The ride took us through a number of beautiful parks and reserves creating part of the Mountains to Mangroves corridor through the suburbs of Virginia, Wavell Heights, Chermside, Chermside West, McDowall and Bridgeman Downs where strategically placed signs explained the habitat and wildlife that can be found within this corridor.

Google Map depicting Downfall Creek ride

This map is for the purpose of giving you an overall view of the ride and should be used in conjunction with more detailed maps.


Distance: Approx. 24k                                       Surface: Cement paths, bitumen & dirt.
Type of bike: Hybrid.                                        Difficulty:  Easy.
Fitness required: Moderate.                               Family friendly:No due to crossing major roads.
Cheers and safe riding,

Jimmy Bee

Friday, 18 January 2013


Looks inviting doesn't it?

And there you have it. All you need are the essential ingredients......friends, food, a nice setting, perfect day, good friendly banter, mix well and serve.
In this case, everybody provided something. The Gods were friendly and provided good weather, we live in paradise and therefore the setting was to our liking, the craic (Irish) flowed, the food enjoyed, everyone had a good time didn't cost an arm and a leg. We supported the fish monger and hence the fishing industry, the butcher and therefore the meat industry, even the green grocer and baker got in on the act which in turn helped our agricultural industry.

Not a French picnic.

I know this is not the French style picnic where you just rock up on your bicycle with a basket, a checked tablecloth, bottle of wine, sausage and baguette, and no, I didn't bring all of this fare on my bicycle, otherwise the prawns (shrimps) would have been spoiled, the fruit salad and the meringues would have melted and the pork belly would have ended up looking like a dog's breakfast. Just imagine what all of this would look like in the event of having an untimely fall and everything became all mixed together. You know what? the Google police would probably remove the post altogether due to the photograph being offensive and I wouldn't blame them for it.
The French style picnic is for the romantics, this style is for the friendly get together. Both have their place and both are excellent.

Perhaps the best feature of the picnic is that it is easy and because it is held in the outdoors, it's healthy and relaxing. Next time you are catching up with friends or relatives and the weather is accommodating, consider inviting them to a picnic, you won't regret it.

Cheers and safe riding,

Jimmy Bee

Sunday, 13 January 2013

2013 and in the spirit.

Well we're into 2013 already and if the supermarts are anything to go by Easter must be just around the corner. During a shopping escapade (food and essentials only) in the early days of the new year I couldn't believe my eyes, there was a display of hot cross buns or should I say half a display as
it was patently obvious that people were buying them.
Renae's contribution to Christmas 2012
Happy New Year everyone and lets make it a safe one. I trust everyone had a good Christmas, were able to meet up with friends and relations, catch up on all the gossip and over eat and drink, at least that is what I did and have the extra kilos to show for it. It's a bit of a shock to hop on the scales and we all know how hard it is to take those extra kilos off again. However, if you're into cycling and you live in a sub-tropical location, then it's no big deal, you just sweat it out. As I sit at my computer, the inside humidity shows 80% and our temperature is forecast to hover between 38 and 40 degrees Centigrade to-day, so eat your hearts out if you are living on the other side of the world and the thermometer is hovering around the minus mark or lower.
My brother in law posing with Tripod and my Scotty
This is what the road should have been like.

My brother in law brought his new Cannondale Lefty with him over the Christmas period and we decided to go for a nice sedate ride on a back country road between the towns of Clifton and Allora on the Darling Downs of Queensland. We had travelled this road once before and although we knew it to be dirt and rough in places we didn't quite envisage the situation we found ourselves in. It poured rain the night before which turned the road into a quagmire and before long we found ourselves pushing through 15 to 20cm  of black soil mud. Riding in black mud can be quite difficult, particularly if you are shod with the wrong rubber. For a start, it is difficult to find traction and secondly, the mud tends to build up on the tyre making the bike infinitely heavier and even more difficult to pedal. We found we had to stop, find a piece of grassy ground and scrape the tyres clean and of course, this procedure had to be undertaken a number of times before we were through the bog. Unfortunately I neglected to take a photo of the boggy patch. The above photo depicts different parts of the same road in good weather.

Although the first quarter of the trip was a hard slog it gradually became better and over all we managed to have an enjoyable ride. It was a different story when we arrived home and had to wash all the mud off but I guess that's the joy of riding.

Would I recommend this ride? absolutely, it's all part of the fun of riding on back country roads where the scenery is a mosaic of ploughed fields, green pastures, domestic and occasionally wild animals not to mention the clean air breathed, a cacophony of sounds unfamiliar to city dwellers and just playing a part in the laid back lifestyle which is country life.
I just love this form of cycling and can't wait to locate new trails with our beloved 'Peddling Pathfinders' and share these adventures with my readers. I also hope to inspire some of the older riders who haven't been on a bike for many years so that they too find a new lease of life and join the Peddle Revolution which is taking over the la revolution!



Millions of dollars have been spent  in this country and in particular in Queensland by past State and local governments on the many trails built for the enjoyment of both walkers and cyclists and all I ever hear and read are brickbats being thrown at the government and I think it is about time to throw the odd bouquet as well. Being a trail blazer, the groups I ride with predominantly use trails and dedicated cycle lanes whilst cycling in the city and all I can say is we are very lucky to have such a widespread system of trails through our park lands, forests and by the sea but, if the masses remain apathetic and don't use these facilities, we are in danger of having nothing further done. On the more positive side, there are a number of shared pathways running between Cleveland and Point Talburpin, in the Redlands, Queensland and of which I, my wife and friends have been riding regularly for years that have seen the numbers using this facility rise exponentially. It is my belief that one day in the not too distant future, the traffic on these trails will rival those of Europe.
A message to our councillors and members of parliament............the money spent so far has not been wasted and there are a lot of families out there who say thank you and we hope that you continue to foster this joint facility with timely upgrades and maintenance.

We have a lot of rides programmed for this year including the week long ride in the Hawkes Bay area of New Zealand, so keep tuned and I'll keep you up with the buzz  as we ride along.

Cheers and safe riding,,

Jimmy bee