Tuesday, 24 September 2013


It's awhile since I posted some of the results of my other passion, photographing the natural patterns of nature. The art is within my mind, I see natural patterns in nature and I use a camera to record those images. I may be walking or cycling along a path in the bush and I focus on a pattern which I feel would make a good image. Are my photographs enhanced? Yes and No. The pattern is not enhanced but sometimes I manipulate the colours to enhance the pattern and make what I would like to think is a piece of art.
Who would think that a simple patch of ferns could produce such a lovely piece of art.
The above image is of a small portion of a large sandstone block used in the production of a sea wall. I was taken with the randomness of the colours and how they blended as well as the texture of the sandstone.

This photograph is of a small portion of a leaf. I doubt any human artist could conceive the complexity within this pattern. Perhaps a futuristic town planner with an eye for detail could plan a residential development with similar characteristics. At least it wouldn't be boring.

You would be forgiven for thinking that this spectacle of colour was the result of the lens being squarely pointed at the centre of a volcano. In fact it is merely a dollop of sap from a Norfolk pine tree.

The above image was taken showing the pattern at the bottom of a seaside rock pool. How many times have you walked over the rocks at a beach and been so much in awe at the seascape, you failed to see the intricate detail in the little pools of water at your feet.

Mother nature can be cruel but she can also be extremely generous as in this case where she has provided a natural spectacle in the form of a piece of bark from an Australian eucalyptus tree.

It is almost as if an award winning graphic artist has added this beautiful design to the shell of the tortoise.
The next time you go out cycling in a park or walking in the woods or strolling along a beach or even a suburban street, be more aware of your surroundings and you too will notice the patterns of nature.
Cheers and safe riding,
Jimmy Bee

Tuesday, 17 September 2013


Every now and then I try to break up the pattern of my posts by entering something a little different and when I read this poem by Henry Beeching, I felt I had to  include it in my blog. 

Going Down Hill on a Bicycle

by Henry Charles Beeching

A Boy's Song

With lifted feet, hands still,
I am poised, and down the hill
Dart, with heedful mind;
The air goes by in a wind.

Swifter and yet more swift,
Till the heart with a mighty lift
Makes the lungs laugh, the throat cry:—
"O bird, see; see, bird, I fly.

"Is this, is this your joy?
O bird, then I, though a boy,
For a golden moment share
Your feathery life in air!"

Say, heart, is there aught like this
In a world that is full of bliss?
'Tis more than skating, bound
Steel-shod to the level ground.

Speed slackens now, I float
Awhile in my airy boat;
Till, when the wheels scarce crawl,
My feet to the treadles fall.

Alas, that the longest hill
Must end in a vale; but still,
Who climbs with toil, wheresoe'er,
Shall find wings waiting there.

Henry Charles Beeching was born in 1859 and died in 1919. He was educated at The City of London School and later at Balliol College, Oxford. Beeching was a clergyman who became the Dean of Norwich. He was also an author and poet.

I can vividly remember flying down a hill at the ripe old age of fifteen on my Speedwell Fleetwing with no gears and only a back pedal brake to slow the pace. To make matters worse, it was winter,  the road was icy and at the bottom I had to make an acute right hand turn. Suffice to say I didn't make it. As I attempted to turn, the bike slipped out from under me and I skidded right across the intersection, up over a gutter and came to rest at the door of the hotel's public bar. The event emptied the bar as everybody came out to investigate the noise and although I was helped to my feet, I copped a fair whack of abuse for being stupid, that is after they determined I was O.K. The embarrassment was more acute than the actual gravel rash and bruising.
As a boy, I was always seeking adventure or fantasising about it. It was the era when kids roamed free, read comics about their fictional heroes and re-enacted the scenes from the Saturday afternoon cinema matinee. My bike was my most precious possession and I used it daily.

I remember one particular summer's day when a small group of friends rode to the top of the largest mountain in our area, some 5000 ft. above sea level. When I say rode, I say it lightly because we actually had some help in the form of semi-trailers. In those days, semi-trailers weren't as powerful as they are now and they actually struggled to make it to the top of the mountain with a full load. Boys being boys, we took advantage of this and held onto the side of the semi on the steepest climbs. It all sounds extremely dangerous, but in fact, we didn't perceive it as being dangerous as the semi would have been travelling around 5 to 10 mph, there was light traffic and it was quite easy to hang onto the side. Needless to say, we didn't inform our parents of our actions. To this day, I still love the exhileration of descending quickly down hills.

Cheers and safe riding,

Jimmy Bee

Tuesday, 10 September 2013


Every now and again, I am going to showcase a cafe which I like to go to when out riding. Cafes add to the social aspect of riding as well as giving the cyclist that needed hit of caffeine.

PelicansNauticalTreasures‎ can be found at 293 Esplanade, Redland Bay, Queensland, which can be quite difficult to find unless you can walk on water, have access to a boat or know the indirect route and knowing how difficult the first two can be, I'll assist you with the below map.

Once a month, I peddle with the Peddling Pathfinders from Cleveland to Redland Bay where we always ensconce ourselves in comfortable surroundings to savour a coffee before returning to Cleveland. We keep coming back for all the right reasons - it has a balcony large enough to house up to a dozen riders. We like this situation because for some unknown reason, cyclists of all creed tend to shout at each other after riding and this can be annoying to other patrons in the joint. You have a 180 degree pelican's view of the basin and inlet, the staff are attentive and the service is good and the coffee and cake etc. is always spot on.



As the title of this post is 'Cycling to Pelican's for Brunch' I thought I had better include a breakfast menu. I can personally vouch for the egg white only omelette, simply delightful. This is a very popular secret rendevous......Give it a go.
Cheers and safe riding,
Jimmy Bee

Saturday, 7 September 2013


The tremendous advantages of owning and riding a bike are numerous but in this post, I'm only going to touch on one.....commuting to busy entertainment precincts ......the traffic is always chaotic and the parking is either pretty much non existent or it will cost you an arm and a leg. However, if you are savvy, real savvy you will take your bike with you. Now, I don't know where you live, nor how close to the venue you can find a park but I can tell you that here in down town Brisbane, in the entertainment and cultural precincts you  can normally find free parking, out of business hours, within a couple of kilometres. It is then a simple matter of hopping on the bike, riding the short distance and locking the bike to a suitable object close and handy to the venue and with a bit of luck the said bike will still be there on your return. Chances are, you will be as fresh as a daisy when you get there and the money you save on parking will pay for the beer you know you are going to have when you arrive.

Pretend for one moment that you are a Brisbanite. Yes! there are such people and most of them are nice and law abiding but like all societies there is that one rotten apple of a thief who preys on cyclists trying to do the right thing, doing his or her part in lowering greenhouse gases, preventing unnecessary traffic congestion and most of all saving a buck by not paying the ridiculous parking fees demanded in entertainment/cultural areas.

Most rotten apple bicycle thieves in Australia are opportunists, which means that if they are confronted with any type of secure device they will quickly move on to a bicycle which is not secured. They also like areas that are concealed from the public gaze not ones that are well lit.

Which means that if you secure your bike to a nice well lit, healthy tree with plenty of passers by, you stand a better than even chance of having the bike there when you return. On the other hand, if you have a mean nasty streak, you may secure the bicycle to the steel support holding up the heavy branch secretly hoping that the nasty thief cuts through the steel support, releases the bike, and the branch minus the support falls on him without so much as putting a scratch on the bike.

 Please don't secure the bike to a valuable art work that is the property of our Founding Fathers, otherwise the wrath of hell will ascend and engulf both you and your bike.
Maybe, you could get away with it once.......maybe.

The whole point of this piece of theatre so far is to tell you that I do possess a small amount of culture in me somewhere and I do enjoy the exhibitions put on from time to time at GOMA and that the best way to travel to this venue is by bike, particularly during daylight hours.

Just to prove a point that GOMA is a great place to visit, take a peek at the following photographs.

Of course the above photographs are only a small sample of what some of the exhibitions have to offer.

Try driving, parking and then cycling to a venue, you may like it but I don't think I would try this if going to see the Russian Ballet dressed up in all of your finery but it certainly works if you are off to a more informal event such as a gallery, museum or even a matinee of a musical performance.

Don't be like me and arrive to find you have forgotten your bicycle lock otherwise you may face the conundrum of having to make the choice of leaving your bike unlocked and hope that it will be there when you return, or ride back to your vehicle all forlorn disappointed.

Cheers and safe riding,

Jimmy Bee

Monday, 2 September 2013



To-day's ride is a little different from the norm. in that we took the train from Cleveland to Morningside, rode to Oxford Street Bulimba via Hawthorne and then caught the up river ferry to Bretts Wharf at Hamilton on the opposite side of the Brisbane River.
The beautiful old Bulimba Ferry Terminal

Brisbane Powerhouse

A short ride along the river, across Breakfast Creek and we were at the Brisbane Powerhouse, where we enjoyed a relaxing cup of coffee whilst socialising beside the Brisbane River.

New Farm Park in October

Mural outside New Farm Library

On leaving the Powerhouse we continued along the river past New Farm. New Farm is packed with history which I'll leave to another day but as we are passing New Farm park, I'll take this opportunity to place a couple of photographs in this post which may go some way to show why it is becoming increasingly popular, especially at weekends. 

An interesting aspect of the high rise of the CBD looking through the structure of the Story Bridge

Looking south along the Brisbane river as seen from the northern approach to the Story Bridge

City of Brisbane, Qld., Australia

U3A's Peddling For Pleasure Group making their way along the North side of the river

  If your bicycle is going fast enough in a straight line, you cannot fall over.... Anonymous

A group of Peddling For Pleasure warriors crossing the Go Between bridge

I suppose that was what attracted me to the bicycle right from the start. It is not so much a way of getting somewhere as it is a setting of randomness; it makes every journey an unorganised tour....Daniel Behman (The man who loved bicycles).



There is no doubt that there is a bicycle revolution occurring right at this very moment throughout the world. A few years ago the number of bikes being ridden on Australian roads and paths was infinitesimal, now they are everywhere and the government to give it credit is slowly coming up to the mark and introducing the infrastructure to make cycling safer. If my hunch is correct, the incoming Prime Minister, after the federal election next Saturday, should, as an enthusiastic cyclist himself, improve cycling safety throughout Australia exponentially.

City Cat

It was gratifying to find that the skipper of the City Cat was only too pleased to welcome our group on board to take us across the river on the start of this journey. It makes life so much easier to be able to commute by public transport and take your bike with you.
Another view of our great city


 Cycling through South Bank afforded us many beautiful scenic panoramas of our city. Tourists and locals alike can easily access the city centre by bus, train or ferry.


As we approached the Goodwill Bridge, we had a decision to make. Do we continue along the river or do we divert and take the cycleway running along the freeway? Normally, we would continue our ride along the river, however, on this occasion we decided to take the latter option and follow the freeway for no other reason than we hadn't done it before.
I was reading the blog  "Fat Cyclist" http://www.fatcyclist.com/2012/08/01/a-handy-guide-to-climbing-grades/ to-day regarding climbing grades and it brought home a certain truth "Among those in the know, the 1-2% grade is commonly called 'the grade of deception,' because it leads you to forget the hard realities that steeper grades will remind you of. Forcefully."
It was one such hill that we were about to climb. To start with, it didn't seem much. Didn't need to stand on the pedals, kept increasing speed, not hitting a brick wall but it just went on and on and on, very much like a rail trail going up hill. By the end of it, my legs knew that they had been under added pressure.
This final part of the ride ending at Norman Park Station, was pleasant enough but I wouldn't  normally deviate from sticking to the river for the very good reason that the river ride is much more interesting and scenic and being a photographer of sorts, this appeals to me.
Cheers and safe riding,
Jimmy Bee