Wednesday, 27 November 2013


You don't often get the time to go on a long ride but sometimes the urge to get on the bike can be placated by having a number of short rides up your sleeve. So to-day, I am going to post a short ride that can be had around Cleveland and one that most people can partake in, even if it takes a little modification which equates to cutting out the hills.

A good starting point is Harbourside because it is right next to the Cleveland Railway Station.

Ormiston Park

Sleeth Street, Ormiston (16-20% gradient- Map my Ride)

On leaving Harbourside, follow the path towards the station. On the right as you approach the station car park, take the lane way which will lead you into Nautilus Drive. At the junction of Nautilus with Bainbridge there is an entrance to Ormiston Park. At this point there is a decision to make depending on how fit you feel at the time, whether you wish to include some fitness training by climbing the three hills leading off Raby Bay Esplanade, guaranteed to raise the heart rate in all but the best riders. The other option is to continue to the northern end of the park to take in the awesome seascapes but if you elect this option you will miss the thrill of coasting downhill and also the birds eye view from the top.

Retracing your steps, the next point of interest is Harbourside, which has it's own marina and abundant cafes, restaurants and bars to satisfy most tastes. I often have a coffee at Coffee Secrets when on a local ride and The Hog's Breath for a refreshing beer on return from a long ride.

Endevour Canal with Ormiston Park and the Sleeth Street hill in the background
On leaving Harbourside, proceed along Masthead Drive until you reach Portsmouth Place where you will see an entrance leading to a series of paths in Raby Bay Foreshore Park. This is a very popular bayside park particularly on beautiful sunny days as it attracts locals and visitors alike to swim in it's calm waters, having family picnics, relaxing on the beaches or taking the dog for a swim.
 The path follows the beach line all the way until exiting onto Masthead Drive.
The French may be able to take their favoured pooch into a restaurant but do they have a dedicated beach for their beloved dog  and their devoted owners to enjoy.

Bowsprit Parade
On re-entering Masthead Drive,  turn to the right and continue until turning left into  Bowsprit Parade. You may either continue to ride on road or you may elect to use the path through the parks until reaching and turning left into Paxton Street. On your right you will see an entrance to Raby Harbour Foreshore Park.
Raby Harbour Foreshore Park
Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink!
Raby Harbour Foreshore Park has a  number of claims to fame including having a production team from Angelina Jolie's latest film "Unbroken" working from here. It is also a favourite spot to launch a kayak.
Raby Harbour Foreshore Park with Cleveland point in the background
Follow the path back and continue to take the left fork until you reach Shore Street North leading to Cleveland Point.
Cleveland Point
 The Lighthouse Restaurant and Cafe on Cleveland Point is a favourite of mine to break the ride and savour a cup of coffee. It is particularly good when there is a high tide and the waves crash against the sea wall. Not so long ago, I was sitting having a cup of coffee and watching the wave action when a couple walked in and took a table right next to the front wall. They weren't there more than a couple of minutes when this wave broke close to the wall and almost drenched the couple sitting there. It was obvious they weren't local otherwise they wouldn't have taken that particular table when the bay is turbulant. They did however manage to laugh about their mistake and the locals gave that all knowing wry smile.
It shouldn't be a problem finding your way back to the station but if it is, take a peek at your map.
Distance: 20.55 km
Degree of difficulty: Easy
Surface: Bitumen roads and cement paths
Family friendly: Very

If using a smart phone link with 
Jimmy Bee

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

CYCLING JACOBS WELL LOOP, QLD. AUS. via Coomera and Calypso Bay

Jacobs Well

As I was to lead the ride, my wife and I decided to drive the route prior to our proposed ride to assess the suitability and above all whether it was safe. We found that there was to be a lot of on road riding and that the roads were narrow in parts with quite broken edges. On the positive side, the traffic appeared to be light and although our group were used to riding paths, trails and in dedicated cycle lanes, I thought that they were experienced enough to undertake this ride.
On approaching Jacobs Well, I received a call from one of our riders informing me that two of them had arrived minus pedals..... always a good start.
Our first cup of coffee for the day
At the mention of coffee, there would have been mutiny had we not agreed to indulge our caffeine dependency before we departed. Resolving the dilemma of bikes without pedals was not so easy even though we do have some bright and resourceful members within our group. The said couple although disappointed having driven here with the express intention of riding, decided to do the tourist bit by car instead and then meet up with us for lunch.
Due to my inability to navigate, which I put down to my genes, I elected to lead from the centre of the group and appointed another to act as navigator. Five minutes into the ride and I sensed that we were heading the wrong way and a look at the map confirmed this. A quick about turn and we were heading for our destination, Coomera along the Pimpana - Jacobs Well Road.
The weather was fine with opal blue sky and  a few scattered clouds,  the road surface was relatively smooth and the group was happy and relaxed. Having travelled approximately 5 km we turned left onto Werkin Road where we continued for another 5 km before turning left into Amity Road, a couple of kilometres further on we turned left into Foxwell Road. The ride so far had been pretty much flat and unspectacular but as soon as we turned into Foxwell, there was a distinct change. The area became more densely populated and started to take on more of a coastal appearance. The district of Coomera runs from the Pacific Motorway which joins Brisbane to the Gold Coast, to the southern part of Moreton Bay bordered on the south by the beautiful Coomera River.It is the home of the theme parks of Dreamworld and Whitewater World and within a few years, with the amount of development going on, will become a small city and I dare say heralding a spectacular lifestyle for those into boating, fishing and other aquatic pleasures.

Due to the extensive development in the Pimpama/Coomera areas we encountered a lot of earth moving trucks whilst riding on the roads which didn't make me feel particularly relaxed at the time. I will say though, that the developers appear to be putting in extremely good quality shared paths in and around their developments which makes life a lot easier for the recreational rider.

Apart from the trucks, the ride went well, although it did take us a lot longer than we anticipated to reach Calypso Bay and unfortunately, we couldn't catch up with our friends.

Calypso Bay Marina

Calypso Bay Marina and small shopping centre

Calypso Bay

The beauty and lustre of a pearl is no accident, it takes a lot of nurturing to bring it to maturity and the same can be said of Calypso Bay, perhaps the pearl of southern Moreton Bay. There is not a lot here at the moment, but the potential is enormous.


The Drift Inn

It's always desirable to have a watering hole to relax in at the end of a ride. On this occasion we stopped at the Harrigans Drift Inn and as it was lunch time, we could think of no better way of quenching our thirst than with a pint of the dark stuff (Guinness), followed by a little upmarket fish and chips.

Cheers and safe riding,
Jimmy Bee

Saturday, 9 November 2013



On approaching the small village of Jacobs Well, one of the first visual experiences you will encounter will be this colourful sign.
What is it about this name that really grabs you?  or should I say ....grabbed me. If it was the title of a book or movie, one could be forgiven for thinking it had a biblical connotation. There is, however, a more practical explanation, a Google search revealed that the area was so named after the son of Johann Gottlieb GROSS, a pioneer of the district in the early 1860s who, whilst hunting and fishing in the area with friends, came across a well and this area was hence forth called Jacobs Well. Whether the well still exists to-day, I have no idea but the chances are that it is in some form or other and if you are one of those history searching buffs and you are in the area, you may wish to try your luck.
Looks good, tasted better
 Jacobs Well is the gateway to southern Moreton Bay and is well known amongst the boating and fishing fraternity and a far cry from the metropolis of Brisbane, to it's immediate north and the tourist mecca of the Gold Coast only 30 minutes south. As to the fishing, the meal I had at the local Bayside Tavern on one occasion, was absolutely mouthwatering.
Bayside Tavern in Jacobs Well
My wife and I were in the area on a reconnaissance mission to check the area out for it's suitability as a recreational cycling destination  and being lunch time, decided to check out the local hotel. The whole dining experience was pleasant from the bright artwork on the walls to the rather large fish aquarium separating the bar from the restaurant. The service couldn't be faulted and the fresh fish meal was as I said before, absolutely mouthwatering.
Whilst having a look around the village we came across a bakery which baked it's own pies. In an era when everything to-day is beige and generic, how could anybody who remembers what a good pie tastes like, pass up a pie that isn't Big Ben, Sergeants or the like and branded with an interesting moniker such as 'The Flying Pieman". It was too much of a temptation to let go and so we bought a couple to devour after we arrived home. The taste result was......if you are ever in the vicinity of Jacobs Well, seek out The Well Bakery and Cafe and treat yourself to a pie. You won't regret it.
Sugar cane growing in Jacobs Creek area
Marina at Jacobs Well
Apart from tourism, boating, fishing, marinas, a great little tavern that serves up good fish & chips and a pie shop with a fancy moniker, it boasts one of the last farming areas in this part of the state that still grows sugar cane and a mill which crushes the cane and turns it into sugar. Oh! and I almost forgot to include the hiring of houseboats. Dare I say it, "Does anybody remember the movie "Houseboat" with Carey Grant and Sophia Loren. No! well, it was a long time ago but Sophia Loren looked like a million dollars then and she still looks like a million dollars to-day.
Proposed ride from Jacobs Well to Coomera and return
Was it suitable for a recreational ride? At the time, I thought it was going to be really good but you will have to wait for my next post to find out what it was really like.
Cheers and safe riding,
Jimmy Bee

Saturday, 2 November 2013


A typical Sunshine Coast beach scene

When we overnight on a cycling excursion, comfort is not the thing that comes to mind. Cost is the main objective and providing the accommodation is clean and functional, we figure that any small discomfort is quickly dismissed with the need of well deserved sleep after an arduous ride. It is not unusual to fit four or even five into a cabin if the sleeping arrangements permit. On this particular occasion, we slept four in one cabin and three in another ......very cosy. We met in one cabin and had post ride drinks prior to walking a couple hundred metres to the local tavern where we had quality pub fare washed down with either beer or wine.

Up bright and early, a light breakfast and we were on our way to Caloundra. This ride was totally different to the ride we undertook the previous day, in that it was more of a scenic route with many opportunities to photograph beautiful seascapes with gentle surf breaking on golden sandy beaches and the heavens a cobalt blue. Is it any wonder that Australians flock to the beach at any given opportunity.



This is one of the easiest rides I have undertaken to date with shared paths following the beach and suburban roads, light traffic and no navigation problems worth a mention. With the smell of salt in the air, a light breeze, sunshine and panoramic vistas of the sea, man, it was just great to be alive. There is something about the seaside that infuses the skin with an energy that is so vibrant, it is hard to define.

 This joint ain't no Hicksville, it is no less than the 'Kingdom of Pleasure'. People flock here from the southern states and New Zealand where the sunshine, surf and relaxed atmosphere is the one panacea to cure all stress related illnesses whether real or imagined.

Ridin' along on my pushbike honey

Ridin' alone on my pushbike honey.

Mooloolaba, Qld.

Did you know that a fine view of the ocean can be had from inside of the public toilet block in Mooloolaba? Click on this link to find out where .....

Can you imagine swimming in this cool pristine surf on a hot summer's day where the sea temperature ranges between 26 -28 degrees C (79 - 82 degrees F). Even in the winter the temperature ranges between 20 - 22 degrees C (68 - 72 degrees F). Strangely enough, if you have been sun bathing for a short period and then decide to run into the surf, it's akin to jumping into icy cold water and the shock can temporarily take your breath away.

If you aren't into the surfing and sun bathing scene you may wish to try your hand at paddling an outrigger canoe or sailing a yacht or a plethora of other water based activities. If all of these energy consuming sports and pastimes are a bit on the extreme, there is always a bike to ride to the local watering hole where the only activity allowed is bending the elbow and watching the pretty girls go by.

A group of cobwebs (crusty old buggers with expensive bikes), I picked up on the way

We didn't quite make it to Caloundra due to time constraints (genuine excuse) but we all had a good time and I personally can't wait until we ride the Sunshine Coast again.

Maroochydore to Wurtulla, Sunshine Coast, Qld. Australia.
Distance: 65 km.
Difficulty: Easy.
Surface: Bitumen & cement shared paths. Bitumen  roads.
Bike: Any well maintained bike.

This is a great recreational ride, whether you complete all or part of the ride.

Map: Courtesy of Map my Ride

Cheers and safe riding
Jimmy Bee