Wednesday, 1 October 2014

CYCLING VIRGINIA LOOP via Boondall Wetlands, Sandgate and Downfall Creek

Are you looking for a nice relaxing 46 km ride on the north side of the river? If you are, look no further. Two friends and I rode this route last Tuesday. It was supposed to be a much longer route, some 64 km in fact but unfortunately it wasn't to be, not then anyway. We were still smiling at the end and there is always another time and another ride to my repertoire.

We met at Cleveland station, loaded the bikes and off we went, however, as we were approaching the eastern side of the Gateway bridge the traffic on the inside lane started to slow. Quick thinking and not to be thwarted, we took an alternative route to cross the Brisbane River but it cost us time and as we wanted to be back relatively early, we had to cut a portion of our ride off. It is seldom that we ride an unknown route, following a map, without taking a wrong turn and this happened again resulting in missing another great portion of the ride. Why don't we use GPS, well, I only have a map app. on my smart phone and in this hot, sunny land of ours, it is very difficult to read whilst riding due to the glare (anyway that's my excuse).

The above four photographs are a reasonable representation of the route through the Boondall Wetlands and look at the cycle way, who in their right mind would ride on road mixing it with vehicular traffic if you weren't forced to do so. The good news is that our local and state authorities are heeding the call of cyclists and more and more quality paths are appearing yearly, which equates to more and more bikes being off road and less causalities and if you are a commuter how better to start and finish a working day.

Cabbage Tree Creek

Shorncliffe Pier

Shared path from Shorncliffe to Brighton

Ted Smout bridge crossing Bramble Bay from Brighton to Clontarf

It is an absolute pleasure cycling along the shore line from Shorncliffe to Brighton, beautiful bay views, plenty of amenities, comfortable grassy parks. On this occasion instead of crossing the bridge, we rode beneath it and crossed to the other side of the Deagon Deviation Road and headed south along the cycle way as part of our loop back to Virginia station. This part of the ride encompasses both secondary roads and pathways through some beautiful parks and nature reserves and of course the obligatory coffee break which was taken at a small shopping centre on Robinson Road, Aspley, just to the west of Kirby Road.

A nice piece of art work along side of the cycleway through 7th Brigade Park

Downfall Creek

After coffee, we headed south along Kirby Road, skirted around Marchant Park, crossed Murphy Road and entered 7th Brigade Park. Although I did do a couple of quick Google searches, I was unable to find out much in relation to the name '7th Brigade Park' except for the fact that it did have various associations with military units both during WW1 and WW2 and that an Kittyhawk aircraft crashed here whilst pilot training during WW2.

This was a really enjoyable  ride but next time I'll ensure that we do the complete 64 km.

Cheers and safe riding,
Jimmy Bee

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