Saturday, 28 February 2015


I was sitting at home working on some cycling maps when the phone rang and a friend asked if I would like to go for a ride along a new route he had discovered in the area where we both lived. As a cycling blogger, I am always hungry for new and adventurous routes so I eagerly accepted and I was pleased that I did.

For an embedded map of the ride please open the following link:

This new route covered old ground but in a new way and as our riding group's name is The Pedaling Pathfinders and our charter is to find new cycling paths, trails, etc. to ride, this new ride fitted in well.

The ride took us through the suburbs of  Ormiston, Alexandra Hills, Thornlands, Cleveland Point and Raby Bay.

A small representation of the beautiful flora found in the Redlands, Qld.

We covered the 48 km  at a respectable average speed of 19.4 k per hour which I thought was reasonable on hybrids riding predominantly on off road paths and dirt tracks.

On arrival back at my place we cracked a cold bottle of home brew whilst producing the above map courtesy of Ride with GPS.

What a nice surprise and one, totally out of the blue.


Cheers and safe riding,

Jimmy Bee


Tuesday, 24 February 2015


As this was to be the first ride of the season, I wanted everything to go right but Murphy had other ideas. Sometimes I think that Messrs. Murphy and Hubris take great delight in tipping the proverbial when things are done that are not quite right.

Norman Park Loop via Indooroopilly, Qld.

Embedded Map:

The beautiful Brisbane River

Part of the Cycling Exhibition at the Queensland Museum

The plan was to incorporate a Brisbane River loop with a stop at a bicycle exhibition at the Queensland Museum. The only difference between this ride and previous Brisbane River rides is that I wanted to start and finish at Norman Park Station, which was longer and the added stop over at the museum. This all seemed quite doable when planning but in hindsight there were a number of factors, had they been thought out properly, would clearly have shown that although feasible, the plan was flawed.

When I did my postmortem of the ride, it was patently obvious that I failed to consider crucial points when planning, such as:

      • Considering the length of the ride, have I allowed sufficient time to have all riders back on the train before peak hour. There is quite a difference between the fastest and slowest riders within the group.
      • I  failed to  set a time period for visiting the bicycle exhibition at the museum. Trying to muster everyone was akin to herding cats. (Thanks Dave)
      • I hadn't factored in school holidays. It took us a long time waiting for our coffee etc. at the coffee spot due to the influx of mums, grannies and kids being at our preferred cafe.
      • The ride was unusually slow, not because it was over long but it was hot and humid and people had become over relaxed too early in the ride which rose to lethargy among some of our riders.  
      • The group became fractured, with some wanting to complete the ride, others wanting to split and do their own thing and the remainder wanting to cut the ride short and catch an early train.
      • As leader, I decided at this point, to disband  the ride allowing each group to do their own thing with me riding to the nearest station with the slowest members. My reasoning for this is that when some riders are unusually slow, it could be because of underlying medical reasons brought to the fore by the hot and humid conditions and I wasn't about to leave them on their own to find the nearest  station. The other riders I knew to be perfectly capable of completing the ride. I have to give credit here to one of our experienced riders remaining with me (Thanks Les) and as he was accustomed to the area was able to navigate to the nearest station quickly.
      • A lesson well learnt and not to be repeated.  
What I learnt from this exercise is attention to detail and having the plan checked by another set of eyes is paramount, it is very easy to miss the obvious.


Cheers and safe riding,

Jimmy Bee


Sunday, 22 February 2015


Lighthouse Restaurant, Cleveland Point.

 I had planned a ride last Friday to Wynnum via Capalaba but as luck would have it, an angry maiden called Marcia decided to invade our shores to the north of us in the form of a cyclone and poured buckets of rain upon us, so much so that I had to call off the ride.

In my depressed state, I sent out the following email:

Unfortunately, due to weather conditions, the ride to Wynnum North via Capalaba is cancelled.
If anyone who is stuck at home feeling down and claustrophobic, you may join me for a coffee at The Lighthouse cafe at 10 am so that we can feel down, miserable and claustrophobic together.Warning! do not sit too close to the outside railing, as we may have to arrange to have you picked up from South Stradbroke Island.

Alternative: If weather is such, that at the time you have to que for a rowboat to get to the cafe, we'll adjourn to Coffee Secrets where we can be really miserable because we have missed out on all of the wave action on the point. 

Your not so intrepid and miserable leader,

jimmy bee

I donned on the wet weather gear, drove to Cleveland Point and parked the car where it wasn't likely to be sprayed with salt water. Entering the cafe, I spotted one of our members sitting in a corner, her head ensconced in a book. I ordered a large coffee and joined her thinking that at least one intrepid member of our group was going to join me. Before I had time to take my first gulp, another one turned up and then another and another, all looking a little like drowned rats. bringing the tally to nine. It is amazing how quickly an animated group of cyclists can change the mood. What started out to be a depressing morning turned into an enjoyable social occasion. The cyclonic conditions didn't dampen our spirits at all.....not for long anyway.

The photograph of the Lighthouse Restaurant was not taken at the time but used to illustrate just how beautiful Cleveland Point is.


Cheers and safe riding,

Jimmy Bee

Wednesday, 18 February 2015


There is always a certain amount of satisfaction from planning  and executing a new cycling route, no matter how long or short it may be. Trepidation is also present when riding the route for the first time, particularly if riding with a group. The saving grace is that all the riders share the same emotion which heightens everyone's awareness of the surroundings and they also share in the satisfaction of having a good ride.

Entrance ramp to Eleanor Schonnel Bridge

Eleanor Schonnel Bridge spanning the Brisbane River between Dutton Park and St. Lucia

Beans On The Green - a great spot to visit
On this particular ride, we took a train from Cleveland to Park Road, crossed the Brisbane river to St. Lucia, riding through the campus of Queensland University, passing the lower portals of Mt. Cootha to Bardon Bowling Club where we stopped at  Beans on The Green for some well deserved refreshment. Well deserved in this case as the route in this area is quite undulating with a couple of reasonable hills to be climbed and as fate has it, a wrong turn was taken and we found ourselves off route for a short while.

Enoggera Creek
The second part of the ride took us to The Gap, where we retraced our steps to Ashgrove and followed the Enoggera Creek Bikeway to Windsor and then on to Albion Station where we boarded the train back to Cleveland.

The ride itself is 26 km but our little error in navigation added on another 4 km, making 30 km in total.

Embedded Map:


Cheers and safe riding,

Jimmy Bee

Saturday, 7 February 2015


Is it just me or does time appear to build up momentum the older you get. January is now history and we are out of the barrier racing towards Easter which will be here before we know it.

January started well with a week of pure relaxation in beautiful Burleigh Heads, my favorite beach on the Gold Coast. After that, it was pretty much all downhill. Not only did we have to contend with the hot and humid weather necessitating in the postponement of a couple of good cycling trips but my father in law and good friend became extremely ill and passed away in the wee hours of Sunday the 25th January.

The above four photographs are a sample of what can be seen on a ride or walk through the Redlands

Apart from losing a good friend, it has brought home to me the necessity of grabbing life with both hands, no matter how old you may be and embracing it to the fullest. Although the cost of living in Australia is not cheap, it is possible to lead a full and satisfying life without costing an arm and a leg. This country is opening up more with the governments building a network of cycling and walking paths for all to use and it doesn't cost a cent. Even our parks have exercising equipment. It is not an excuse to say 'I can't afford it' and the benefit to your health is immeasurable. Personally, completing a morning's ride through a forest, park or a pathway by the sea gives me a high, my whole body feels enriched and I believe the same feeling can be achieved by walking. If you are feeling down, hop on a bike or slip on a pair of walking shoes and head for the great outdoors. One thing I have noticed though is riding or walking with a friend and that may be a hairy friend, of the four legged variety, makes the journey so much better.

A pair of Tawny Frogmouths---

Taking up recreational cycling since retiring from the work force has meant so much to me, I have more friends, partake in amazing conversations, feel fitter and healthier and it has given me the opportunity of getting up close and personal with, not only nature but actually finding places within this fair city which I was completely unaware actually existed and guess what, the only cost has been the cost of a coffee shared with friends, the occasional rail fare to a start point somewhere else in the suburbs and regular servicing of my bike.

Cleveland Harbour
Last Friday was a typical local ride with eleven of us Pedaling Pathfinders riding a loop starting in Cleveland, following a route through several forested areas to Capalaba and then via Birkdale to Wellington Point where we stopped for coffee at Refueled and then headed back home to Cleveland for a debrief over a beer at Hog's Breath by the harbour.

Without a doubt we are the daggiest group of cyclists in Brisbane and proud of it......a complete contrast from the lycra brigade you see on Saturday mornings sitting astride fine thoroughbred shiny machines, heads down and riding in perfect formation. None the less, we are dedicated to achieving good health, well being and relaxation and as we are in the 3rd stage of life what more could we ask for.

For a map of the ride, open the following link,

Walk or cycle to a better way of life in 2015

Cheers and safe riding,

Jimmy Bee