Tuesday, 19 May 2015

TRAVERSING 6 BRIDGES over the Brisbane River, Qld.

For an embedded Ride with GPS map please open  http://ridewithgps.com/routes/7845911  
This app. will not only allow you to get a greater resolution but a cue sheet as well.

Just to make life a little more interesting, I decided to take our group, U3A's Pedaling Pathfinders, on a meandering ride crossing the Brisbane river 6 times. When you have ridden a route a number of times, it helps to change it slightly. After all, variety is the spice of life.

A collage of some points of interest on this route

This ride started from the Norman Park Railway Station and ended at the Park Road Railway Station, a distance of 37 km. and travelling through some 15 suburbs, which means that you are able to enter or exit this route whenever you choose. It is a fun ride with varying scenery all of the way and plenty of areas to stop for coffee and snacks. A great way to gain some exercise at the same time.


Cheers and safe riding,
Jimmy Bee

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

COASTAL ESCAPE CYCLING TOUR - Day 7 - Huskisson to Berry, NSW

Huskisson to Berry via Nowra, NSW
For an embedded "Ride with GPS" map please open http://ridewithgps.com/routes/7869518

One of our group expressing her feelings on Hyam's Beach

Bye! bye! Huski, it has been a wonderful couple of days. I had really hit the peak of relaxation and could easily have stayed another couple of days. What with an excellent place to stay, a hotel with tremendous views, fine food and music, glorious beaches and good cycling.The Dolphin Wild cruise on Jervis Bay was excellent with a skipper who had superb local knowledge and knew just when to add a little zest with intermittent bursts on the throttle just to wake us out of our complacency. The scenery was a photographer's dream, the dolphins played on cue and the white sand and emerald green water almost unique....... I shall return.

Redlands U3A 'Pedal for Pleasure' group posing near Falls Creek, NSW

Falls Creek, NSW

Today we ride the countryside again as we veer inland to Nowra. Part of the ride entailed riding off road  and fording Falls Creek, a pretty area ideally suited to picknickers. As we hadn't been in the saddle for all that long, we didn't bother to stop and have a snack, just a couple of happy snaps were taken and we were on our way once more.

Our next stop was the Fleet Air Arm Museum www.navy.gov.au › History › Navy Museums approximately 6 to 7 kms south west of Nowra where we managed to spend a couple of hours looking at these magnificent old relics from a bygone era. As the museum had a cafe attached to it, we were able to have a snack and coffee before heading on  to Nowra.

On reaching Nowra, several of us elected to end our cycling tour and take the train the rest of the way to Berry. The reason for making this decision was purely a safety issue as we were now required to ride on the Princess Highway to Berry. Our ride notes fairly informed us that although the Highway had a recently upgraded shoulder to cycle on, there were many little bridges where the shoulder disappeared and as I don't like mixing motor vehicles  with cycling (personal choice) unless I have no other alternative, I made the decision to train it. As it so happened, the cycling group beat us into Berry but the ride on the two carriage diesel train was a complete novelty as I hadn't experienced this type of train travel since my early teens.

A picture of relaxation

Why do older people use fingers instead of thumbs when messaging.

So there we were on our last night, in the town of Berry. We were met at the Berry Hotel by Emma our hostess who kindly bought us all a drink as a farewell gesture which ensured that we stayed on at the hotel for our farewell dinner.

The coastal escape tour www.australiancyclingholidays.com.au/ was overall extremely good with excellent accommodation, management and choice of routes. The only drawback being that a lot of the bikes could have been serviced better. The Hexagon bike which replaced the one I originally was given was a great bike to ride. It was smooth, responsive and a joy to ride and made the rest of my tour so much more enjoyable.

Would I recommend it? Yes, it is a pleasant way of experiencing up close, the beauty of the Illawarra coastline and further along the south coast of NSW, which cannot be fully appreciated by hurtling along a highway at 100 kph.


Cheers and safe riding,
  Jimmy Bee  

Monday, 11 May 2015


Huskisson, NSW

Huskisson, NSW

Not only is Huskisson a pretty little coastal town situated on the shoreline of Jervis Bay, it fairly rocks on weekends which makes it a real fun town to be in and I am only happy that we were there on a weekend to witness and partake in the revelry of the  people really enjoying themselves to the music streaming out of a number of venues in the main street. Being 186 km from Sydney and 207 km from Canberra, places it in the ideal situation for attracting people from both cities seeking extended weekend recreation.

By the quality of the tourist boats in the harbour, it obviously attracts tourists and why not as it is Australia's most northerly fur seal colony, has it's own pod of dolphins, a large sheltered creek to accommodate the recreational and fishing craft and a launching pad to watch Southern Right whales frolicking in the pristine waters of the bay whilst migrating. 

Sandholme www.sandholme.com.au/ was our accommodation for a number of our group including myself for the two nights that we were here and I have to say I felt both privileged and humbled at the same time at the way  we were welcomed and treated. Nothing was too much trouble and the attention to the finest detail didn't escape my attention either. For example each morning we were treated to a bespoke breakfast for which we had to order the night before. It was beautifully cooked the exact way I wanted it from a large choice. There was nothing one could have wanted that wasn't catered for. I actually felt scruffy and out of place, turning up for breakfast in my cycling gear, not that it offended our hosts, far from it, they were totally relaxed and made us feel at home no matter what we wore.

Another nice touch was when we arrived home from having dinner, there was a carafe of port accompanied by an array of chocolates for our pleasure whilst we played a game of pool.

I couldn't recommend Sandholme highly enough. it was superb.

Huskisson to Hyams Beach, NSW

For an embedded "Ride with GPS" map please open  http://ridewithgps.com/routes/7847324

As the next day was a non touring day, well, cycling anyway, I wasn't going to ride, however, as our accommodation was a reasonable distance from the centre of town I thought that if I have to ride to town perhaps I should look at doing a little more. It was a pleasant ride out through Vincentia and through Jervis Bay National Park which was all dirt riding including some challenging single track. At the other end of the park, our group split with the majority returning to Huskisson and a few electing to ride to Hyams Beach which is supposed to have the whitest sand in the world which is a big claim but I would suggest that there is scientific proof to back it up.

Hyams Beach, NSW
Hyams Beach, NSW
It has such a beautiful view to the east that it would make a brilliant location to shoot a movie.

After coffee we made our way back to Huskisson and I was very pleased I made the decision to ride.


Cheers and safe riding,
  Jimmy Bee  

Thursday, 7 May 2015

COASTAL ESCAPE CYCLE TOUR - Day 5 - Nowra to Huskisson, NSW

Map courtesy of Ride with GPS

This was a huge day, not in the sense of riding but it also included a cruise around Jervis Bay with Dolphin Wild Cruises.... http://www.dolphinwild.com.au/ . Before I elaborate on the cruise, lets start at the beginning in Nowra.

Nowra with a population of nearly 35,000, is situated on the banks of the Shoalhaven River some 160 km south of Sydney. The first winner of the Melbourne Cup, Australia's premier thoroughbred race meeting, was Archer, trained in the district and went on to win the 2nd Melbourne Cup as well. Arthur Boyd, a famous Australian artist, also lived in the district and the list of famous inhabitants goes on and on. 

Our accommodation at the Park Haven Motor Lodge was good, probably not up to Sebel Harbourside standards but comfortable none the less. After breakfast which was served in our rooms, we embarked on a ride from Nowra to Myola where we had to board a ferry by 12.45 pm to take us to Huskisson, otherwise we may have missed our cruise departure.

You would be forgiven, if you thought you were in Finland or dreaming as it looks pretty authenic
Not all travel is on a sealed road
The ride initially took us along the river for approximately 10 km before making a sharp right hand turn heading overland to Callala Bay and then on to Callala Beach, where we stopped to have some refreshments. 

We stopped at a cafe adjacent to Callala Beach which had a great little deck, large enough to accommodate our group perfectly. Our ride notes recommended stopping here and buying some lunch before boarding the ferry a little further along at Myola. Of interest here was that management gave us a sample of their dry fried chips (fries) which were quite tasty and probably were more healthy eating than the usual fried chips. Having a group of 18 hungry cyclists descend upon a lonely little cafe unexpectedly probably helps their daily profit quite nicely.

  It was at the end of these steps that we boarded a small ferry which took us to Huskisson.

I took the above photograph of the sea birds as we emerged from the creek to enter Jervis Bay.

Our first glimpse of Huskisson, a small coastal town in which we were to spend the next two days and to me was one of the highlights of the tour.

I couldn't help taking this sneaky photograph of one of our group relaxing on the wharf whilst awaiting to board the Dolphin Wild Cruise boat, dolphinwildcruises.com.au/

Similar to the boat we cruised on.....plenty of grunt!
Jervis Bay, looking east.

The above photographs were taken as we cruised along the northern escarpment of Jervis Bay. There are some quite remarkable formations, colours and caves caused by the elements eroding sandstone.

Hyams Beach. The dark change of colour in the water is sea grass.

We certainly got our money's worth, the tour of Jervis Bay was slick, professional and educational added to a heady mix of adrenaline and adventure as the four large outboard motors made mixing it with the large waves coming in through the heads look like child's play. One moment we were ploughing through the waves and the next, airborne. There was a gentle side to the boat as well as it nonchalantly glided through a pod of local dolphins playing and feeding. These beautiful wild mammals certainly love the lime light as they graciously performed for us as if in repertory.

The temperature out on the bay was quite cool as we cut through the spray and I was pleased that I put my hand up when offered a storm jacket at the beginning of the tour. The tour gave us  some insight into the vast Jervis Bay ecological systems at play.The sandy beaches bordering the exquisite crystal clear water is said to have the whitest sand in the world. One wonders at the force of nature as the wind and wave motion, over time, sculptured patterns in beautiful colours on the cliffs and over time, burrowed and moulded the caves so easily seen from our boat. 

To learn more about Jervis Bay, open the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jervis_Bay


Cheers and safe riding,
  Jimmy Bee