Sunday, 12 February 2012

Mudflats to mangroves

Hubby and I decided we needed a good hard bike ride this weekend, and with such beautiful weather in the mornings, we had a little brekkie, pumped up our tyres, packed our gel packs and water bottles and made our way from Wynnum West to Redcliffe return.

Bren always sets a good pace, but is also mindful of not killing me in the first 20km. We wound our way through Lindum, Lytton and Hemmant and before we knew it, we were prepping to ride the Leo Hoelscher bridge (Gateway).

With fresh legs on my side, I stuck with the big cog on the way up - a slow pace but a great warm up for the quads and hammies. Quick check in at the top and we began the fun part - the downhill after the hard slog to the top.

This is a great ride that takes you through a stack of different environments. Rural, industrial, airport, bike paths, wetlands, foreshores, back streets, with plenty to see on the way. Relatively uneventful on the way there, and after some nice hills around Shorncliffe, it was nice to rest the legs as we made our way along the picturesque foreshore bike path and over the purpose-built shared walkway on the bridge that links Sandgate and Clontarf.

Stopped for a rest and a drink before the return ride. Toilet stop at the end of the bridge in some high-tech, interactive toilets. Push the button to open the door. Push the button to close the door. Simple enough. Then the toilet man (electronic) welcomes you to the loo. Explains how it works and that you have ten minutes to do what you came to do. Some pleasant elevator type music plays (mine was "What the World Needs Now"). However midway through my business the man advises that scanners have detected no movement (pardon the pun), and that if I wanted to keep the door from opening I needed to move. Now with my butt planted firmly on the seat, the last thing I needed was an open door, so I frantically waved my arms. Toilet man thanked me and advised I had a further ten minutes.

Need toilet paper - press the button and it comes out of a slot in the wall. On completion of your task, no need to flush - this one flushes automatically when you either wash your hands or press the button to open the door. By far one of the more entertaining toilet sessions I've ever undertaken!

Stopped quickly at Shorncliffe to inspect a bike I wanted to buy and we were back on the way home.

The ride home was just as uneventful as the ride out - although we did get to see Emma Jackson (world class triathlete) on a training run. Midday sun, long run, and she was striding it out like a Sunday stroll. Worked out she was running at about 20km/hr - made our bikes look relatively slow!

Trundled along nicely until the 95km mark, at which point I began to doubt whether I'd make it home. Legs were cramping a little with some tightness in the upper left. Made it home ok, and had a fabulously cold shower as my reward.

Would recommend sections of this ride if you don't want a big day out on two wheels. Drive to Boondall Wetlands and the kids will enjoy the ride around the parklands. Alternatively, drive to Sandgate and take in the esplanade bike path - nice and flat with views out across the bay. The ride across the bridge is on a good bikepath and there are lots of parks on the other side where the kids can have a rest and you can rejuvenate before the return ride.

Off you go - on yer bike!