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Another Saturday outing in SE Queensland...

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Posted (edited)

Today’s circuit was working towards my intended 4400km trip to Cooktown – Far North Queensland – and back in June.   At my age  -nudging eighty - and general lack of 'match fitness' I’m not at all sure of my stamina in taking on the multi-day trip, so as much as anything these preparations are to see how I fare.

This ride was in balmy mid-autumn weather, starting at 9am at 23°C (74°F) and rising only slightly to a very pleasant 27°C (79°F).   It was only on the last 70km or so, heading due south, that strong gusty southerly winds – typical for this time of the year – made their presence felt and shoved me around a little.

Heading through my regular haunt of Fernvale, I rode the mildly twisty and undulating Brisbane Valley Hwy, through the Lakes Region, home to two large reservoirs, Lakes Wivenhoe and Somerset, which supply Brisbane and its environs with water.

Emerging at the D’Aguilar Hwy – which runs west to become the Burnett Hwy all the way north to Rockhampton, 700km N of Brisbane - I turned right, which gave me a long sweeping downhill run all the way towards the coast, some 90km distant.   A brief stop for coffee at the small town of Kilcoy refreshed me, and as I sat there a huge group of H-Ds came by – there must have been a couple of hundred bikes, many with pillions, quite the biggest such group I’ve ever seen on an outing.

It being Easter school holidays, there were also plenty of caravans (trailers) about, and with the Grey Nomads (Sun Birds) season about to start many more will soon be cluttering up the roads as they head north for winter warmth and sunshine.   As I shall be…!

I crossed over the major N-S Bruce Hwy at Caboolture to take the Bribie Island Road, my destination on this ride.   Bribie is the only Queensland offshore island to be connected to the mainland by bridge, over the protected marine park Pumicestone Passage, and it’s a favourite haunt for retirees looking for that perfect fishing, golfing, beach-walking, and boating lifestyle.   Most of the island is National Park, so the population of 16,000 makes only a small dent on the place. 

Off the bike for a short time, I strolled around to take in the sea-air, relax, and take a few photographs, before saddling-up and starting the 80 or so kilometres home, battling that headwind.

The 360km of today’s outing was less than I’d wanted to cover.   I do need to prove to myself that the ride to and from Cooktown of around 4400km is not going to leave me exhausted at the end of each day.   It has been some time since I covered those distances – legs per day of up to 534km – so I now plan to have a couple of days away, with a destination in mind about 550km distant.   One night in a motel, then another 550km back home should show me if my Cooktown ride will remain do-able or an elusive and impractical thought. 


Some pix below.  


(above) - today's circuit was clockwise..


(above) - Pumicestone Passage, which separates the island from the mainland, looking N.   In the far distance can be seen a couple of the many Glasshouse Mountains on the Sunshine Coast, in reality remnants of millenia-ago volcanoes.   So-called by explorer Capt. James Cook RN, who found they reminded him of the glasshouses (glass manufacturies) in his home county of Yorkshire in England.


(above) "oh I do like to be beside the seaside..."


(above) - Bribie Island bridge.   Beyond - Moreton Bay, then the Pacific.


Edited by wordsmith
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Australian Lava Red MT-09 Tracer, 06/ 2015 build model, first on-road 21/ 12/ 2018, with many farkles.   Redland Bay, Queensland, Australia

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Very impressive! I bet that was a very tough ride and you made it which means you're really a tough guy! I look forward to reading more of your amazing escapades with your wheels! 

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