What we would give to be back at the house “ the fist” built, sitting on the couch with the aircon on. It’s got hot now. Nothing like ginger Pete experienced, a red nut I met in the U.K. who once let out a scream when the mercury hit a whopping 25 degrees and let out the now famous “ It’s so hot I can’t even think”. This is next level. Vanilla ice cream shouldn’t be left in the sun and that’s how I feel when I’m riding on the tarmac, melting away. If we knew what we do now, I think we would still be living the good life in the Waghorne’s pool. This is now, let’s go back to then.
It was a busy road out of Bundy, but I guess that that was the only option, because the town is devoid of footpaths. I guess walking hasn’t been invented here yet. We were just thankful for not being decapitated by a bogan while we were there. At least this road had a shoulder, nothing like the size of mine that Annie has been riding on for most of this trip, but a shoulder none the less.
Childers looked a nice town as we rolled through, but 6:30 in the morning even by our standards was a bit too early to pull up stumps. Exiting town I had another heart in mouth moment hoping the dotted line we were following was in fact rideable through the Wongi state forest and wasn’t going to turn into another shit fight, with us pushing our bikes through the bush. Turns out I fluked one and it was pretty good riding into Howard. Well, except for the last 10-15 km through the pine plantation. They really are a sad place to ride through. Lifeless and dull.
We have Fukushima and Chernobyl and now you can add Hervey Bay to the list of man or women made nuclear disasters. What Ana unleashed in the tent that night will be remembered throughout the ages. It made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck and in the very next instance singed them off. As the mushroom cloud rose through the tent I said goodbye to my nostril hairs as they were burnt off. As the cloud continued to rise all matter of life forms begun dropping from the trees. I hope no pregnant women gather at that park for a chin wag because I have no doubt birth defects will rise in Hervey Bay.
I wasn’t having a good run in Hervey Bay. A butcher bird gave it his best attempt to gouge my eyes out with a frontal attack. We had missed the warning sign telling us there was a madman in the park and just as the bbq started to sizzle with that evenings dinner he launched his attack. The birds beak was written off after the attack and we cooked dinner with our helmets on for the rest of the night.
Riding through Maryborough was a pleasant surprise. They had the best Queenslander homes we have seen to date. Throw in a nice park in the centre of town and it was a good spot for a break at lunchtime.
We’ve been on a few ordinary roads this trip and you can now add the road from Maryborough out to Poona. Poona by name Poona by nature. Long, straight and boring pine plantations. Once there, the morning colours made up for it
Next stop down the road was Tin Can Bay and we had reason to celebrate. My little gypsy sidekick had her visa approved. There is little coincidence that as Annie’s VB intake increased The Sith Lord Peter Dutton decided to fast track her application. It was a relief for both of us and now I have a partner for plenty more adventures. All Ana has to do now is drive everywhere in a car, abuse cyclists, use a KFC drive through, wear a shit fishing shirt and pretend to like cricket so she will become a full blown Australian.
We had a good place to wild camp that night in Tin Can Bay. Even though the mosquitoes outside our tent sounded like they had rabies and were itching to get stuck into us.
My dislike for rednecks in 4x4s increased today as we headed into the bogan Mecca of Rainbow Beach. Too many times we had pricks flying past us close enough that we could reach out and pick their nose. If anyone out there is reading this and are thinking about riding the main rd into Rainbow Beach on a weekend. Don’t! When we finally got into Rainbow we pulled up a stool at the pub and got to watch all the “men” with their chests puffed out drive up from the beach, proud of themselves for conquering some sand.
The next day it was our turn to be heroes and conquer the beach just like the bogans before us. Our plan was to ride the beach from Rainbow to Noosa north shore. We had found a few blogs of people doing it but our only concern was being loaded tourers we might be a bit heavy for the sand. We couldn’t have got better conditions for the ride. Wild camping in the bushes next to the skate park and thankful the schoolies who were in town left us alone, we were up early and itching to get into it. An 8:40am low tide meant we were on the beach and riding at 5:30. Once we realised the sand could take our bikes we were off!
Everyone warned us before the ride, be careful of bogans flying up the beach. Besides the odd surfer driving up the beach, there was hardly anyone out there. With the coloured sands cliff face on one side, the ocean on the other, and with us in the middle with beaming smiles. Early on this was shaping to be one of our best rides for the trip.
If you pinned your ears back and had the wind going the right way you could get to Noosa in a day easy, but that’s not our style and what’s the point of that. We broke it up over 2 days which meant we only had 18.5 km to do the first day to get to Freshwater camp and day use area. We had the riding done by 9am and spent the rest of the day following the shade around and laying on the grass keeping an eye on the goanna who was getting friendlier with us with each passing hr.
The Qld kids were celebrating “ schoolies week” while we were there. While there was a heap of 4x4s heading through the park they were pretty well behaved. Our only concern was how can these kids who have just finished school can get around in new 4×4’s. They sure put to shame the shitboxes we drove for our first car.
Day 2 saw us have a little further to ride but with only 45 km to the Noosa river barge it was hardly a pinch. With a little tail wind along the way our only problem was deciding on a place to have a break and take it all in.
The only issue with this route is eventually you run out of sand to ride on. But like all good things do, eventually it had to end. Heading across the river into Noosa on the barge nothing could’ve wiped the smile from our faces. The Great Sandy National Park has been a highlight so far.
We’d organised to stay with a warmshowers host once we were in Noosa and we struck gold again with Mick & Mel. It really is a great community and it’s nice being in a bed for a couple of days to recharge the batteries. Another bonus is being able to eat something different that doesn’t need to be heated up in a pot. We are having a few issues with food atm. 2 minute noodles with peanut butter, pesto pasta and oats with jam on repeat is starting to wear thin.
We gave the bikes a spell and walked the Noosa headland trail while we were in town. It’s one of Annie’s favourite places. With it being a bit of a rough day we didn’t have to share it with too many people either. A lot of people love themselves in Noosa but if we lived here we would probably love ourselves too! With the beach and nature on your door step it’s a pretty good lifestyle.
Goodbyes are never easy and after bidding farewell to Cooper, Mick & Mels Labrador it was time to hit the hills. After tossing up which way to go, we met a bloke in town who confirmed Annie’s magical route that she had drawn. It was straight up and over the back for us. Heading out of Noosa we started contemplating if we should just ride around here for the rest of the trip. It started resembling some sort of magical cyclist utopia. People were friendly, cars were nice to us and there were bike trails and paths everywhere.
To get around the back of Brisbane and The Gold Coast we headed straight up to Cooroy. Hills aside the riding was spot on, green lush and quiet. We camped that night in a free camp ground about 10km from Imbil.
The following day was another pleasant ride through the Mary Valley. Taking us into Imbil a town too nice not to stop at. I’m glad we did because we witnessed one of the biggest toddler meltdowns of all time. The strength the mother showed to not toss that toddler off the bridge while he was screaming has to be commended. It was a great advertisement for conception. It’s got me stumped how parents put up with that shit. Alcohol, I guess?
Yabba creek campground outside of Kenilworth was our camp for that night. It seems like a lifetime ago now. They were simpler times back then. The grass was green and things lived.
It was a good start the next day. My seat fell apart. I’d lost the tension bolt somewhere and the bracket fell off. I have no hard feelings towards the saddle. If I had my sweaty ass on me for that long I’d throw the toys out the pram too. Luckily with a bit of hose a nomad gave us, my towel and a couple of cable ties, there is no problem that cannot be solved.
We’ve been up some decent hills on this trip. The one we rode up to get through Conondale National Park takes the cake in terms of toughest. 30 km uphill, hot and a rough road to boot. It took it out of us. Half way along when an old couple stopped to offer us a lift was something I regretted knocking back at the end of the day. At the top of the hill the tarp came out for lunch and we laid down beside the road staring at the forest.
Water was starting to become an issue after lunch. We had chewed through a bit getting up Satan’s hill. Kindly the Queensland education department has put an outdoor ed camp on the hill. After jumping the fence our problem was solved.
We were a sad looking sight rolling into Peach trees campground that evening. We were buggered. All we wanted was to eat and for it to be cool enough to get inside our tent. It was a unanimous decision the following day to have a rest day. With the campground clearing out from the weekend and the heatwave coming, we took a leaf out of the locals book and spent the day laying under a tree.
Leaving Jimna it was all down hill into the Brisbane valley and onto the Brisbane valley rail trail. We jumped on near Linville, it’s a great idea using unused space and infrastructure and encouraging people to get outside and explore areas and pump a bit of cash into towns. Only problem for us is the mercury has topped 40 a couple of times since and it feels like we are riding in an oven. Our new tactic now is finishing at towns or caravan parks that have a pool and sitting in it for the rest of the day. Even if we have finished riding by 8am!
Another reason we were setting the worlds slowest pace to get down the rail trail, was to meet a couple of special mates I lived with in London. A lot might have changed since those days. Nap time has taken precedence over what time happy hour finishes. But one thing that won’t change is we will always be mates. Thanks for coming out to that dry hell hole, girls. It’s always a pleasure to see you!