Day two in Brisbane and the conference work starts at lunchtime, so I have a lazy Sunday morning to myself. Time for another adventure I think, so up at 5am and out into the dark with the Bianchi Impulso from Bike Obsession. I had loaded my little device with a gpx track to the nearest coast, which is at Nudgee Beach, a nature reserve just north of Brisbane. One or two other cyclists were out too as I crossed the river.
Looking back to Brisbane the city was lighting up the river and the lights along the bridges were shining out. It was difficult to catch much of this in the low light, but I love the sense of movement which comes from having a slow shutter speed combined with motion while taking the photo - the way the image blurs into a tunnel giving a sense of motion to the image. I passed the P&O 'Pacific Jewel' coming in to dock and waved to the passengers on the decks. I had no real idea of how to follow my route as it seemed to jump on and off cycle paths and I only had the little black line to follow. I asked another cyclist the way to the beach, to which he responded... what beach?
As the light grew I found myself leaving the city and passing into a suburban commercial district near the race course. I loved the sign which read, "Floating Horses Turn Here" or something similar.
Eventually I joined the Nudgee Rd cycle path which is about 7km long and wide enough for two cyclists side by side in either direction. Very civilised. I chased down three cyclists ahead but they saw me coming and turned left. Eventually I reached the shore and hassled three women who'd just cycled up into taking my picture. They commented on my short sleeves and said I must be mad, or English. Clearly, madam, I'm English.
I saw a group of three Ibis picking scraps up from around a picnic area, such an odd looking creature I had to keep snapping shots until I got a profile picture in focus. I also saw a Pelican swimming sedately along the river.
There were many more cyclists by the time I started to return, the Nudgee Beach appears to be a popular turning point for riders, that coastal / boundary type of place. Ride to the Ocean! This is the Pacific Ocean.
Coming back into Brisbane I found a beautiful little organic coffee shop and ordered breakfast of ham and cheese croissant, black coffee and some ginger beer.
After filling up with delicious food from "The Little Pantry" at 92 James Street, Brisbane, I headed back for the riverside cycle paths back to the hotel on South Bank. Some of the lanes are boardwalks which clatter as I ride along them, others are encrusted with jungles of hanging branches.