2020 : Our Rides in Words, Photos & Videos

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Where is the smoke?

I failed to ride yesterday. I wussed out because of temps in the mid 30s.
… Cowlitz
There was a bit of rain – not much, mind you – over Christmas to clear the lingering haze.

High-twenties forecast for where I'm headed today. Should be interesting.
… David
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#1 of 5 : Noosa River Ride — The Bar …
Noosa River enters Pacific Ocean

Looking towards photos #3 & #5.
Noosa – about 135 km north of Brisbane or 65 km from our home – was, for thirty years, our favourite family holiday destination.

This photo was taken from the Noosa River's breakwater with Laguna Bay (Pacific Ocean) on our right and the river flowing in from the left. This spot is a favourite learn-to-surf location.

Although Noosa is built up the North Shore, as can be seen in the photo, has been left undeveloped.

Map : Sunshine Coast Ride : 104 km

  • photos 1–3 : 8.00–9.00 am (looking inland, westward)
  • photos 4–5 : 3.00–4.00 pm (#5 looking downstream)
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Breathe deeply on the clear days. I keep seeing all the fire reports on facebook. They bring back bad memories of our summer two years ago when I'd wake up and look out the window, and check how thick the smoke was. That was our August. Fresh air was badly missed.

If it happens again, I'm definitely loading up the trailer (caravan), dog and bike and heading for fresher air.

You live in a beautiful place.
#2 of 5 : Noosa River Ride — Laguna Bay


Looking westward towards #1
We're now about ten minutes ebike pedalling (no throttle with Bosch motors!) from where the previous photo was taken (just left of left tree). Across Laguna Bay you can see the undeveloped Noosa North Shore and the almost deserted beach stretching north for a long way.
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#3 of 5 : Noosa River Ride — Noosaville
Noosa River seen from Noosaville

Looking upstream towards #5.
Memories! Kayaking, sailing, walking along the river and, of course, cycling… plus a few more gelatos than were strictly necessary. This is where we vacationed for many years.
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#4 of 5 : Noosa River Ride — Cooroibah


Later in the day, after returning from a coast ride (photos another time), I revisited a ride from times past. On my way to Lake Cooroibah I was surprised to find this area of coastal forest that had been devastated two months ago.

The larger eucalypts were already resprouting and, hopefully, the spindlier casuarinas and melaleucas will follow.
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Don't underestimate nature! This picture shows an area that fried about 3 or 4 years ago. The moose have moved in to munch on the willows. My worry is about falling snags later. Although not this year, I'll post another post apocalypse photo in the same area.

What was the cause of all the Aussie fires? Did you have what we call a lightning bust? I used to reluctantly go out on fire crews when they got desperate for bodies. I whined a lot about it, especially when having to go without a shower!


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#5 of 5 : Noosa River Ride — Tewantin
Pelicans over the Noosa River, Tewantin

Looking downstream towards #3.
Australian pelicans (Pelicanus conspicillatus) heading for Lake Doonella just beyond the bridge that I was on.

Photo taken six to seven hours after the first three – not a cloud remains!
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Mount Coolum Beach — 115 km north of Brisbane on the Sunshine Coast

This is so much better than cable .
  • Careful now Guv, sitting on the beach with only the lifeguards for company could become boringly addictive.
  • Maybe, that ramp down from the wallum heath-covered dunes was made especially for ebikes with fat wheels!
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#1 of 5 : Richmond River Ride — Wardell

Tap photo to fill screen.
Wardell is sleepy little town on the Richmond River – 225 km south of Brisbane and 700 km north of Sydney.

Amazingly this lift-span bridge (constructed 1964) still carries the entire flow of Brisbane-Sydney road traffic. Coastal shipping is now a thing of the past and the last ocean-going craft to bring Highway One to a halt at Wardell were tugboats guiding an enormous crane barge upstream to the construction site of a new multi-lane motorway bridge – extraordinary engineering which should suffice for the next half-century or so. When that work is complete later this year, the tugboats will return to retrieve the barge, the road span will lift (for one last time?) and Wardell will return to its slumbers which were interrupted in the mid-sixties, assuming, of course, that the six hundred residents can lull themselves to sleep without the soothing rumble of traffic.

Like most Australian country towns, Wardell is 'world famous' for its meat pies (nutritious and delicious and 50% fat-free). I enjoyed one by the river and then headed down to the coast.
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#2 of 5 : Richmond River Ride — Water Skiing

Others enjoy their pastimes as much as we do ours. Good! The water ski area was in a wide section of the Richmond River about midway between the Wardell bridge and the coastal town of Ballina.


  1. Wardell – lift bridge
  2. Empire Vale – water ski area
  3. Burns Point – ferry
  4. Ballina – yacht anchorage
  5. East Ballina – breakwater
Equivalent US location: central Florida.
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