Brisbane in summer is very hot, so we wanted to make our last ride before Christmas easy, fun and festive. A tour of Brisbane’s breweries seemed like a good way to achieve this.
We rode from home, planning to meet each other at Bunyaville.
I was on auto pilot. Many mountain bikers on Brisbane’s Northside have ridden from home to the dirt tracks at Bunyaville. If you do it enough times, your bike feels like a horse which can almost take itself there from memory.
The usual suspects were waiting at “Jurassic” for the big day out. Yes we planned to visit some breweries, but we still wanted to enjoy some time on the trails.
We started at “Wayne’s World” – a delightfully twisting track which led us down to a double creek crossing…
…then up the other side.
From there we rode up “Zig Zag”…
…and from there to “Mini Van”, named after the rusting wreck of a mini van which sits beside the track.
My mates were quicker than me. I started at the front but slowly slipped to the back of the group.
They waited for me at each trail head.
Our last trail at Bunyaville was “Dark Side” – another twisting trail which followed the hillside.
From there we rode down a quiet side street to the Cabbage Tree Creek bike path.
I was grateful that Calum had shown me this peaceful track a few weeks ago.
The “tough” part of the ride was over. It was time to enjoy some quiet bike paths for the next few kilometres as we made our way to our first brewery of the day.
Humpybong is not a brewery, it’s a distillery that manufactures gin.
But they do have a good range of craft beers on tap.
We tried the English Pale Ale from All-In Brewing – one of my favourites.
Our strategy was to have no more than one drink per stop. By spacing out the stops over a large distance, everyone would have a chance to work off the effects of the first drink before having any more.
From there we followed some dirt tracks to Jason’s place.
Jason had a pool and kindly offered us a swim…
…and some delicious snacks.
You’re a legend, Jason! Thanks!
There’s a bike way down the end of Jason’s street. We rolled down the road to the bike path and into the city.
This was effortless.
We coasted through “Gasworks” at Newstead under the huge frames of old gas tanks.
In the 1990’s I remember attending public “urban renewal” meetings about this area to discuss how to breathe new life into what was then an old suburb full of disused warehouses.
Twenty-five years later, it looks like they got it right. This is a vibrant place now.
We parked the bikes next to some huge fermentation tanks at Newstead Brewing, and started thinking about which beer to try next.
For the record, I had a small glass of Golden Ale, and enjoyed it.
Another famous brewery in Newstead is “The Green Beacon”.
My son, Jonathan, introduced me to this place a few months ago, and I decided then that I’d like to return.
The bar staff waited patiently while we looked up at the list and tried to choose a drink. With so many taps to pick from, it was difficult to decide.
We left Newstead and rolled on to the riverside bike path at Teneriffe.
Eric and Russel tried to chat up a nice looking Ewe. She wasn’t interested, and ignored them.
The odd sculptures along this section of bike path are fascinating…
…as are the strange signs. Adam “noticed” one.
A fresh breeze drifted across the river, cooling us as we rode.
The bike path followed the Brisbane River upstream. As we rounded a final bend in the river, the city came into view behind the Story Bridge.
This iconic bridge was opened in 1940 after five years of construction.
Seventy-seven years later this bridge carries almost 100,000 vehicles per day over the river.
Riding under it on a bike is much more peaceful than riding over it in a car.
We coasted slowly through the city past cafés and bars.
We were in no hurry, and didn’t want to run anyone over.
We passed dozens of moored yachts…
…and a paddle steamer.
Eventually we left the bustle of the city and entered the Botanical Gardens.
What a great looking bike! I wonder how well it would go on the trails at Bunyaville 🙂
This area is named “Gardens Point” after the leafy Botanical Gardens.
The paths here are shady and cool – a perfect place to ride on a hot day.
Eventually we left the verdant quietness of the Botanical Gardens, and crossed the Goodwill Bridge into South Bank.
Foot bridges are great – you don’t have to worry about cars.
Our next stop of the day was at Tippler’s Tap.
Strictly speaking, this wasn’t a brewery, but a bar.
But, in its defense, it did have a wide variety of craft beers.
It also has an impressive mural of Yosemite National Park.
I enjoyed the IPA.
We left Tippler’s, and rejoined the Riverside Bike Path at South Bank.
By some quirk of geography, the river goes through a couple of 180 degree bends around the CBD, which means the skyline of the city seems to follow you as you ride along the river bank.
The bike path emptied us on to a quiet back street beside the river at West End.
We pedaled up a short section of peaceful road to our final stop of the day.
My son Lachlan introduced me to Archives Beer Boutique a couple of years ago, and I’ve enjoyed several visits since.
We had one final drink and discussed the best way to get home.
Russel, Adam and Jason decided they’d ride home.
The rest of us decided to catch the train.
South Brisbane has some great cycling infrastructure.
We followed the bike path down the main street…
…and over the Victoria Bridge.
It felt a bit strange to ride in the middle of the road with cars buzzing on either side, but they were careful, and so were we.
We stowed the bikes in the end carriage and relaxed while the train took us home.
Max elevation: 111 m
Min elevation: 1 m
Total climbing: 906 m
Total descent: -895 m
Average speed: 17.02 km/h
Total time: 09:08:09
We rode about sixty kilometres in about nine hours including breaks.
This was an easy ride, mostly on bike paths, and at a leisurely pace. I’d rate it about 4 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.
Thanks Darb, Eric, Russel, Jason, Adam and Justin for an enjoyable “party on wheels” to finish off the year.
I think we’re going to need to do something more intense soon to work off the Christmas calories!