Today’s adventure started near the beach at Tugun on the Gold Coast, and followed the border fence westward, along rugged hilly tracks.
Our ride started near the Gold Coast Airport, with passenger jets roaring overhead every couple of minutes.
We followed a steep road up the hill…
… over the busy highway…
…and into the hilltop forests that grow beside the long fence that marks the border between Queensland and NSW.
People have built their houses right on the border fence in some places. They have some amazing views of the coast from their front door.
In other places, the border fence just follows a dirt track through trees, up and down hills.
At the top of one hill we stopped to catch our breath and admire the views.
The “Glitter Strip” towers of Surfers Paradise stood out like strange rectangular mountain range on the horizon.
A little further up the hill we left the main track to follow some twisty single-tracks through the trees.
Although they were more complicated, and demanded more concentration, the single-tracks followed gentler gradients. We didn’t have to mash the pedals as hard to get up the hills, and we had more time to enjoy the descents.
They were a lot of fun!
The single tracks eventually ended, which meant we had to push up the steeper hills.
(Photo: Calum Campbell)It was hard work, but as any mountain biker will tell you, a tough day on the bike is much better than any other day indoors.
We soldiered on.
At the top of the hill we stopped for a rest and a snack.
Paul discovered he had a puncture, which gave us an excuse to rest some more, and offer free advice and commentary to Paul as he fixed his bike.
In the distance we could see the imposing battlements of the Cougals.
The fence we had been following followed the border over the summit of those mountains.
We would not be following the fence up there.
Not today, anyway 🙂
Our westward trace of the border ended at “Border Vale” – a scenic property nestled on a steep hillside below the fence.
I had spoken to the land owner earlier in the week, who had kindly given his permission for us to pass through.
We rolled down the hill, past old sheds, and ancient fig trees.
“Wow this is nice, isn’t it?”
I heard no answers. Everyone was concentrating on the steep track, and the amazing views.
After a blur of amazing views and bumpy tracks, we rolled out through the front gate and into the Piggabeen Creek Valley.
We splashed through a few creek crossings as we made our way down the valley and back towards the coast.
The nice thing about riding down valleys is that they’re mostly downhill.
We coasted through lush farmland with tall hills on either side, not having to pedal much at all.
It was a pleasant way to rest after the previous couple of hours of toil.
At Elkhorn Road we made our way back up the hills to the fence.
The gradient was kind. We didn’t have to work too hard.
Our legs felt tired. Rather than retrace our tracks, we dropped down into the Currumbin Creek valley and followed bike lanes and paths back to the start.
Total distance: 33.15 kmDownload More Info
Max elevation: 243 m
Min elevation: 11 m
Total climbing: 1041 m
Total descent: -1034 m
Average speed: 15.03 km/h
Total time: 03:53:53
We rode just over thirty-two kilometres in about four hours.
During that time we climbed about 800 metres in elevation and I burned about 1,700kcal.
Steep ups and downs make this a physically challenging ride in Summer.
I’ll rate it 8.5 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.
Thanks Kaye, Eric, Darb, Calum, Adam, Paul and Dwayne for a fun day out.