Byron Bay

Byron Bay

It’s easy to overheat when we ride our bikes on long hot summer days. That’s why I was quick to say “yes” when Jason invited us to join him for a ride on the beach at beautiful Byron Bay.

Byron Bay

We started at midday at Brunswick Heads. The clear aqua-colored water sparkled under the wooden footbridge as we rolled across the river to the beach.

Byron Bay

The tide was still too high to let us ride on the beach, so we followed the coastal fire trail south along Simpsons Creek.

Byron Bay

The trail follows the creek south for about 8km where it eventually meets a large system of freshwater lakes…

Byron Bay

…but it’s never too far from the beach.

Byron Bay

Like a long thin rind of melon, the tree-lined sand curved around to the rocky outcrop of Cape Byron on the horizon.

Byron Bay

We stuck to the fire trail for now.

Byron Bay

Byron BayByron Bay

We arrived at the lake and took a quick dip. We weren’t in any rush – the longer we took the lower the tide would be, so we chilled out in the fresh water for a while.

Byron Bay

One of my favourite parts of a fat bike ride is that first roll over the soft sand onto the beach.

We zipped down the dunes towards the water.

Byron Bay

Our fat tyres howled as they rolled easily over the damp beach.

Byron Bay
(Photo: Adam Lynch)

At Belongil Creek I hopped off and carried the bike over the creek entrance to avoid getting salt water in the hubs and drive-train.

Byron Bay

Adam just ploughed through, his huge green tyres almost floating on the water.

Byron Bay

The beach at Byron was busy with happy people enjoying the beautiful surroundings.

Byron Bay

A couple were getting married on the beach at noon. Their guests looked very hot.

Byron Bay

Other people did the smart thing and cooled off in the water.

Byron Bay

The sand finally ran out at Fishermans Lookout – an odd-looking rock formation by the edge of the water.

Byron Bay

Sometimes it’s possible to get round to Watego’s Beach over the rocks – but today the tide was too high.

Byron Bay

We did a few loops on the sand before riding up the headland.

Byron Bay Byron Bay

We visited a shell midden at Palm Valley beside the track which led up from the beach.

The traditional owners of this area are the Bundjalung Arakwal people, who have inhabited the region for over 22,000 years. During an investigation of the midden, archaeologists found shells, bone fragments and bits of charcoal which they were able to accurately date. The midden grew as a result of over 1,000 years of use and gives important clues about the lifestyle of the original inhabitants.

Byron Bay

We rode up the headland, enjoying stunning views of Watego’s Beach below us.

Byron Bay

Just before we reached the lighthouse, Jason took us out on a hang-gliding launch platform. Tallow Beach stretched south towards Broken Head. My knees felt weak – it was a long way down.

Byron Bay

The road up to the lighthouse is very steep, especially on a heavy fat bike. We slowly mashed the pedals and inched our way to the top.

Byron Bay
(Photo: Jason Reed)

“Cape Byron Light” as it is officially known, is Australia’s most powerful lighthouse. The lens is so powerful that it even rotates during the day to reduce the risk of fire from sun rays focussing through it. From the ocean, the top of the lighthouse is visible from fifty kilometres away, but at night its light can be seen over the horizon from a much greater distance.

 

Byron Bay Byron Bay Byron Bay

We relaxed at the top and enjoyed the view.

Byron Bay

The roll back down the hill was spectacular. With Tallow Beach in front of us it was difficult to keep our eyes on the road.

Byron Bay

As soon as we could we left the pave road and headed into Arakwal National Park to follow the sandy tracks towards the beach.

Byron Bay

The National Park, named after the traditional owners, is a huge expanse of coastal scrub which sits on the dunes.

Byron Bay

With Cape Byron (Australia’s easternmost point) behind us, we rode down the beach towards Broken Head.

Byron Bay

The outgoing tide had left us a broad highway of beach to ride down.

Byron Bay

The long hot day was taking its toll on me: I felt tired and dizzy. It didn’t take much to convince me we needed another swim – this time in the fresh water of Tallow Creek.

Byron Bay

Ahhhhhh….

Byron Bay Byron Bay

The cool water quickly raised my spirits.

Byron Bay

After a few minutes of recuperation in the water, we followed a wooden footbridge over the creek.

Byron Bay

Jason’s mum lived close by. We followed the grass track to her place to top up our water.

Byron Bay

It was getting late in the day. We decided to start our journey back to the cars, following some easy bike paths through town.

Byron Bay

People lazed in the sun, sat on the grass, drank beer and listened to live music. What a relaxing place!

Byron Bay

We followed our tyre tracks from earlier in the day back up the beach towards Brunswick Heads.

Byron Bay

Byron Bay

This time, none of us could be bothered carrying the bikes – we just rode through Belongil Creek. I was grateful I’d booked the bike in for a service with my local bike shop the following day 🙂

Byron Bay

We had started the ride at midday and ridden through the hottest part of the day. I felt tired as I monotonously pushed the pedals, working my way up the beach.

Byron Bay

Gulls scattered as I ploughed my bike through them.

Byron Bay

The sun sank lower, shadows lengthened, this had been a big day.

Byron Bay

Eventually, we reached the rock wall at the mouth of the Brunswick River.

Byron Bay

We followed a bike path along the river bank…

Byron Bay

…then crossed an old wooden bridge, over the river and back into town.

 

Total distance: 50.66 km
Max elevation: 121 m
Min elevation: 17 m
Total climbing: 645 m
Total descent: -631 m
Average speed: 12.75 km/h
Total Time: 06:55:19
Download
More data

We rode about fifty kilometres in seven hours including breaks. During that time I burned about 2,500 kcal.

For most of the day, the temperatures were in the mid to low thirties.

Even though this was a reasonably flat ride (less than 300m in elevation gain) the heat made it hard work. Seven hours in the midsummer sun is always going to be challenging.

I’ll rate this ride 8 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.

Thanks Jason for taking the time to organise an iconic ride for us in stunning surroundings.

Thanks to Adam and Jason for the company. Let’s come back here soon!

Byron Bay
(Photo: Adam Lynch)

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.