As 2020 draws to a close I wanted to thank everyone who made it special
We started the year in scorching weather with a multi day fat bike trip to Rainbow Beach, arranged by Jason.
Our friend Adi was able to join us from the UK.
Understandably, we decided to cool off in some freshwater streams on the way.
When the heat broke, and rain finally fell the next month, we headed up to the top of the Brisbane Valley to enjoy the rare event of this normally dry river flowing.
The rivers stayed full for another month, so in early March we headed up to Glen Rock National Park to follow Blackfellow Creek as far as we could into the hills to where it meets the Great Dividing Range.
Then Coronavirus hit, and most of the world was quarantined to reduce the chances of infection.
Towards the start of winter, the isolation restrictions were lifted in Queensland, so we set off into the Conondale Range near Mount Kilcoy on one of the coldest days of the year.
The views were magnificent. The cold weather was perfect for such a strenuous ride.
Next month we took advantage of the cool weather to ride on the beach near Noosa on a blustery day.
We had to adjust our plans to suit the wind, but had a great day anyway.
Cool weather is the best time for tough rides, so in July we took on another big ride in Deer Reserve south of Kilcoy.
We split into a couple of groups so everyone could ride at a pace which worked for them.
My friend Jason hosts an annual ride each July called the “Dirty Boonah“.
The day before the official ride, we rode the course. This was my toughest ride of the year with some huge climbs and big distances.
But we also enjoyed some of the most spectacular views you can see, as we rode around the Scenic Rim.
In August we explored some new trails at West Cooroy to the west of Mapleton.
This cool misty time of year is the ideal Mountain Biking Season in this part of the world. Lush rain-forests are the the perfect place to ride.
The cooler months are the only time it’s possible to ride comfortably in Western Queensland.
Our trip to Charleville, and ride back was the riding highlight of the year for me.
I’m so grateful to Wayne for driving us out to the start, to Paul for riding with me the whole way, and to Simon and Calum for joining us later in the adventure.
The steepest hill of the year had to be during out ride at Imbil.
The Conondale Range has some spectacular views, but it’s also very mountainous.
Days like this you need a good sense of humour.
Sadly, Russel’s father passed away this year.
In his younger days he was an avid cyclist, so Russel organized a memorial ride to honor his late parents, Les and Melba.
Russel let us stay at the old farm house the night before, and we retraced some of the old roads Les probably followed on his old single-speed bike a long time ago.
As the weather started to warm in November, we headed back to the beach for a leisurely ride at Noosa North Shore.
It’s surprising how remote this wilderness is, yet how close it is to civilization. It’s just a short ferry ride from Tewantin.
My last ride of the year was locally to a remote spot on the shore of Lake Samsonvale.
I love this lake, with its wonderful views of Mount Samson and the D’Aguilar Range to the west.
A lot of people don’t like recorders as a musical instrument, probably because of the way kids play it at school, but I like it. It’s simple, and portable, and cheap. I’ve had this one since I was a kid and have played it most of my life.
Life is good – even in tough years.
I’m grateful for my amazing friends (thank you for spending time with me this year), and my wonderful family, and to my dear wife and partner Liz. I can’t imagine life without you.
Happy New Year everyone!