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Friday, July 02, 2010

It’s all about the Journey

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I had been searching google maps for days trying to work out a good route west of Coolum to explore on the bike. The idea was to ride along some old tracks by a creek, then onto a quiet gravel road, and eventually across the Maroochy River via an old cane “lift bridge” and on to Bli Bli.

That was the plan….

The middle of nowhere (1 of 6)

The first track by a cane field looked perfect. I rode down it for a few km until it got muddier, the grass got higher, and ….

Tea Tree Swamp (2 of 6)

I ended up in a pretty thick Tea Tree (or Ti Tree) swamp. Tea Trees are amazing in that they can live happily in swampy ground with their roots submerged most of the time. They have beautiful papery bark, and can grow in a thick inpenetrable scrub, which is impossible to ride through on a bike.

So I backtracked….

Old Bridge (3 of 6)

I eventually came out on an old gravel road with some rickety old bridges. When I saw the bridge I realized I’d found the right track after going down a few wrong ones….

Cane Bridge (4 of 6)

I came across what I was looking for. The local council described it as a sugar cane “lift bridge”. I figured I could squeeze myself and the bike through the gap in the bars and cross the river…

Cane Bridge (5 of 6)

Crossing an old railway bridge while pushing a bike (I wasn’t crazy enough to RIDE across!) required a bit of care, but the bridge was solid, and I wasn’t in any danger…..

Cane Bridge (6 of 6)

Arrrgggg! So THIS is what a “lift bridge” is! A section of the bridge lifts up to allow boats to pass under. Unfortunately the last “lift” happened years ago. There was no way I was going to cross that bridge!

So I turned around and rode home.

But it highlights what is an underlying theme for me when riding a mountain bike. The destination isn’t really the point. Yes, it’s nice to arrive, or achieve an objective, but when you really think about it, it’s all about the journey.

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