105 months ago

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Makin' the most of it

Queensland, Australia

I decided that I needed 'out', today.

Sitting at home, scrolling through the typical mass of slop and click-bait on Farcebook (no, that's not a type-o), I decided to ask 'where should I go'?

While one friend suggested I "just ride", I like to have some direction in mind. And so, with a hint of 'what the hell', I decided to do the Beechmont run.

Departing the local servo with a full tank of fuel, and the tire pressure tuned, I opted to run down the motorway to the Oxenford exit.

Initially I couldn't decide if I should ride Mt Tamborine, or bypass the tourist trap and ride through Maudsland. As I've a friend that lived near Maudsland, I thought I might pay them a visit after the ride, and opted for Mt Tamborine.

The ride up the mountain was initially uneventful, but it wasn't long before I came upon an old Mazda that was puffing out some smoke and struggling to keep the speed limit on the steeper sections. It's tough to remain patient in times like these, but I'm so very paranoid about a traffic infringement that I avoid speeding or crossing solid white lines - despite how easy it is to do safely.

Thankfully we came to the first passing lane, and I was able to punch it past the slow car and give the convoy of 4x4's and other cars ample opportunity to do the same.

I initially considered taking the goat track of Tamborine Mountain Road (Via Main Western Road) toward Canungra, but decided I'd enjoy the 100km/h run in via the Beaudesert-Beenleigh Road. So the downhill run toward Mundoolun was chosen (also along Tamborine Mountain Road).

As expected, the streets were full of bikes (and riders) of all shapes and sizes. I found a convenient park in among the multitude of bikes, directly in front of the cafe, and enjoyed a $8.90 Cheeseburger (no side of chips). The burger was a good feed - lots of salad, and a tasty beef patty - and, at 10:30am, would serve as both my breakfast and lunch.

I took great pleasure in casually observing the occasional riders and passers-by stopping to admire my bike, as I quietly sat aside. Though, make no mistake, my bike was far from the most pristine or unique.

With a full stomach, and an empty bladder, I geared up and began my run up to Beechmont.

Passing the Military installation, Beechmont Road begins with a 60km/h limit, with the road conditions being fair to patchy. But, before long the limit ups to 80km/h and presents the rider a comfortable, but exciting experience.

And then, suddenly, you're riding on a ridgeline with the view extending out to your left and your right. The speed dropped back to 60km/h, and I found myself joining a Harley Davidson, stuck behind two slower vehicles.

Just as I was contemplating a burst of speed to get myself clear, our convoy passed a motorcycle cop, radar gun in hand. I breathed a sigh of relief as we passed, and continued on at the back of the line. The turn-off to Binna Burra was coming up and I'd let the cars ahead dictate if I should take the detour, or just continue riding.

The Harley and two (of the now three) cars, turned left at the roundabout at Binna Burra Road, so I chose to hang a right and follow the white sedan toward the Binna Burra lodge, where I'd grab myself a coffee.

A quick 'twist of the wrist' and I was again riding solo, taking in the mix of open vistas and twisty, tree-formed tunnels. Road conditions were good, despite patches of natural debris and leaf-litter, and maintaining the speed limit was comfortable.

The closer to the Binna Burra Lodge you get, the slower you'll have to go. The speed drops to 40km/h, with some sections being single lane - no passing, thanks to the sheer drop off on the left side of the road (heading up). What's more, there are many bushwalkers that use the road to get to and from the many walks found in the immediate area.

While having an (average) coffee, I sent a text to my friend to see if they'd be home and up for a visit. This was my 'half-way' point, and I'd be heading home from Binna Burra, and riding past their street. Unfortunately this distracted me enough to forget to 'un-pause' my ride on the ESR app, so the ride down the range is now missing.

I rode back to the roundabout (previously mentioned), and turned back onto Beechmont road. Despite finding myself behind two hatch-backs, I was riding at a good pace and keeping around the speed limit as the altitude dropped. With Binna Burra Lodge being around 800m above sea level, the decent does cause the ears to readjust the pressure.

We passed through Lower Beechmont and approached Advancetown, picking up on the trail of cars ahead. The pace slowed, and some of the more exciting and tight bends were experienced at a very casual pace.

After a quick squirt up the Nerang-Murwillumbah Road, and I pulled over as I entered the Beaudesert-Nerang Road to check my ESR app, and see if my friend had replied to my earlier text.

No dice. Restarting ESR (to take advantage of CrashLight), I figured I'd do a drive by of my friend's place on the off chance there was someone home.

I turned onto to Maudsland Road, and took a quick detour - also checking out the remains of the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' set, used in the next film - before continuing on my way home. Riding to the end of Maudsland Road, I returned to Tamborine-Oxenford Road.

Despite the ominous black cloud that threatened to soak me, the ride home was uneventful - and dry. I arrived home satisfied with my little adventure, and glad I got out.

The itch was scratched for another week.

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