Sometimes what you’re craving is right under your nose. On a sunny, inviting day it may be tempting to make grandiose plans, spend up big and make things as epic as possible. But spare a thought for your local stomping ground. Look closely for the shards of habitat spared and now interwoven amongst the bullying sprawl of suburbia. Look for the wetlands, the reserves, the bushlands. Cobble them together, add a bicycle and a rambling disposition and you might just have yourself a day to remember.
I did just that on not one but two occasions recently at two such localities and I reckon I could find more if I looked again. Grange forest Park on the Kedron Brook Bikeway and the Deagon Wetlands are the two feathers in my cap. These rides aren’t the kind that will get you to this or that fitness goal or test the mettle of your physical condition. They’re more of an opportunity to ride as you watch life’s moving parts up close and then maybe just sit and stare for a while without being busy and without feeling a single shred of guilt about doing so.
Using some of Brisbane’s newest infrastructure at Fitzgibbon and Bracken Ridge to link up to old but really awesome infrastructure at the Deagon cycle overpass off Barrett Street, I was able to cut past the Deagon Racecourse and steer my Trek CrossRip into the Deagon Wetlands via Kempster Street. This was my first visit here and I wasn’t disappointed by the well maintained fire trails, bush surrounds and rubbish free state of the place. Especially given that there is an industrial area right along side.
My other journey of respite along the spaces between the chaos of life took place at the Grange Forest Park which you can access from several angles along the Kedron Brook Bikeway at Stafford or off Raymont Rd via the giant park that backs onto Grange Forest Park and then joins up to the Kedron Brook Bikeway. If you play your cards right, you can cobble together a loop that takes in the best offroad bits of Grange Forest and ends up at Stafford City for lunch or coffee.
And so when the urge to get lost somewhere is high, before you look to somewhere distant and expensive, consider what you have right beside you first. All too often we imagine solace and freedom at some far off destination reserved for the lucky few but sometimes if you scratch the surface of your immediate reality, you may be pleasantly surprised at what you find. Keep on rambling and see you out there some time.