Immersion In History

Spring Hill Baths facade

With the warmer weather here to stay for a while, I thought I’d try something a bit different and incorporate a swim into my ride. The idea of a swim plus ride seems dead obvious for a place like Brisbane and I’m not really sure why I haven’t done more of these in the past.

I grabbed a pair of goggles, one of those chamois towels that rolls up into a small cylinder, some spare shorts and stuck them all into a handlebar bag that I had sitting in my cupboard of accumulated spare bike crap. I hadn’t used that bag for a while and almost forgot about it so it was a great little rediscovery made even better when I saw how well it fitted on my Trek Crossrip which is what I would be riding for today’s little jaunt.

Trek Crossrip handlebar bag

The only thing that was missing now is a place to swim. Given that I was heading towards the CBD, I knew I’d be going for some kind of man made swimming facility but the idea of the Southbank crowds was a bit underwhelming so I whipped out an Internet searching device and, in short order, came up with the best option I could possibly have imagined.

The heritage listed Spring Hill Baths is Brisbane’s first public swimming pool and was built in 1886. They’ve done the best they can to maintain the original Ye Olde character of the place with the original wooden change rooms around the outside, the pool’s opening plaque set into the concrete at one end and a continuous flow of classical music streaming in. Plus there’s a smattering of what I assume are the original poolside signs throughout.

North Brisbane Bikeway construction

Rolling through the Kedron Brook bikeway and up to Eagle Junction, I made my way through Windsor and Albion where I got a peek at the newest section of the North Brisbane Bikeway project being built before cruising past the Ekka Grounds and snaking my way through Victoria Park and up to Spring Hill where the distinctive period architecture told me that I had arrived at my destination.

Spring Hill historic townhouses
Spring Hill architecture

Indoor pool Spring Hill

No loitering sign

Official plaque

Swimming pool grandstand

Spring Hill Baths front with bike

And after a few laps in the heated pool, I retraced my steps as the setting sun accompanied me home.

Ride safe and see you out there sometime.

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