Subterranean Wonderland

Subterranean Wonderland - Tour de Brisbane Legacy Way tunnel

When last I frequented this blog, I reported on my tale of good fortune in winning a free entry to the all new and very prestigious cycling event, Tour de Brisbane, which features oversight by none other than the UCI themselves and, to my delight, road closures the likes of which Brisbane has never seen before to make room for the race.

I haven’t been doing too many of these kinds of events lately but I can say that this one was pretty darn good so, if you missed this year’s installment, be sure to mark it on your calendar for next year. I even managed to get to the top Mt Cootha in a reasonable time despite my calf muscle cramping when I was almost at the top and having to pull over and stretch it out. I blame the guys with the cowbell and loudspeaker (traffic cone) at the side of the road yelling “get out of the saddle!”. I obliged and paid for it.

Tour de Brisbane was a very early start
On the way to catch the first train. Tour de Brisbane was a very early start.

Tour de Brisbane cycling race start

Racing up Mt Cootha - Tour de Brisbane

Mt Cootha Tour de Brisbane sideline motivators

Participants also got to ride through the Legacy Way tunnel, Story Bridge and busways which on it’s own made entering worth while. Riding through the tunnel was a particularly memorable experience – half way between being inside Tron and flying through outer space and not really being sure which way is up.

Racing through the Legacy Way tunnel on the Tour de Brisbane
Racing through the Legacy Way tunnel on the Tour de Brisbane
Racing down the busway - Tour de Brisbane
Racing down the busway

Trek Emonda prepared to race in the Tour de Brisbane

Reportedly, the event was quite a money spinner for the city and its local businesses while promoting cycling in general and showcasing what we have for future events such as the possibility of hosting the Olympic Games.

With that in mind, you’d be forgiven for thinking that everyone deemed the TDB a roaring success and looks forward to next year’s installment. And firstly, a massive thank you to all the people who spectated, cheered and handed out water along the course but, as well as supporters, there were also complaints from the usual smokey, trans fatty, regressive, car hugging door knobs with eyes who seem to garner way more attention than they deserve given that it’s 2019 and not 1950 (see the TDB and Channel 7 Facebook pages – I’m not linking them from here). To be clear, there were signs announcing the event for over a month all over Brisbane, the TransLink website had notifications for public transport users for at least that long and just about every newspaper on the eastern seaboard ran a story in the lead up to the event. Despite that, we still had people whining about traffic congestion and not being able to drive their arses to the bakery for their Sunday morning breakfast pie, paper and smokes. And let’s not pretend this was all about holding up commuters on their way to work either. This is Sunday morning and, sure, maybe there was a percentage going to work but it’s not like we’re talking about holding up Monday morning traffic. A little planning would have avoided any hold-ups at all in most cases. The event is a few hours on one solitary Sunday morning out of the whole year – get over it.

Still, you can’t place all the blame for the whining on the hapless rubes themselves when you have the likes of The Courier-Mail churning out clickbait garbage like this. I wonder if the same negative spin is put on by the papers about the running of the Bathurst 1000 or Newcastle 500 car races. Anyway, that’s enough ranting from me.

Respite

So, yesterday, with my fill of stretchy clothed road bike shenanigans a few days in the past, it was time to take it down a few notches and become absorbed into the undergrowth of Bunyaville and Ironbark Gully as I took a leisurely roll on me ol’ blue Torrent. I even climbed the fire trail to the head of the Kombi Express and enjoyed seven or eight minutes of smooth, flowing dirt ribbon to the skills park at the bottom of Ironbark Gully.

Mountain biking at Ironbark Gully

Rain threatened for most of the ride and I copped a few short showers to help cool me down, though the trails were dry and well packed and the creeks were flowing. All this made for the perfect short ride.

Down the Kombi Express at Ironbark Gully
Down the Kombi Express trail. Excuse my voluminous, scrotal saddle bag.

Kombi Express mountain bike trail

Kombi Express mountain bike trail

Avanti Torrent at Ironbark Gully

Until next time, ride safe and see you out there some time.

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