So, on to part 2 of Cycle Qld – Days 5 to 9. If you haven’t read it, here is part 1. Part 2 below the cut….
Day 5: Stanthorpe to Killarney 86km
With legs fresh from the rest day and another frosty morning, we snaked our way alongside the highway as we threaded our way through some iconic Stanthorpe landscapes – vineyards, orchards, wattle in bloom, the old railway tracks, horses. I wish I had gotten off the bike for some better photos.
The first rest stop was a mere 20km in to the ride at Dalveen. From there, it was some long winding downhill sections followed by 8km of dirt. We all navigated the dirt with out incident.
Lunch was at the Warwick polo club. Afternoon tea at Murray Bridge School. Then on to the very green and lush surrounds of Killarney.
Once in Killarney, we went to the local food co-op for a feast after checking out the local op shop which I have spoken very fondly about in the fashions post.
Day 6: Killarney to Woodenbong 54km
Guess what, another frosty day greeted us for our trip across the boarder. It was CQ’s first time treading in to NSW territory and from all sides seemed to be pretty successful. The day started out with a bit of a climb to get out of Killarney and in to NSW. From there we skirted along the boarder range with some rolling ups and downs and some great views on to one of the most scenic lunch stops on a CQ.
Getting closer to our destination, we passed the Yowie crossing. To finish up the short day, Woodenbong town pulled out all the stops. They had moved the date of the school fete to coincide with our visit, all the shops were open, tours ran to the local national park and the pony club put on a display. The people of Woodenbong made us feel very welcome!
Day 7: Woodenbong to Boonah 88km
Well, we were 6/6 for frosty morning starts and this was going to be our last. To get the day started was a long climb which led to some roaring downhills and some of the best cycle touring I have ever done. We were at times totally encased in rainforest surrounded with rainforest bird calls. Once through that section, the valley opened out and we took in views of Mt Lindesay and Mt Barney.
From morning tea at Palen Creek, the cool weather we had been having left us. It was a long hot slog in 30° heat for the remaining 60km. Thankfully, there wasn’t a great deal of climbing or dehydration and heat exhaustion could have been a real problem. Some local wildlife said hello and because the group was so spread out, there were often times when we thought we may have taken a wrong turn because we hadn’t seen anyone else for quite a while.
Some entertainment was sorely needed after we hauled our hot and sorry selves into the final rest stop to pluck up the courage to hit the hot tarmac again.
Plenty went bed early after we got to Boonah as it was one of the hardest days of CQ because of the oppressive heat.
Day 8: Boonah to Rosewood 68km
Unfortunately, our original proposed route was vetoed by the local police and instead we were give a detour of 4kms of hill climbing straight out of the camp site. First off were some group photos from the professionals were we lined and up and passed them multiple times to get the right combinations. The day was filled with farm land and plenty of interesting farm sculptures. It was another hot day in the saddle.
Once arrived in to Rosewood, we were put up in their fancy new show grounds with a great new hall. A trip to the main street bought us some sustenance to hold us over until dinner. At the usual ride briefing, it was announced that next years Cycle Qld was going to be from Gayndah to Noosa via Hervey Bay. Sounds like a great trip! The final night party was a roaring success with a local band putting on a bush dance. I even got to give my Pride of Erin a work out.
Day 9: Rosewood to Brisbane 52km
Plenty of people got up early to get a good start on the day. Probably a good idea in the heat. Yet again, we were nearly the last ones to leave even after making a big effort to get going earlier. The day was full of “Thank you!” and “See you next year” as we got started on the final day of CQ.
Thick bush fire smoke permeated the air. The first few kilometres were rolling thought the back suburbs of Ipswich before heading down its main street to a park in Booval where the local CWA put on morning tea – one of the best! A few of the tandems, tag-alongs, kick bikes and carbon roadies showed us their stuff in the local skate park.
From there, we headed to Redbank, then Goodna and linked up with the new bikeway development and upgrades in the area. The final stretch was along the river front to Amazon Park where friends and family were awaiting for many.
We picked up our luggage and enjoyed the band whilst we packed up our bikes and utilised the free shower at Fitness First. We said our good byes and made promises to catch up next year.
A big thanks to BQ for organised such a great event and all their contractors and support crews. It is the one must do event on my calendar. Thank you to all the volunteers who gave up their time to make such a great trip. Finally, a thanks to the other cyclists who make the events special – with their antics, their chats, their encouragement, their enthusiasm.
See you all next year at Gayndah!