Last weekend I had to confess myself slightly disappointed at the rather poor second half produced by Gold Coast United in Brisbane on Friday night. There was nothing for it other than to get on the bike and find a decent ride somewhere. I set off on Sunday morning for the old fashioned Springbrook/Numinbah/Tomewin circuit. The start was a little slower than I normally like, and I wasn't sure whether that was lethargy or just an early morning westerly wind. Either way, the climb toward Salmons Saddle at Springbrook soon shook that loose.
I was far more concerned with the potentially treacherous descent on the other side. I have ridden up Pine Creek Road a few times and measured 24% gradients there. This sort of thing tends to make one slightly nervous about descending the road -- especially in view of the fact that I hadn't done it since the infamous crash back in July. As it was, the disc brakes on the Salsa Vaya worked beautifully and gave me another of those "what the hell are you worrying about?" moments when I reached the bottom, turned south, and set out on the next part of the ride.
Why did every motor-cyclist on the Gold Coast want to share my ride today? It's enough to make you think disparaging thoughts about people who are too poor to afford a Harley (i.e. all of them) but still want to be "bad dudes". The ride through the southern part of Numinbah valley is indeed, beautiful, but these guys made it a lot noisier than it might have been the day before. A couple of them also saw fit to pass right in the middle of corners on the descent from Numinbah Gap -- again I can thank my disc brakes for making a potentially tricky situation into an easy one. Somewhere near Chillingham I got a little tired of the noise, and decided to head for a dirt road that I've eyed off for a while.
I knew Settlement Road would be quiet. As it was, I didn't see another human along the way. What I didn't realise what just how lovely the switchback dirt road that snaked it's way though Springbrook's southern foothills would be. The forest here was pretty dense for the most part, but it occasionally gave way to some really stunning views. After climbing for a few kilometres, the road deteriorated as it went past a fence line, and I decided to call off the chase here -- but only after admiring the view toward Mt Hobwee and Bald Mountain.
After this, there isn't a lot to tell. The Harley wannabes virtually disappeared after I passed Chillingham (apart from one lot at Crystal Creek). The only thing noticeable out here was the north-easterly wind that had replaced the south-westerly that started the day. Oh well, this bike tends to cope with headwinds better than any other I've had previously, and I still had Tomewin to throw at it. The climb over Tomewin was quite enjoyable, and almost rejuvenating. It left me with plenty of energy for finishing off the ride home, and another 130km racked up.
Another great ride was had. I also now have something to look forward to on the horizon, but I'll reveal that in another post.