The Gold Coast of Australia is a well known and very popular destination for holiday makers as well as a great place to live and work.
Last week I had the opportunity to be paid to sit on the beach for 3 hours or so as runners in a race came past me. While waiting for runners to come I was able to shoot the various people and activities that came past. With a backdrop of skyscrapers it is a pretty cool view. I was limited to the one location, so my surfing shots for example are not the best shots as the sun was in the wrong place. It was also a blustery windy winter day and quite cool so most people were well wrapped up enjoying the beach for a casual stroll, exercise or just enjoying the view.
Here are some pictures from the morning. None of these are edited – just straight out of the camera as I saw it on the day.
I took a day off and went over to Mt Joyce for a day of Mountain Biking. Ok so there was 4 hours of driving and only 2 of riding but that was an excellent 2 hours!
Situated at the beautiful Wyaralong dam the Mt Joyce MTB tracks are a world class facility with graded trails from beginner to Extreme Downhill.
An easy roll down and up the bottom of the dam leads to the trail head on the western side of the dam wall where there is a map.
I took the advice of some other riders and rode up the fire trail. Ok I said rode, but there was a lot of walking involved as it is stupidly steep in places – more like a stair master than a fire trail.
This is a view from the steepest part looking back over the dam – you can just see the track below the handlebars.
Once at the top of the fire trail you get to this map.
I chose to ride Big Bertha, then Tuna Chunks dropping into Bovine Groove.
Big Bertha is a lot of tight bermed switchbacks with massive drops down the side of a cliff – that was a lot of fun!. Tuna Chunks was a bit more easy – there’s a bit of a video here – very wobbly as i did it with my phone while riding one handed though occasionally needing the front brakes!
This is a very fun descent – its not too hard and there was only one spot I had to dab. Its mostly gentle rolling and nice berms. pretty cruisy really. I finished up at the Tunnel vision pipe back onto the fire trail about half way down where I dropped into a nice down hill called escape that drops down to the lake side and secret valley. Once again lots of bermed corners and a gentle rolling ride. It finishes with a big banked wooden bermed wall – but i saw it too late and didn’t have enough speed up to ride it.
From Secret Valley where i saw this sign i decided to ride up the Grass Tree Trail and then do the Black Rock Downhill and finish with Pork Chops. Those trails are more visible on the lower scale map above.
Grass tree trail was steep but only in patches – i managed to ride a fair bit of it. there were lots of grass trees or black boys as they are known here.
I did take a rest part way up and look back over the track.
These three photos attempt to show the steepness of the last section. Here the Downhill Track is running alongside the fireroad so you can get some idea of what to expect. It is a black diamond track so advanced riders only should be attempting this.
At the top there are two signs. the first identifies a rim track that circles around to the other spur i rode up first. effectively the Mt Joyce summit is above us her and the two trail heads are on the spurs of parallel ridges with a big valley in between. the ridgeline track circles around between the two spurs. a trip for another day!
Today i was only interested in the downhill so black rock got hammered – i loved this downhill. There were only two sections I stopped and checked before just nailing it down them – next time I’ll know the ideal line to take.
After Black Rock I dropped left onto Pork chops and then right out into the secret valley and back to the picnic area there.
From there I rode the shoreline and back out to the dam wall and back to the car. Small video here of the shoreline heading to grasstree and then heading back to the dam.
The eastern side of the dam is a lovely spot with viewing platforms and picnic areas and a large carpark.
A nice day’s ride and only about a 4 on Neils tough-o-meter – but a 8.5 on the downhill fun factor!
Here is my Garmin data.
I am speaking at the Big Morning 4 Your Business Free business seminar Thursday 29th May.
I am presenting on two topics:
Stop Your Website Sending Your Customers to Your Competition
Move Your Business to the Cloud Cost-Effectively
The event is a caffeine-injected morning of FREE interactive business development sessions giving you the tools and contacts to grow your business in ONE big hit! (hope that means good coffee!)
Put on by the Regional Development Australia – Moreton Bay Group the morning is:
Compared to the runner sweating, struggling to keep up with the others, grimacing as they get to the top of a hill, it looks simple. Through gritted teeth the athlete tops the hill, only to see a photographer sitting comfortably there waiting to capture their pain.
Sometimes the photographer is seen sitting in a chair in the shade with a cold drink. He has the gall to call out asking the struggling runner to jump or smile!
“I wish I had your job” I’ve been told numerous times.