Monday, November 21, 2011

What makes a great day of riding?

The past weekend I decided to get away for the weekend on the bike.  I hadn't been on a decent ride in a while as I had been too busy working and tinkering on bikes to really get a chance.  I suppose I forgot how fun it really was to get out on the open road and work my way through the twisty roads.

Until this weekend most of my riding for the past six months had been commuting.  Too and from the city, splitting traffic and watching out for careless drivers that don't know what shoulder checks are.

I made my way from the city through the back roads of the Glasshouse Mountains up through Maleny and Bli-Bli onto Maroochydore which is a coastal town about 2 hours north of Brisbane.  I hadn't been along these parts since the heavy storms of last summer where a number of roads suffered some serious damage.  Now it seems most areas have been repaired albeit a couple of small stretches of road that still require some work.

It was a fantastic ride with perfect weather, hardly any traffic and great roads.  Living in Melbourne for a number of years I would always compare their roads with what South East Queensland had to offer. Melbourne was great with some of the most well maintained tarmac that I've been on.  Most notably the Black Spur and the areas around King Lake, and because of this I had always thought that everywhere else was second rate.


The Black Spur in the 1900's not as crowded back then

However after this weekend it got me thinking, what makes a good day on the road?  Is it the road itself or the other factors such as crowds / company / and the scenery.  The problem that I found with the Black Spur and any popular destination were the crowds.  As a result there were a number of occasions where I witnessed an accident or guys crossing the double lines by overshooting corners.  There were always ambulances / paramedics out there even on weekdays. Along with this caused an increase of police presence. Also being in Melbourne weather was always a factor.  There was one time where I had nearly lost the front on a mossy patch coming into winter.

After spending and extremely enjoyable  weekend on the quite roads of SEQ I realised how just how much crowds influence a road and a day of riding.  I guess it's like any other public location based activity  it's how you weigh up the factors.  Do the quality of roads outweigh the crowds?

I think now for me, the less crowded roads of QLD have definitely won me over.  It's like finding a secret surf spot that only you and a number of mates know about.  Or a tucked away cafe that sells the best chocolate milkshake.  Or going to a bar where everybody knows your name.

What factors makes your perfect day out on two wheels?

And what are your favourite roads?

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