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 Articles >>> Cycling
Over the Hill: Mall 2 Mall Bike Ride
Cycling: 11.04.05, 04:36:58 by DrBread
Cycling This was our first South-West News Mall 2 Mall Bike Ride and it commenced with a difference. Unlike the GBBR where we mounted Trusty, our tandem, on the bike rack and drove into South Bank, this time we opted for the dual transport method of cycling coupled with catching a train. This way we only did a lazy 10km on Trusty to get to the start of the ride (Queen Street Mall) versus 25km, which traverses some very busy, undulating terrain. You see we weren't feeling exceptionally energetic to put ourselves through the ride to the Queen Street Mall from Capalaba, doing the 50km ride, and then having to ride another 75km to get back home. We were in "lazy" mode. Moreover, we wanted to enjoy the Mall 2 Mall ride rather than turning it into a "painful" training session. As it turned out, we weren't the only ones who thought of catching the train with our bike because other cyclists boarded the train with their bikes for the Mall 2 Mall ride.

We had a pleasant trip in on the air-conditioned train, chatting to my cycling buddy, Deb and young Mitchell, who joined us for the ride. Disembarking at South Bank station, because it's easier getting Trusty out on flat walkways rather than stairs, we had a steady ride into the Queen Street Mall. Once at the Queen Street Mall we were faced with the typical scene of 100s of cyclists queuing up to get their name checked off. Well, it was during this formality that the heavens decided to open up on us. For the few that were prepared, they instantly cloaked themselves in their fluorescent yellow rain jackets but not me. I cloaked myself in my lovely pale pink rain jacket. Then it got hot in these plastic-like garments, so Malcolm and I decided to take ours off while we were listening to our pep talk. It was miserable standing outside the Treasury Casino in the rain. For a moment, we contemplated abandoning the ride but ended up deciding to go ahead with this new cycling adventure despite the dreary weather conditions.

The bike route along Coronation Drive, which followed the Brisbane River, was a slow, wet, dull affair. Can you believe that the Council was performing road works on the bikeway knowing full well that 100s of cyclists would be using it that very day, preposterous! It caused one hell of a bottleneck of cyclists. At the same time, it gave one the opportunity to witness the myriad of bikes that were participating; road bikes, MTBs, BMXs, recumbents, tandems, and then there was Brett Richardson (Bike Teacher at Yeronga TAFE) on his Penny Farthing. It was a spectacle to see so many different types of bikes. Anyhow, we all managed to get through the road works without mishap and the pace soon picked up once we left the Coro bikeway...thank goodness.

It was a pleasant ride out to the first pit stop, Corinda. There, Malcolm and I rehydrated with some Gatorade, which was provided. We decided to take a short breather while waiting for Deb to catch us up. On the way to Corinda, Malcolm and I had some fun with Brett on his Penny Farthing; overtaking when we could. I mean, we couldn't been seen to be overtaken on Trusty by a Penny Farthing heaven forbid. I tell you, it was a pretty mean feat for Brett to be riding that Penny Farthing because they have no gears. So it would've been a hard slog for Brett to haul himself over the hills. Hills, did somebody mention hills? While there were some undulations from Corinda to Goonda, nothing would compare to what we were about to encounter in the remaining 20km.

30km into the ride we found ourselves rolling into the McDonalds car park, which was the Goodna pit stop. To my delight, there were loads of cyclists already there, drinking and chatting, and using the facilities at McDonalds. Some were even dining at Maca's. Not us...couldn't stomach the high level of fat when there was still 20km to go. Having said that, it would've been good if some fruit, buns, and Gatorade were supplied at this pit stop instead of just water and Maca's vouchers. While we had our own supply of brekkie bars and satchels of Gatorade, there were some cyclists who were obviously in need of a good supply of electrolytes and complex carbs. Anyhow, with pit stop number two over and done with we rolled out of the car park, heading for pit stop number three. Immediately after exiting the car park Trusty dropped his chain. Trust him to drop his chain at the start of a climb. After several minutes of lost time, Malcolm eventually got us going with some little protests from Trusty.

I don't know about the hills being alive with the sound of music but they sure were alive with the grunts and groans of many weary cyclists as they negotiated their way over the endless array of hills in the next stage of the ride. Goodna to Blackstone comprised one wicked hill after another...no rest for the lungs and legs. By the time they'd reached Blackstone, many cyclists had thought they'd exceeded 50km. Hill climbing is very deceiving in terms of distance travelled. It was on one of these hills that Trusty decided to drop his chain...again. Somehow I don't think he was enjoying the strain of taking his bulking two-wheeled form up and down all those hills. I tell you by the time we reached Blackstone we were glad to skull a cup of Gatorade...wish there was a toilet there though because what goes in must come out. And then there were more hills to negotiate. Someone fooled us into believing that once we reached Blackstone, it was downhill from there on into Queen's Park. Boy, were they wrong. We had to climb a few more hills before reaching Queen's Park. By this time I needed to refuel, so I was looking forward to the BBQ.

Mitchell joined the procession of cyclists for the Ipswich Festival but Malcolm and I decided to have a breather and wait for Deb to roll in. It wasn't long before Mitchell reappeared though, having his part in the procession being promptly ended due to a cramp in the leg. So all four of us then joined the queue for the BBQ. After eating our humble hamburger, we lingered around for the prize draw. Not being of a "lucky" disposition, Malcolm and I thought we'd look on for fun and cheer those who won prizes. Then to my astonishment, I heard my name being called out by Bernie Ripoll. I'd won a backpack filled with goodies (pedometer, polo shirt, bidon, bookmark, Bernie Ripoll sticker, and a Bernie Ripoll shopping list pad). With my newly won backpack securely on my back, we then made our way to the Queen's Park Café for more carbs and animal protein.

Being sufficiently satiated, we then headed for the Ipswich train station to embark upon our journey home. It was a slow ride to the train station with Malcolm getting a cramp in his leg, making us having to walk the last few 100 metres to the station. After boarding the train, we all gratefully sat our weary bones down on softly cushioned chairs and reflected upon our adventure. We weren't too animated on the way home, gratefully taking respite before disembarking at the Birkdale train station to ride our last leg home. Once home, we were eager to jump into the shower and wash away the day's grime and then hit the sack.

The South-West News Mall 2 Mall Bike Ride was our most challenging social ride to-date because of the endless hills. Having said that, I did actually enjoy it. It was fun to be riding with friends, new and old, and to be sharing the bitumen with so many recreational cyclists. So, the question remains, will Malcolm and I embark on the South-West News Mall 2 Mall Bike Ride in 2006?

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14.04.05, 17:52:10 by amyo
So basically trusty is thus named because you can trust him to drop his chain at least once in a ride?

To me, riding 35km on almost flats was an utter mission, so your feat was a pure miracle, especially knowing that you were going to end up in IPSWICH.

Congratulations on the ride - reading this I felt like I was there.


The Tail of Trusty
14.04.05, 19:35:28 by DrBread
I can see why you've made the association with Trusty's name and him dropping his chain. This doesn't always happen, only since his last service before the 2004 Brissie to the Bay ride where he's been running like a dog. But since having done the Bicycle Maintenance course this year with Brett Richardson at Yeronga TAFE, Trusty will be serviced by Malcolm and I. So hopefuly dropping chains will be a thing of the past. Anyhow, back to the naming of Trusty.

Trusty was thus named because we have to place so much trust in him, especially on the high speed descents. Also, from my perspective, being the stoker on the back wherein I can't see past Malcolm on the front, I have to place so much trust in Malcolm's ability to control Trusty.

The Mall 2 Mall ride was certainly a challenging ride. But I think anyone who dares to mount a bike and clock up some k's no matter what the terrain, is awesome. So, good on you Amy for embarking on the mission.

I'm glad that I could put at least one picture into a 1000 words when describing the Mall 2 Mall ride.  

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