All too often I take the same old familiar routes to get from one side of town to the other, without realising that there may be far better, faster, more convenient, or simply more enjoyable ways.
Coming back from McAfees earlier this week, John asked me if I minded checking out this bike path from the Gap into town. Colleagues of his had told him about it. We weren’t quite sure where it started, lead, nor ended, but with a general idea and some initial confusion, green oasis and quiet serenity, an empty bike path opened up to us just meters from raging, crammed and frantic Waterworks Rd. Here, cars are never satisfied with just four lanes. There, we had the entire path to ourselves, and our idle chatter. I felt like catapulted into another world, a way I didn’t know existed.
The path meandered along a creek, then temporarily popped out on a sleepy backstreet lined with wooden Queenslander houses, the wrap-around verandas shading doors left open to catch the gentle breeze. And it disappeared again minutes later into manicured open parkland. Pass sporting ovals and deserted school grounds we went and all the time I could sense close-by roads and the hustle and bustle of the city but it was an invisible world out there from inside the bike path bubble.
Occasionally John would call out markers, which, from the backside of the city made no sense to my shop-front brain. Trying to make connections, some directional or locational sense, I was hopelessly-happily lost in my cycling adventure.
Suddenly, a moist shadowy underpass, creek and thick undergrowth, the place a fascinating little pocket of rainforest, and a road up above us, glimpses of red, a buildings half familiar, fully familiar – 99 Bikes. We took the exit and I couldn’t believe that we were right back in the thick of six lane traffic on corner Ashgrove Avenue and Enoggera Rd, almost home.
We may not always have the luxury of discovering far-away countries or going on cycling holidays in exotic locations but that afternoon had a distinct feel of all of this, right here in Brisbane, ten minutes from home. Getting lost while exploring is the best part of an adventure, so next time you have half an hour up your sleeve, take a different turn.