I thought I would cross post this here because it would be of interest to many. From a bicycle rider viewpoint, North Stradbroke Island is very accessible, inexpensive and a great place to ride whether you are on a hybrid, road bike or mountain bike. There is a fairly decent road shoulder exists across the island and there are many off-road paths and beach riding opportunities too. It's easily doable as a day trip and there is plenty of accommodation there for overnight stayers. It was clear that many cyclists go to North Stradbroke Island .... I wonder why no-one mentions it more.

Anyway I'll put my "cross-post" in the comments or it will take up all the space here ....

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Comment by puddle jumper on July 5, 2015 at 10:49am

Time to start planning the next cyclocamping trip.....

Comment by David on July 2, 2015 at 7:24am

Nice Doc. Am interested more now after your story. Thanks.

Comment by Aaron Ball on June 29, 2015 at 8:10am

This is definitely on my list of potential cycle camping destinations now, thanks for the write-up.

Comment by Ian Morrison on June 28, 2015 at 8:26pm

Good onya David

Comment by Dirk on June 28, 2015 at 8:08pm

And even though I would attempt beach only on soft 28 mm tyres on a receding tide, you would what would be even better on the beach (apart from a fat bike/mtb)? TRIKES! (soft tyres, wider the better, receding tide)

Comment by Dirk on June 28, 2015 at 8:06pm

I am so keen now. Thanks for the story David. 

This looks like it might be fun on the high racer. $10 return is amazing. 

Comment by Doc Embrey on June 28, 2015 at 5:45pm

Getting There

For me it’s a two-hour journey on the Citytrain to get to Cleveland Railway Station from the Ferny Grove Railway Station, so to to be at the ferry terminal at Cleveland by 09:30am it was catch the 7am train from Ferny Grove or find another way there. Well, I wasn’t ready to catch the train at 7am so into the ute went the Brompton and off I drove across town to Cleveland. Parked at the Cleveland Railway Station and had a look around for Brompton’s, but there were none so I headed off up the road the ferry terminal and waited there in the warm winter sun to see what the day would bring.


The Ferry

A half-past-nine in the morning now and the only Brompton I see is mine and a lot of cars and boats and stuff are lining up now waiting to get on the Stradbroke Island ferry and soon it’s a quarter-to-ten and there’s a couple of bikes around but no other Brompton’s so I get my ticket and wait at the designated place for walk-on passengers.


The Fellow Travellers

Just as I got to the walk-on passenger waiting area, a fellow and his young daughter arrive on hybrids. We start talking and he says that his daughter (she must be twelve or so I reckon) wants to ride across Stradbroke Island and I say “good on you for that, you won’t know if you don’t give it a go”. I was planning on catching the bus across the island but maybe I if I saw them before they left I’d join them.



We get to Dunwich and after a few photo’s and pleasantries we part ways and I go off exploring Dunwich by bicycle and eventually I get to the outskirts of town there and start following the road across the island thinking I’ll just see how far the road shoulder goes and then I’ll go back and tell them.


The Road Shoulder and Things Undone

I didn’t see my fellow travellers again, for as I was later to find out, the road shoulder goes all the way to Point Lookout and Amity Point and events took me in other directions. I wish now that I had seen them again because with a little effort they could have safely crossed the island. However, around the half-way point I stopped to take some photos and rest.


Disaster Strikes

Back on the bike I start downhill and after a minute or two “BANG” and I start pulling on the front brake because I knew what that noise meant and I knew I was now going down-hill at fifty-kilometres-an-hour or so with a flat back tyre. Off the road and have a look and yes, the back tyre is now all flat on the bottom and about eight kilometres from Point Lookout. No worries I think, I’ve got tools and spare tubes and patches and I reckon I’d soon be back on the road – but it wasn’t to be. It took an hour to be riding again, because the patched tube would hold air when I had it outside the tyre, but for some reason that I could not see, I could not pump it up when it was in the tyre, even after several removals, testings and re-fittings. I’d checked the area around the puncture and it was clean with nothing sticking in the tyre and I could see no reason the patched tyre wouldn’t hold air. I’m a bit grumpy about that point because that meant to fit the new tube I would have to remove the rear wheel, so I started to do just that. It was when I was putting the wheel back on the bike I saw the problem – a big slash in the sidewall. I can only think now that when I was slowing down the flat rear tyre was moving around the rim a bit and I didn’t see the slash because it wasn’t near the puncture point. I put a bit of cardboard under the slash and pump the new tube up a bit and pack up. I knew then, this was as far as I was going to get and I’ve got about 13-kilometres or so to ride back to the ferry terminal at Dunwich on a slashed tyre with no spare tubes left. Slowly and solemnly I headed back to Dunwich.


The Return

Running the rear tyre now with a bit of cardboard in it and with low pressure so I wouldn’t make the slashed tyre worse I now had to go slow and avoid any little bump and stone and bit of debris on the road. Even so, things were going well and I was watching the kilometres tick off on the GPS and was starting to feel pretty good again. Saw a koala run across the road about fifty yards ahead at one point and different landmarks I passed on the way out were now behind me and I was starting to think I would get back on the slashed tyre – but I was wrong about that too. Five kilometres out from the ferry terminal at Dunwich the rear tyre starts to feel flat … and it is. What to do now? I’m thinking that if I go real slow and carefully I would be OK riding on the rim since the flat tyre and tube would protect it a bit and anyway, If I damage the rim, well, I can rebuild wheels and have all the bits to do that it home and I also have another Brompton rear wheel at home with a five-speed hub that I’d been wanting to try, so that wouldn’t be so bad. So off I ride.


The Old Men

You see funny things on the road. When I was fixing the flat, lots of cars and a few bunches of people on bicycles went past. One of those groups was a bunch of old men. Until the flat tyre, I hadn’t seen of been passed by any other bicycles. These old men passed me going out towards Point Lookout when I was fixing the tyre and all the way back to Dunwich I didn’t see another bike. Anyway, I didn’t want the little Brompton to suffer the walk-of-shame going back into town, so I didn’t get off until a hundred yards or so from the first place that sold coffee and ice-cream. As I was walking the last hundred yards, here these old men passed me again. Wow, I though, passed by the same people twice in one day. Finally, back at the coffee and ice-cream shop, I was talking to these old men (older than me anyway) and it turns out they had ridden across the island from Dunwich, on hybrid bikes, up the beach on the ocean side a few tens of kilometres, over the inland tracks and then back on the road (where they passed me the first time) up to Point Lookout. They then proceeded back on the road to Dunwich where they passed me a second time. I was in awe of their intrepidness. I knew that before I got back to the ferry that they would pass me a third time too, and they did.


And you know what, one of their number was 73-years old!


What have I got to say about riding on Stradbroke Island? You can ride, drive or catch the train to Cleveland. There is car parking near the ferry terminal. It costs only $10 return if you walk onto the ferry with your bike and you don’t have to book, you just get a ticket from the office when you arrive. The ferry journey is about 45-minutes and you there is a wide enough road shoulder all the way across the island to ride comfortably, though there are many hills and the 20-kilometres or so will feel further. There is a bus service which will carry folded bikes (well I didn’t ask but I did see a family with a pram get off one so I think it would be OK). You can stay on the island and return the next day if you want. There are plenty of motels and camping grounds and resorts there. A day trip is easily doable. DO IT!

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