Leader: Tim Dabbs
Cook's River Cycle: Tempe, Cook's River Cycleway
10 September 2019
An 80 leaders walk
Photos top: Libby or Tim Dabbs
Photos below: John Maltby
Tim Dabbs, Libby Dabbs, Colin Isaac, John Maltby, John Bell, David Farrell, Jennie Kelso, Ken Lowe, David House
A leisurely ride from Strathfield to Brighton-Le-Sands along the cycleway, for plane spotting and lunch by the sea before returning along the same path. No toilets at start, but plenty along the way. Map: street directory.
It dawned a perfect day, 17 degrees and partly cloudy, for our flat, 42 km cycle from Strathfield Golf Course to Brighton-Le-Sands following the path of the Cook’s River. As the participants arrived by car, train and bike we discussed the value of placing reflective tape on our helmets so we could be seen regardless of our clothes and the weather conditions. The lone E-biker was welcomed and we pondered the fact that eventually we all might have difficulty cycling purely under our own power, but by using an E-bike we could extend our cycling life and even participate in relatively long treks.
Setting off around 10:15, we cycled alongside the golf course occupied by a handful of keen golfers before passing behind residential backyards, light industrial premises, parks and playing fields, with the Cook’s River to our right where it flowed down its concrete canal. While the path passed under some roads, we had to dismount to cross others and rode down a quiet back street for about 100 m at one point. The further we got the wider the river became, eventually leaving the confines of its concrete canal. We made good time to reach our morning tea spot, crossing the widening river a couple of times, passing by the (now closed) chocolate shop, and settling in a pleasant park where one of our party had to leave the group due to a flat tyre.
After morning tea, and despite increasing headwinds as we rode closer to the coast, we were a solid group of riders and enjoyed a leisurely pace of up to 20 km/h, crossing the river once again, passing more residential backyards, parks, playing fields and semi industrial areas as well as some short sections of bush, tennis courts and even some market gardens. As we neared our destination, we just had to stop under a wattle in full flower to take photos.
Reaching the coast we observed ‘white horses’ on Botany Bay and, Googling the airport weather, found the wind speeds to be up to 36 km/h. After cycling into the full force of the wind as we rode parallel to the beach, we stopped for lunch and a coffee overlooking the beach at Brighton-Le-Sands, out of the wind in a cafe where we could watch the wind on the water and the planes taking off from the airport.
With the wind at our backs for much of the way, we made excellent time as we retraced our outward journey, stopping for a drink and chat half way back and arriving at the end of the ride half an hour earlier than expected.
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