New Roads on the Gold Coast

11:16 pm Unknown 0 Comments

I've been pretty lucky to be able to fly and ride a lot of places over the last 12 months. Perth last year was awesome and I was looking forward to my first big trip for 2016 up to Queensland.

I stayed on the Gold Coast in February at the RACV Royal Pines Resort. They didn't blink an eye at storing my Thule bike bag in luggage room for the week, tidying up the room around my bike and clip-clopping through the foyer daily for my rides. I suppose they are used to golfers doing the same.

The women's masters golf was also in practice sessions so it was awesome to see elite athletes wandering through the venue. We didn't get to watch though as it was all roped off from the public, but from the hotel windows it was a beautiful sight.

I met up with my old BCWS teamie Amy Cundy who showed me a few of the local rides around town. It is so great to have a ride-guide with you even when you look up a route on strava, locals know best!

Locals know best! Thanks Amy

The first ride we tackled was the famous Springbrook climb (Strava Ride). I was surprised at the little rollers on the way out to the climb that woke up the legs and heart rate! Then we managed to tack onto the back of a group of about 8-9 masters riders. These guys started to get a bit annoyed that we were still stuck on their tails as we climbed and they dropped off one by one. They were really trying to push us with foul jokes, but I just kept my cool and my own pace as their group shattered to pieces up the climb.

I had felt pretty horrible at the start of the ride but sitting in that climbing zone on Springbrook transported me back to a magical memories of why I like to ride. Legs were working automatically at optimal cadence, heart rate right on the edge of comfortably uncomfortable, cool enough in the humid morning, beautiful mountain vistas unfolding around every corner. Awesome! We stopped at a lookout and took a few pics before zooming down the climb and ramping over those little rollers home. They didn't seem so bad on the way back!

A photo posted by Von Micich (@v0nm) on

Just to strike fear in my heart, we drove up Mt Tamborine to see what that would be like for later in the week... with a 11-25 cassette on the rear wheel, I quickly struck that one off the list.

The next day Beechmont climb was on the menu. There are a couple of different ways to attack this one, so I started with the tougher version. (Strava Ride)

Starting from Sharp Park we started climbing immediately straight UP! It was a good little climb with a few little pinches, (notably the one at the hairpin) that made me work for my coffee. Not knowing the climb too well I was waiting for Amy and yelled out to some passing cyclists about to descend where I had just climbed up. "How far to the top?!" They both looked very confused... "You are on the TOP!"

The top was actually a plateau that had some amazing houses overlooking the amazing valleys from every side. In the time that it took for us to climb up, a BMW car club did 3 laps of the circuit and zoomed past us with plenty of room each time.

Cuppa tea time!
Just before dropping down the other side of the plateau, we stopped for coffee and cake at a little fete. It was super cute and very country. We had the usual conversation with the local ladies that they could not believe how far we had ridden, then took on the 17km descent down to Gold Coast that was AWESOME! I was looking forward to a return journey another day to climb back up that descent for sure!!

The next day I needed to see the beach up close, so I did a recovery roll down to Surfers Paradise Main Beach (Strava Ride). It had been a few years since I had been along there and the traffic was gnarly. Perfect weather for shots in my Ibiza Fondo kit by the water though :)

I only had a couple more days and the weather was a bit patchy in the early mornings, so I shortened the rides to fit in before work. The reverse up Beechmont was first on my list (Strava Ride) and it didn't disappoint. I took a work colleague up with me and he took off up the climb. I would have had a wonderful solo session if it weren't for a recycling truck that I danced with for a good 8kms that slightly stressed me out. I turned around just before it flattened out and made it to the meet up point to get back to work in time. A little worried for my colleague as he was 10mins late back to the meet point, but in the end he was OK (just lost in the majesty of the climb) and we had to FLY home back to the accommodation.

The last morning I met up with Amy again at the local bunch ride where they do laps of a local course (Strava Ride). It has 50 million sets of stop lights around it, but all the left hand corners have slip lanes you can zoom through. It has been a while since I've had to take corners at speed in a bunch and it was initially a little scary in an unknown group, but it was ok after the first few laps. I was super happy to hit the buffet breakfast after that ride and pack up the bike ready to head home.

Beach Time!
I had not really heard much about the cycling up north but it was just magical! If you have a family holiday, pack the bike, send them to the theme parks or beach for the day and go exploring (Disclaimer: maybe I'm missing the point of a family holiday).

Supervising the tyre change

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