Down hill

Townsville – Under the radar

Radar Love

I have been wanting to roll my legs over again for weeks, months actually. My beloved Polygon was stolen a few months ago; we had been through a lot. Numerous eight hour races at Atherton elev8XCM, a few Rainforest Rural to Reef RRR races finishing at Port Douglas, so many weekly rides and last year hitting up trails all around the country on our half lap tour of Australia. This was the first ride on the new bike.

Why is it called Under the radar? The top left corner of the first photograph may give that away.

Trailforks image

MapOut image

Trailforks & MapOut

To ease ourselves into physical activity, I researched the ride using the Trailforks app so that we knew what we were in for. A banana for breakfast, muesli bar in the backpack and Trailforks prepped, we are ready. Trailforks is an awesome app that every mountain biker should own. Oh…you also need MapOut. Don’t go anywhere without MapOut. On foot, car, bike, motorcycle or even just down the shops. It rulez.

The initial loop was 11Km with a return of around 7Km. If you do some maths (math for US. But they also spell aluminium incorrectly), you will see that 4Km was lost somewhere. I’m OK with that.

Island Views

Magnetic Island lays adjacent to the initial leg of the trail. It sets a haunting blue grey vista in the early morning light. Skirting Rowes Bay and heading toward Shelly Beach, the trail makes for a picturesque cardio inspired morning. Trailforks labels it as a blue ride and I think this is a good assessment. Most of the ride is quite easy and kids would enjoy it. A few rock verticals here and there, with a few jumps mixed in, keep it interesting for the more experienced.

Yes, I went there.

Terrain Mixture

Spirited downhills, bridges over the mangroves and newly sprouting flora give the optical nerve some inspiration. The diversity of environments was not expected within a 18km-ish ride. I literally thought Townsville was basically just dry and some of it really is. However, if you seek out other areas, you will be rewarded.

All the tracks are signed very well. Showing optional paths and restrictions of ‘foot only’ or ‘foot and bike’ trails. You would really have to try hard to get lost around here.

Mount Marlow

Looking back toward Mt Marlow we entered the wetlands of Pallarenda Lagoon. Long grasses, seniors with metre long beards and lenses of equal length mounted to their full frame Sony cameras, emerged quietly and stealthily amongst the grasses. I have great admiration for these creatures, a special breed, almost motionless for hours, days even, in order to capture natures grandeur on film…well on pixel, but it doesn’t sound as romantic. (no lens envy at all…ahem)

Osprey, Magpie Geese, Brolgas and Egrets are just some of the birds that we spotted on our way around the Freshwater Trail. We were told to look out for a croc that lives on the bank as well. Unfortunately he/she didn’t show him/herself to us today. I wasn’t going to check gender even if we did find it.

Flat Tyre

Happy riders, sad riders. Regrouping took a little longer, oh no what has happened. Mandy appeared pushing her bike, no claret leaking from any limbs so all good. Then I spotted it, the FLAT. Yep, it only goes to reason. We were 11Km along the ride, the furthest point directly diagonally away from the car. So this is of course where you would get a flat. It goes without saying. Upon reflection, that tube has been in Mandy’s bike for around four years. So I think it has done well and deserves a re-tire-ment.

White scrub turkey

Just prior to the start of our ride. We spotted this white dove. A rare bird in these parts in deed. Upon refitting my glasses, we realised it was obviously a scrub turkey incognito. Scrub turkeys are found everywhere, however they are always black in colour.

It is a very rare bird and we were very lucky to see it. She strutted her stuff and flashed those feathers.

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