Start: Burleigh Waters – 85 km – End: Brunswick Heads
We took Burleigh Waters road to Reedy Creek Road, then turned south on Pacific Highway. Lots of traffic, debris on shoulder, but most drivers scooched over to give us extra space. Exit the Highway at Musgrave St (which turns into Marine Parade) and then turn right on Warf Street. Go through the nastiness that is Tweed Heads industrial and sub developments and don’t believe the maps. There are streets that are recorded on the map but don’t go through. No worries though – Stick to Waft Street which turns into Terranora, go south across the bridge on Minjungbal Drive, and join the M1 (Pacific Motorway) to cross the bridge. There’s no two ways about it – this is a scary little bit but hold those handlebars tight, dodge sharp metal bits and confused pidgins and before you know it you’re taking the first exit onto Chinderah Bay Drive. The second left is Wommin Bay Road, which leads to Marine Parade and an amazing bike path (with plenty of water along the way) which one can follow straight along the beach until it spits you out on Tweed Coast Road. That’s also a beautiful ride with a bike path in parts. Stop for a fresh peach and cheap oranges at the fruit stand on the right. Old man might be grumpy but yummy those peaches are juicy! Follow it to Wooyung Road, go across the crazy highway, and turn south at Tweed Valley Way/Brunswick Valley Way (40). Beautiful ride through trees and niceness. We exited at Old Pacific Highway to Brunswick Heads and camped at the caravan park. ($26 for unpowered site – lovely people). The hotel in town had DELICIOUS and big plates of food, the park has water spigots, and we heard the pizza was yummy also.
First day pedaling! How amazing it feels to be back in the saddle. Kilometers whizzed past, the sun shown, and birds sang exotic songs from their tree perches.
Beach tents and stages in Coolingata were all that remained from the Quicksilver Pro surf competition, just finished the day before. An old man clumsily mishandled the camera when we asked him to take a picture of us and our bikes straddling the Queensland/ New South Wales border.
It’s the thought that counts anyway, thanks mate. Through a scary highway bridge (trucks’ mighty wind confusing a lost pidgin – we understand!) and dead-end roads in a half-finished subdevelopment. One steep incline later we shared a simple lunch of crackers and tuna along a beautiful bike path. A lady fed the magpies next to us, then left. They attacked us until an old man sat down in the ladies’ spot and fed them from his hand. They stopped cawing at us and satisfied themselves with death glares as they gorged on Bird Man’s offerings. Whatever, we thought, and pedaled away along the beautiful bike path.
A little farther down the road I noticed a little *click* noise. Never good. I look down and spot a little link of chain that has come loose – just one link, but you know what they say…
So, I bend it back the best I can and decide to shorten the chain a bit farther down the road – there’s no shade and the shoulder is quite narrow where it happened. By the time I catch up to Shaun there are signs for a fruit stand, so we obviously pedal onwards and stop with a peach. The old man at the fruit stand has a wrench and some oil grease, and tries to smash the chain open. I cringe and he gives me the tools, I think a bit hurt at my protectiveness. As I extract my chain tool a little blue car pulls over and a tall, shirtless, tattooed guy gets out with a big smile. “Hows yas going?” He says. Goooooood, just fixing a silly chain, I say. He replies, “Move over! I’m a retired long-distance cyclist and I LOVE fixing chains!” Shaun, his dreadlocked girlfriend, and I watch as he removes a link and expertly relinks the chain with obvious pleasure. Great! Thanks! No, Thank YOU, he says. They buy peaches, we buy one more nectarine, and off we pedal to Brunswick Heads. I speculate we met the guy who would have won the Tour de France if Lance hadn’t. Our friend had that champion air about him…
A lovely park invites us to refill our waterbottles in Brunswick Heads. A brick hotel sits quitely across the street, and a small coffee shop trickles into the sidewalk. We debate: Brunswick Heads now or Byron Bay in an hour? Brunswick Heads wins out – we’re tired! Little fish nibble our toes, big fish refuse to bite the bait dangled from the little wooden bridge, and we sleep soundly in our little campsite.
Brunswick Heads is a very small town.