Rosemary is one of our poster girls for ‘just do it’! After many years riding a conventional bike and now in her 70’s, she has just completed her 11th nine-day cycle tour, this time on her electric bike. We chat to Rosemary about this tour, and her next adventure(s). For inspiration everyone :) Yes, you can do it too.
Rosemary, what got you interested in doing a 9 day ride?
Our first 9-day ride was in 2005 on a pair of rotten old bikes we obtained out of the Trading Post for less than $100 each! We heard about this annual event from the Bicycle Queensland website and decided to join Cycle Queensland 2005, Goondiwindi to the Gold Coast (same origin and destination as this year, but different route) after a briefing at Easts Rugby Club at Norman Park, where we met some of the organizers, in particular Jane Clarke, and we were told that the ride was for ‘everyday people’! We did not know what sort of bike we would really need. However after this ride we ditched the two Trading Post bikes and bought ourselves Giant CRX-1 flatbar road bikes, which we loved for many years, until we turned 70.
Now with my electric bike I tackled my eleventh nine day ride. I must say that now I could not have done it without the electric bike; there were a lot of hills when we dipped down into NSW through Woodenbong and Murwillumbah, and even getting from Texas to Stanthorpe would have been tough. The electric bike made all the difference! There were only 2 other people (out of a total of about 500 riders) who had electric bikes this year, but I think the trend will increase.
What was the most enjoyable part or leg?
The whole trip was delightful. Some of the scenery through northern NSW was fantastic, especially Kyogle. Stanthorpe was chilly but scenic. All organised by Bicycle Queensland (BQ) transporting all the luggage between the start and end of each day. We did it the easy way using Camp Easy where they put up your tent (a good quality 2-person tent) each afternoon, and take it down again to transport to the next village on the route the following morning.
What advice can you offer to other riders planning to do a longer distance ride or tour?
Prior planning is important for any long ride. Here in Queensland BQ is the way to go: it is much to be recommended for their level of organisation. On a long ride this makes all the difference! Things like food, toilets and showers, nightly briefing and evening entertainment are all taken care of. There is also a rest day in the middle (this year it was at Stanthorpe) which is well deserved. The route is sorted out months before. Relatively no big roads, just good quality country roads to cycle along, and very little dirt. On a long bike trip the arrangements largely have to be sorted before you start. Advice for other riders planning to do a long distance ride – “Just do it!” – but you must plan ahead.
What is your next challenge :) ?
I think it’ll be the Great Brisbane Bike Ride (a BQ event again) – we’ve done this a few times before and always enjoyed it.
We have done a bike-barge trip on the Danube. That was also very well organised and great fun https://en.radreisen.at/austria/bike-and-boat/danube-impressions-bike-and-boat-passau-vienna-passau-mv-theodor-koerner.2018 .
The Otago railtrail and the Bright-to-Wangaratta railtrail are two others we’ve done with ‘Cycle Away’, both highlighted by their fantastic logistics.
Looking to do similar riding?