Saturday 30 September 2023

Bike road along Bribie beach 1923

The following article describes a bicycle journey from Brisbane to Caloundra, boat over to Bribie Island, down the ocean beach, boat across to Toorbul Point, from there to Caboolture and back to Brisbane. The bike riders were Charlie Simmonds, Joe Cribb and Ronald Simmonds, and their journey was taken in October/November 1923.

A holiday a-wheel : three boys on bikes.
by R.J.D.

This was the programme of three lads – Joe Cribb, Ron and Charlie Simmonds, who arrived at Bribie jetty on Saturday November 3, a little fagged after their spin along Bribie from Caloundra.

Charlie Simmonds, Joe Cribb, Ronald Simmonds,
not forgetting the "dawg" in Charlie's arms.
source: Daily Mail 30.12.1923 p. 13

Leaving Milton, Brisbane, where they reside, they pushed northwards along the Gympie-road, each carrying a pack of about 50lb. Good progress was made on a fair road to Caboolture, but from Caboolture to Eudlo, where they pitched camp on Monday, October 22, the going was very bad.

From Eudlo, very hilly, but beautiful, country was passed through, the drought having little effect on this country. Nambour was reached at noon on Tuesday. This township is prosperous, indeed, and provided many interesting scenes. The trail then led along the Bli Bli road, where beautiful view of the canefields, spread over the valley of Petrie's Creek were enjoyed. Camp was pitched that afternoon by the Maroochy River, at Bli Bli, at which place they decided to make headquarters for a week. A well-earned rest was then indulged for the next two days, passing pleasant hours in boating, fishing, swimming, shooting, taking photographs and enjoying the fine hospitality of neighbouring farmers.

... Friday October 26 found the lads making a tour to Mt Coolum, from whose summit a panoramic view of unsurpassed beauty was witnesses. To the east a plain stretched out to the ocean beach, the rolling breakers making a silver chain from north to south; then away east miles of ocean blue. Southward lay Old Women's Island, Maroochydore, Buderim, and away on the horizon, standing out quite clearly, could be seen the white sand hills of Moreton and the peaks of the Glass House Mountains. To the south-west, almost at the feet of the spectators, meandering from its source in the west to Maroochydore on the east, the beautiful Maroochy lay, glistening like a huge serpent in the rays of the setting sun; the rich land along its banks clothed in scrubs and forests, and yellowish green where cane was flourishing. Beyond the river rose the chocolate coloured hills of Bli Bli, then further on to the south-west and west the foothills of Nambour and Yandina, extending up to the Blackall Range, its whole length dotted with the many orchards and homesteads of countless farmers. Sweeping out from the base of Coolum, and running north-west and west, extended large, swamping plains, bounded on the west by the formidable Mt Ninderry, with undulating hills, and Mt Corroy in the north-west. Following Coolum beach northward, Noose Heads were seen, and further north a grand view of Lake Cootharaba.

Making an easy descent toward the ocean beach, and following the beach southward, brought the cyclists to the road, which led to Bli Bli, where camp was made at Dusk. It is interesting to note that to cross the Maroochy that morning one of the number swam the river and brought the ferry over; that evening the ferryman was in arms when he was told he would be obliged to forfeit the morning charge. In the end he yielded.

Early Saturday morning of October 27, one might have witnessed a peculiar craft moving up the Maroochy to the North Shore road - three lads and three bikes crammed in a bit of a dinghy. This time they were not going to chance a swim against a strong ebb tide, and an argument with the ferryman. Reaching the ocean beach, they found their occupation for the next two hours was pushing their bikes through soft sand till Point Arkwright was reached, the tide being in. On the rocky eminence of Point Arkwright the breaking surf threw showers of spray at times 20 feet in the air, providing some fine snaps.

... Of great interest to the lads were the nights spent around the camp fire at Mooloolah Bar, in company with some of the oldest pioneers of the North Coast, namely, Mr Johnson and Mr Tucker, who now both reside there. The stories of 40 and 50 years ago told by them both were of such an absorbing character that it was well on midnight before they sought their blankets. 

Thursday afternoon of November 1 found the lads packing for the home journey. Mr Johnson having rowed them across the river, cattle tracks were followed to the coast, and progress was made along the beach towards Caloundra. Before leaving the beach they got wet through with rain, waves and wading through a creek with water to the waists. However, they quickly dried their garments round the camp fire that night. Friday passed with the hours filled with amusement.

Rising at 4.30 on Saturday, they were on their way to 7 am. A local fisherman (Mr Tripcony) rowed them over to Bribie. They then rode south along Bribie with a strong south easterly in their faces, and soft sand, which made pushing hard, not to speak of two showers that wet them through. By the time they reached Bribie jetty at 12.30 they felt as if they could eat a horse.

All along the way folks had treated them with great kindness, but the hospitality of the folks at Bribie exceeded all others. After knocking a big hole in a capital spread they proceeded in a local motor boat to Toorbul Point, hitting the trail for Caboolture at 1.30.

A fairly good road was traversed to Caboolture, though sand and progress rather slow. Leaving Caboolture at 5 p.m. it was quite dark when they rode into Petrie. After a little refreshment they pushed on, in the dark, save for a light that might as well have been out. Just as Strathpine was passed one of the number broke his diamond strut. This necessitated a considerable delay, and eventually he had to take the train to Brisbane. The other two cycled on to Brisbane, arriving at their home at 10 p.m., having travelled over 75 miles that day. Just about 12.30 the other lad called in on his way home, the train being two hours late.

... Pleasant weather, good tucker, plenty of sleep, and doing the journey in easy stages, made the trip most attractive, as well as beneficial for health and educational value.


A holiday a-wheel : three boys on bikes by R.J.D. [article and photo]
The Daily Mail, Sun 30 Dec 1923, p. 13

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