While most cyclists only do sections of this track, in the North of Brisbane a series of interconnected bike paths take you on a 100 kilometre return journey from Stafford to Redcliffe and beyond. The path goes along creeks and bushland, through wetland areas and along beaches. What is more, 90% of the path is off the road, and the rest is generally on very quiet streets.
While I love cycling I tend not to enjoy having to share the road with cars. Normally trying to do more than 20 or 30 km requires extensive road riding or worse yet, riding beside a highway. Yet even keen cyclists are not aware of the Stafford to Redcliffe option.
The path starts in Michelton at Terlalba Park. This section is the loveliest in the Kedron Brook Bikeway but it is an area that few people ride along. Here you will see farm land, art works and even poetry in the cycle way.
A more common starting point is from the Stafford shopping centre. This section of the path is flat and around Lutwyche widens out to have both walking and cycling lanes. As you approach Toombul, you will encounter more and more lycra clad cycling enthusiasts, as most people start their cycle from Toombul.
From Toombul the track keeps following Kedron Brook as it widens out into an estuary and popular fishing spot and the path becomes known as the Jim Soorley Bikeway. At the end of this path you will encounter something you haven't had to deal with in a while, a road. That is right, you have been riding for kilometres without a single road. You now have to cross one before being able to keep riding for at least 9 more kms without any more roads.
While Nudgee Road is busy it is easy to cross and the path continues on in the direction of Nudgee Beach, which is a nice destination in its own right with its one little take away shop making most of its money from cyclists.
However most cyclist take the left turn onto the Boondall Wetlands Cycleway. While it is strictly speaking a shared path I have never seen anyone walking through the Boondall Wetlands. So from here it is a straight run through both bushland and wetlands to the Boondall Wetlands Park. You will be tempted to stop here. This is only recommended if you wish to feed the mosquitoes.
It is better to keep going in the direction of Boondall Station. From there you take a combination of bike paths and backstreets to arrive at Shorncliffe and you start the beachside part of the journey.
Beachside riding can be very annoying for most cyclists as you have to share the path with people strolling along the seashore. This is okay because as you head in the direction of Brighton the number of pedestrians will decrease and you will generally have the path to yourself.
Crossing Bramble Bay is an experience in itself. Many people don't ever realise that you can walk or cycle across the Ted Smout Memorial Bridge. This 2.7 km bridge has places to stop and even fish along the way.
From Woody Point there are more shared paths along the way to Redcliffe, though you also have to travel on the road for a little while as well. On the weekends the last part of this path will be frustrating because of the crowds, but that is okay, because you will be anticipating some fish and chips from the famous Jetty Cafe (though perhaps the current owners have gentrified it a little too much) and a dip at the Settlement Cove Lagoon.
The Northern Bayside suburbs are hardly given a mention. Noticibly largely missing between oft mentioned Manly/Cleveland and Redcliffe. Reminding people there are places called, Shorncliffe, Sandgate, and Brighton in between