Cycling is one of the most freeing activities you can take part in – personally I prefer my two wheels with an engine between, but to each their own. Everywhere you go here on the coast you’ll see locals and visitors alike getting around in their Lycra and helmets, and it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. Gliding around on two wheels is fantastic, and not to mention a fantastic workout and an accessible way to really explore the beauty that the Sunshine Coast holds through its dazzling hinterlands and relaxing, sandy white beaches. With such a strong and healthy cycling community, it’s no wonder so many events for two-wheeled enthusiasts are starting to pop up.
The Big Beach Ride is the new kid on the block, offering three different levels of difficulty for participants, suiting everyone from the elite lycra masters, to those that just like a gentle pedal by the beach. The 10km ride is all about family fun and accessibility. Riding along the Mooloolah River, you’ll be able to check out all the hidden gems of Kawana Island. With the course dotted by sandy beaches and play parks, this is a ride for the whole family to enjoy. Taking off from Double Bay Park, the ride will traverse the myriad of shared paths along the water’s edge to the Caloundra Football Club where the real fun begins. There you’ll find live music, great food, and activities for big and little kids alike.
Looking for a relaxed, slow-paced morning in the saddle, exploring some of the best riding roads on the Sunshine Coast? The 45km sun and scenery ride might be right up your alley. Starting by the beach at Mudjimba, you’ll soon cross the Maroochy River and head for some quiet rural roads with scenic views of the coast’s hinterland region. There is the odd hill to navigate, but they are short-lived and very manageable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. Once south of the Sunshine Motorway, you’ll explore some of the newer estates of the Sunshine Coast with great on-road bike lanes and plenty of open spaces. From here, it’s a straight run to the finish line where the cold drinks, delicious food, live music, and extra activities await.
Looking for a longer ride? Rolling out just after sunrise, the 80km course begins in Tewantin, you’ll soon be taking in some of the best views along the east coast. If you like rides by the beach with amazing scenery and great company, all you need to do is bring some mates along. As you ride south from Tewantin through Noosa and the Eastern Beaches you’ll see why so many people love the Sunshine Coast. Take it all in, enjoy the views and ride to your capabilities, we’ll take care of the rest. As you roll through Peregian Beach, Coolum Beach and Point Arkwright, be sure to stop and take in the views. Take some time to watch the abundance of surfers chasing eternal glory and let the fresh sea air enrich your lungs in preparation for a hill or two later on. Once past the halfway mark and joined up with the 45km riders, you’ll get some sustenance for the second half and ride away from the ocean into the scenic hills of Kiels Mountain and Forest Glen. But don’t worry, the hills may be sharp, but don’t last long, so this is still a ride for everyone.
At the collective finish line there will be a free family friendly festival with plenty of activities, entertainment and food for everyone – so why not bring the whole family? There will be children’s entertainment in the form of bouncy castles and balloon twisting – some wheely classes and off-road riding skills for the older boys and girls, as well as an open-day for local sporting organisations offering all a go at a new hobby or secret passion.
For more information on the event, visit The Big Beach Ride’s official website here – and don’t worry, Lycra isn’t mandatory.