We headed out to Smuggler’s Cove this weekend to enjoy what felt like the first day of Summer as Spring looks (hopefully) to be wrapping up on a good trend. We’d never ridden the Sunshine coast together and I wanted to go somewhere warm and sunny with quiet roads, the sea and fine riding. We found almost all of that between Langdale and Smuggler’s Cove and did a great two-day 173km (118km + 55km) trip which had us leaving early Saturday and home at noon on Sunday, in time to stretch a two-day weekend into what felt like 3!
The Sunshine coast has some pretty good riding, but as Patricia and I discussed quite often, the concept of public spaces doesn’t really exist here in North America as it does in Europe. It’s really hard to find rides that skirt the water unless you want to be confined to a seawall somewhere in the city. On the route this weekend there were few instances of unobstructed seaside riding, and while it is still very beautiful, one is often inset from the sea with a row of the wealthiest homes between you and the gold. You know the water is there, and see it through the trees, but don’t get that beautiful sea-side riding we were hoping for. I guess this is the free-market — pay enough, and it’s all yours.
Outside of that, and some open sun-baked, wide-highway riding the trip is well worthwhile. It would have suited us better to have cross bikes to go through the woods at the Smuggler’s Cove end of the trip instead of on the road bikes, but most of it was passable, with us only having to walk around the muddy parts. Smuggler’s Cove is quiet and very pretty and has a charming story of being a haven for old Rum-runners during prohibition. On the return we took the lower road through Robert’s Creek and at times it felt like we had the road to ourselves for several km.
I recommend the ride if you haven’t been but you won’t find the seaside access you might be expecting, and the continuous up and down makes for longer and harder days than you’d think by just the kilometer numbers. It’s beautiful though, and makes for a good late-spring ride.