Last week, riding home from the beach, I saw a strange sight on Currumbin Creek. It floated on two hulls. They were the type of hulls that a catamaran uses, only smaller. Yellow, buoyant and atop sat a man on a bicycle.
He pedalled and the craft moved. He turned the handlebars and the hulls slowly changed direction. I pedalled to a vantage point on Thrower Bridge, jumped off my bike and hastily unclipped my pannier in search of my camera. Moments later he’d floated under the bridge. I crossed the creek and looked out from the underpass for a water-level view of this new contraption. Fascinated, I then rode home only to realise that my beach towel was missing.
Clipped to the outside of my pannier, I guessed the towel had dropped somewhere after opening my pannier on the bridge. I rode back, retracing my trail from home, and found my towel kindly placed by someone over the bridge railing.
With the towel secured, I was ready to ride home for breakfast but something took me in another direction – my curiosity about the bicycle boat. Curiosity keeps me learning and creating new experiences. Breakfast could wait.
By now, the bicycle boat was moored on the creek’s southern bank. The bicycle boatman stood nearby. It was time to talk.
Sean the bicycle boatman has imported the Hydrobike as a new venture. He has another six on their way from the USA and they’ll be available for hire on Currumbin Creek.
I enjoyed having a yarn about these floating bicycles. Memories of Lakeland Playland seeped in from the recesses of my mind from Bargara in the 1970s. Down the road from my childhood home, Moneys Creek flowed from the sugar cane fields into the Coral Sea. The creek was a haven for sandflies so a causeway was built creating a lagoon. In the early 1970s, this lagoon became home for a fun park called Lakeland Playland which hired miniature jet boats and paddle boats propelled by pedalling!
While those pedal boats were strictly for kids, this modern interpretation looks suitable for a variety of ages. Sean kindly invited me to try the modern day bicycle boat. After adjusting the seat height and a few instructions about steering, I was pedalling on water! Bicycle Ahoy!
(If you’re interested in hiring the Hydobike on Currumbin Creek, head to the south bank at Thrower Bridge near the big fig tree.)