Brisbane's best, and safest, bike rides

A guide to where you and your family can safely ride your bikes around Brisbane.

Brisbane bike riders are spoiled for choice, with the city featuring myriad options for cyclists of all ages, abilities and fitness levels.

Cycling has undergone a massive spike since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with sales of new bikes and demand for repairs to old ones booming across the country.

Team Leader at 99 Bikes Chermside Shane Johnston has witnessed the surge first-hand with his store reporting sales results unmatched in its eight years of operation.

“The majority of sales are definitely in the family and recreational type riding,” Mr  Johnston said.

Brisbane cycling

“Entry to mid-level bikes designed for fitness and casual riding have been the most popular. 

“(The rise in cycling) is definitely in part because of other fitness options decreasing or being forced to shut their doors, but we can also attribute it to the opportunity that riding a bike gives us.

“It is an activity that can be enjoyed by absolutely everyone in the community without discrimination.”

RACQ Head of Technical and Safety Policy Steve Spalding said before heading out, riders should ensure they took the necessary safety precautions.

Generic cycling pic

“Riding a bike is a great way to exercise and get out of the house during the current crisis, but it’s critical cyclists are putting safety first,” Mr Spalding said.

“Wearing a helmet is the most important step cyclists can take to protect their safety and unfortunately it’s the rule they’re breaking most often.

”Department of Transport and Main Roads data provided to RACQ revealed almost 5000 people were fined for failing to wear a helmet in Queensland over the past two years.

“If you have recently just taken up cycling, it’s important you familiarise yourself with the rules and safety requirements for riding a bike,” Mr Spalding said.

To help you enjoy the best of Brisbane on a bike, the Brisbane City Council has compiled a list of the best rides and cycle paths.

Gear up for fun

Best for beginners

Kangaroo Point Bikeway

Beginning at Captain Burke Park, beneath the Story Bridge, this stress-free stretch connects to the Woolloongabba Bikeway and the Brisbane CBD with more than 3km of scenic riverside riding.

If you're really loving the experience, keep on pedalling past South Bank Parklands towards West End (via the new Riverside Drive Bikeway), where you'll be treated to more river views and shady green spaces.

Best riverside rides

Brisbane River Loop and Bicentennial Bikeway

The Brisbane River Loop is a real enthusiast's ride, combining about 40km of bikeways and on-road riding through some of Brisbane's busiest and most popular precincts, including South Brisbane, Brisbane City, Milton, Toowong, St Lucia and West End. This ride is Brisbane's most popular loop for bike riders with a bit more experience

The popular Bicentennial Bikeway has multiple entrances, from the Goodwill Bridge to Toowong and is a great way to access the inner west and Brisbane CBD. It begins at the foot of the Goodwill Bridge, offering an easy roll to the City Botanic Gardens, before it reaches the hustle and bustle of Queen St and Victoria Bridge.

You can hop on to these bikeways from north and south via the North Brisbane Bikeway and Veloway 1, which link to the city centre.

Best for natural thrills

Mt Coot-tha Loop

Get there using either the Western Freeway Bikeway or head west from the Bicentennial Bikeway and access the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha using the bike and walking overpass.

This is a challenging ride for those who aren't afraid of a hill climb and who like to ride among nature along the way. The loop is about 12km, starting at the base of the Mt Coot-tha on Sir Samuel Griffith Drive. Once you reach the top of this heart-pumping ride, you'll be rewarded with amazing views from the Mt Coot-tha Lookout.

If you're looking for a moderate challenge, ride the loop in a clockwise direction and enjoy the thrill of the steeper downhill zoom. If you really want a challenge, ride in an anti-clockwise direction for a leg-burning mountain ascent.

While you're in the area, you might like to take it off-road on one of the mountain bike trails to really enjoy the exhilaration of being outdoors.

Most scenic bike ride

City Botanic Gardens Riverwalk

For a peaceful ride through the City Botanic Gardens, start from the City Reach Boardwalk near Brisbane' Story Bridge.

Cruise along the riverfront precinct, before you arrive at the corner of Alice and Edward streets where the City Botanic Gardens Riverwalk takes you across the water and into the City Botanic Gardens.

This bike ride is a must for anyone wanting to see views of the city and the beauty of our subtropical gardens.

Best for families

Kedron Brook Bikeway and Lores Bonney Riverwalk

For a great family-friendly ride, don't miss the flat, wide, traffic-free Kedron Brook Bikeway, which links Everton Park, Stafford, Grange, Gordon Park, Lutwyche, Kedron, Kalinga and Toombul. It's fun for a short pedal about the suburbs or ride the full 19km length of the bikeway. 

Another great option is the new Lores Bonney Riverwalk, reaching along the river from Bretts Wharf to Cameron Rocks Reserve, Hamilton. This 1.2km bike path has dedicated lanes for two-way bike traffic, meaning the kids will have fewer obstacles.

Want more help?

Map out your ride with Cycling Brisbane's online bikeway map.

Source: Brisbane City Council