Gladstone’s premier stunt bicycle facility of the 70’s and 80’s was, ‘The Bowl’, and it wouldn’t have looked out of place in Fred Flintstones’ Bedrock.
Located near the old dam spillway at Tondoon Gardens, it was a wide, dirt basin that wasn’t built or maintained by Council, had trees instead of shade covers and the drinking fountain was a creek.
Getting there was a bit of a hike along a bulldust covered road, but all you had to do was follow the long line of crying kids limping homewards clutching broken bits of their bikes, or themselves.
Riding in The Bowl took real skill as you had to avoid the hordes of wild-eyed Evel Knievel wannabe’s racing down the steep banks from different directions at warp speed and flying out the other side; usually into trees or each other.
‘Riding in the bowl wouldn’t be the same now that my old Speedwell Dragster is rusting in that Great Bike Rack in the Sky’
Occasionally girls would turn up and The Bowl would instantly fill with hurtling bikes powered on pure testosterone. It’s a wonder we weren’t killed; not that anyone would have noticed our bodies ‘til the girls left.
The Bowl’s still there, but it’s so overgrown and eroded that you can’t ride in it anymore. Besides, it wouldn’t be the same now that my old Speedwell Dragster is rusting in that Great Bike Rack in the Sky.
Anyway, I reckon modern riders prefer pedalling on the smooth, well designed concrete and steel facility at the PCYC, which is also rather handily located within crawling distance of the hospital.
I know I would have.