Jon Hendry of Granite Belt Bicycle Tours and Hire.
Jon Hendry of Granite Belt Bicycle Tours and Hire. DEIRDRE SMITH

Anyone for a winter bike ride?

A WINTER picnic and bike ride around the coldest town in Queensland is more popular than you might think.

Granite Belt Bicycle Tours owner Jon Hendry is gearing up for the busiest time of the year, as visitors to Stanthorpe and surrounds sign up for a tour of the region's quaint backroads, both sealed and dirt.

"They've got a very European feel to (them), the roads - they're very quiet and country,” Mr Hendry said.

"They're really nice for riding.”

The journey was "definitely not flat” he said, laughing.

"But it's always nice to challenge yourself when you go out, to burn that...glass of wine and extra cheesecake.

Mr Hendry said now was "very much the busy season”.

"They (visitors) like to put on their winter clothes and ride.”

The majority of his guided tours, which can be a few hours or two days in length, are with visitors to the region, as locals "have their own bikes”, he said.

"We show you the best spots in the area to see, with no chance of getting lost and we have the van there as well to pick up what everybody buys.

"People are happy to spend as they go along if I pick up the produce for them.”

The popular Castles, Cafes and Cabernet tour starts at Donnelly's Castle, a natural rock formation where he takes guests on a short guided walk before they depart by bike to visit cafes and wineries in the region.

If a self-guided tour is more your style, you can hire two bikes, a hamper of local picnic goodies for $160.

"We often give them a picnic blanket too and they'll stop and have a picnic.”

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