I couldn’t understand why my bike was stopping on a steep decline. Had the brakes developed a mind of their own? Was the earth’s gravitational force shifting? Maybe I was being sucked into another time through an invisible wormhole?
After my imagination stopped running away with itself, I discovered a perfectly logical explanation.
I was getting an introduction to the the roaring forties – a gale force wind that rips around the Earth in latitudes between 40 and 50 degrees – and Tasmania lies smack in the path of it.
Along with other factoids, I should thank that wind for the cleanest air in the Southern Hemisphere (measured by the Bureau of Meteorology)
The wind could be a good friend on long climbs, but having to put more effort into the descent was a new and comical experience for me. It was an early lesson in my bike adventuring that nothing is easy if you catch nature in a mischievous mood.
I planned a trip to Tasmania after stories from a couple of tour-cycling buddies made me hungry for a taste of self-sufficient bike adventuring.
While Googling the best routes for my great adventure, hotel searches soon replaced a NASA level study of lightweight tents. I was completely thrown off track by a company offering to coordinate the whole journey and provide a personal luggage-shifter, who took care of everything for me sans pushing the pedals.
If you’re not afraid of hills and headwinds, this five-day 450-kilometre Launceston to Hobart self-guided route is a great way to try out multi-day cycling while taking in Tasmania’s unspoilt coastline, aqua waters, ancient rain forests and tiny villages at your own pace.
I bathed my aching butt in spas, gorged my face on fine food (without putting on an ounce of weight) and collapsed every evening on a luxury mattress. It was a welcome end to a hard day’s work in the not-so-softie saddle
Oh – and it’s a good job that imaginary windy wormhole didn’t suck me back into a time when Port Arthur was open for business. Stealing a potato was one inmate’s ‘crime’.
Those juvenile nocturnal apple-scrumping crimes of mine could’ve quite easily landed me a one-way ticket on a very long boat journey to the clinker.
Have you done any tour cycling? Where would you recommend?
Tassie East Coast Highlights.
- Hike the pink granite mountains of Freycinet Bay National Park to Wineglass Bay, a white sand crescent-shaped beach rated as one of the world’s best in Lonely Planet.
- The Bay of Fires named because the orange and yellow Lichen covered rocks reflect of f the white beaches and azure blue waters. It’s a photographers dream at sunset.
- Coles bay is a quaint, got-it-all-activity beauty spot. Book early for peak season stays.
- Visit a wildlife rescue centre. They’re unfunded and need support. You’ll see the nocturnal Tassie devils which are seriously threatened by a mysterious facial tumour disease.
- MONA Museum in Hobart is the talk of the art world and Tasmanians. It holds the largest private art collection in Oz and is open to the public for $20. It’s not to be missed if you like really out there art. Adult content zones are clearly marked on a map.
The Banc, Swansea Fabulous posh nosh from one of those slightly scary looking chefs.
Pasinis, Bicheno Quirky cafe, great coffee, snacks and a bit more.
The Drunken Admiral, Hobart Gastro pub kinda stuff.
More info at: Discover Tasmania
Disclosure: I write about stuff I like, especially if I think others might enjoy it too. I paid the full advertised rate with Cycling Tours for this trip.