Category Archives: Cycling

TASSIE’S EAST COAST – the full cycling story

RT at Devil's Corner

The view from Devil’s Corner. That’s Freycinet National Park in the background. I’ve ridden from there. Well, I say ‘ridden’ but I wheeled the bike up the steepest bit.

That long, sweeping descent comes only after you’ve slogged up to the top of the hill. Push into that gale for a day and it may eventually become a helpful tailwind. For every idiot driver who almost squeezes you off the road, there are many courteous ones who overtake slowly, giving you wobble room and a ‘good-on-yer-mate’ wave.

Cycling the wild east coast of Tasmania certainly brings its share of both challenges and joys. Continue reading

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A PARADISE FOR PRISONERS AND DEVILS?

Maria reflections

If every day could be like this, I’d almost be content to stay for the term of my natural life.

Many of the first white residents could wait to get off Maria Island.

Convicts transported here in 1825 built Aboriginal-style canoes, begged or bribed whaling ships to give them a ride or tried their luck on the swim across the strait to mainland Tasmania, a few kilometres away. To see the island now, you wonder where they’d rather have been. Continue reading

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Filed under Cycle touring, Cycling, Hiking, Travel-Australia, Uncategorized

TASSIE RIDE #3 – Swansea and Triabunna

RT at Devil's Corner

The view from Devil’s Corner. That’s Freycinet National Park in the background. I’ve ridden from there this morning. Well, I say ‘ridden’ but I wheeled the bike up the steepest bit.

You have to earn your fun on a cycling tour. Between Freycinet Peninsula and Swansea is the ominously named ‘Devil’s Corner’.

A wizened local rider I met at Coles Bay has warned me about it. ‘The worst bit of the Tasman Highway, that is. Blind corners, speeding drivers, no shoulder…I wouldn’t try it myself.’

Thanks a lot, mate. That’s rather like saying, ‘If I wanted to get there I wouldn’t start from here.’ 

Continue reading

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TASSIE RIDE #2 – out to Freycinet

The Hazards, Coles Bay

Nearly there. Just a short ride around Coles Bay and I’ll be able to get off the bike and climb those Hazards.

It’s a relief to have an easier day in the saddle. 50 kilometres, 26 of them along the flat of Coles Bay Road, where the shoulder is wider, the traffic is generally slower and there are encouraging glimpses of the Hazards Range ahead.  

And Freycinet Peninsula is one of Tasmania’s most popular natural wonders – with good reason. Continue reading

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TASSIE RIDE #1 – Scottsdale to Bicheno

Scottsdale

Gentleman, start your engine. The road at Scottsdale is downhill…for the first few hundred metres anyway.


I’m the guinea-pig, apparently. I’m certainly not the first to ride a bike along Tasmania’s East Coast, but I am the pioneer on Tasmanian Expeditions’ self-guided version of the adventure.
 

All up it will be six days in the saddle, with a little time off to rest the rear end by doing some hiking in the national parks.

Tasmania is not yet well-developed as a cycling destination. That day may be coming, eventually. That the island has more than its fair share of spectacular scenery is a given. Continue reading

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AMSTERDAM OFFERS FREE DINKS TO STRANGERS

No, I don’t mean ‘free drinks’ and I haven’t tried one myself.

‘Dinking’ was the old Aussie word for giving someone a lift on the your bike, back in the days when such things were legal.

It’s still a common way to get around in Amsterdam, though the idea of offering and/or accepting a ride from a stranger is probably (1) a cool marketing exercise for bike hire company Yellow Bikes and (2) likely to give a new meaning to the phrase ‘pick up’.

Anyone accepting a ‘Yellow Backie’ dink from an already wobbly rider like me would be taking their life in my hands. They’d need a stiff drink afterwards.

Look at the YouTube video above and see what you think of the idea.

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CYCLING THE GREEN HEART – Holland’s most beautiful

The oldest town in the Netherlands. Not so many people know about it.

The oldest town in the Netherlands. Not so many people know about it.

‘This landscape always reminds me of Holland,’ said my mother, years ago, somewhere outside Melbourne, on a road between Springvale and Frankston.

She’d never seen Holland and neither had I, but we both knew what she meant. What I only discovered recently was that the image we had of classic Dutch landscape came from 19th century paintings. Even the word ‘landscape’ comes from the Dutch ‘landschap’. Continue reading

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Filed under Art, Cycle touring, Cycling, Holland