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.

The drawback, at least for a nervous rider like me, is that the roads are not yet all as cycle-friendly as they could be. I’d hesitate to embark on this ride alone, but I’m reassured when reputable local travel company plots out the route, books my accommodation and provides me with a sturdy bike. This will probably be ok.

Echidna

A few kilometres out of Scottsdale I’m called on to save the life of this echidna, setting out to waddle over the highway. Doesn’t he know about logging trucks?

 

Weldborough Forest

The road narrows, but the traffic mercifully thins out once I’m past the former tin-mining town of Derby. There’s a stiff climb into the forest at Weldborough. A lovely route, however.

Pyenegana Valley

From an overnight stop at the historic Weldborough Hotel, it’s downhill most of the way to the Pyengana Valley.

Pyengana Dairy

A stop for coffee, cake and cheese tasting at the Holy Cow Cafe, Pyengana.

St Columba Falls

St Columba’s Falls, near Pyengana…well, 12kms from Pyengana, and uphill (of course!)

Lonely road and the sky

The Tasman Highway reaches the coast at St Helens…and flattens out a lot. Note the nice shoulder on the road too.

Red rocks of Bicheno

My favourite coastal town is Bicheno – nice cafes, a couple of art galleries, and these red rocks adding appeal to the wild beaches.

So far, so good.

The wind has been disconcertingly strong and gusty, causing me some nervous moments, trying to keep the bike steady with motor traffic approaching. Most drivers have been considerate, though, giving me plenty of room.

Fortunately the weather forecast is for moderating conditions. More soon…

The writer was the guest of Tourism Tasmania and Tasmanian Expeditions.

8 Comments

Filed under Cycle touring, Cycling, Uncategorized

8 responses to “TASSIE RIDE #1 – Scottsdale to Bicheno

  1. Sounds like a gorgeous trip, Richard. And maybe we have spoiled you a little too much here in the Netherlands with all our bike paths. 🙂
    Enjoy!

  2. What an exciting adventure, Richard! Beautiful scenery – I know nothing about Tasmania, so I’m really enjoying this glimpse through your blog. I look forward to the next instalment. 🙂

  3. kevinmayne

    That’s a great start if the photos are anything to go by.

    I always enjoyed my brief trips to Tassie and wanted to ride a bike there, but never did.

  4. Great to see you are back in Tasmania, Richard. The photos are gorgeous and thanks for saving that echidna! The quantity of native wildlife killed on our roads here is purported to be the highest in the country. Looking forward to further reports. Enjoy!

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