Monday, May 11, 2009

The Cheesecake Run

Most weekends I don't get much done at all. I might chop some wood. I might do some work about the house, take the dogs for a ride or tinker with a bike or two up in the shed. If I'm feeling extra motivated I'll cut out some of the bracken ferns that seems to occupy about half of the the 25 acre hilltop we live on. But if the weather isn't too foul and even if I do nothing else, I always find time for a Cheesecake Run.

The Cheesecake Run begins at my back door and ends at DS cafe in Huonville, where the cheesecake is. As much as I have a favourite ride, this is it. It's undemanding and if I'm riding the North Huon Road it generally means it's the weekend and I don't have any great demands on my time, so it's hard to be in a bad mood. I take the Crosscheck because its fat tyres nicely soak up the bumps of the dirt backroads and ride in shorts and a winter jersey.

The first two kilometres of the ride is a real heart starter, a screaming twisted 200m descent on a washed-out dirt road, before things settle down for the roll into Judbury. From there it's a lovely gradual downhill run which winds past the little houses and farms and orchards alongside the Huon River. At this time of year it's extra special because the leaves on many the trees have turned their various hues of orange and red and the whole place looks like an autumn postcard.

The road itself doesn't get a lot of traffic. I might be passed by half a dozen cars in a 35km round trip and I'll get a wave from maybe half the drivers. It's rare to have someone pass too close, in fact I can't remember it happening at all. I've seen a few other riders on the road, more lately, and the banana skins I see tossed at the side seem to indicate this ride is becoming more popular. I had a lovely ride into town with a West Australian couple the other week, who marvelled at the beauty of the area and said they were planning a move here.

The road seems mainly downhill so even though I'm seldom inclined to rush, I tend to move along pretty quickly. If I find myself going too hard I stop and take a photo or sit up in the saddle and see how long I can dodge the odd pothole no hands. The sealed road starts about 8km from town so the small stones stop pinging of the inside of my mudguards and there's only the gentle hum of my tyres from the Third Rock apple shed onwards.

After about half an hour I'm generally in Rangelah, which isn't much more than a little village and an easy downhill run on the sealed road into Huonville. If I'm feeling energetic I might turn north along the little creek past an old sawmill. At any rate I'm at DS Cafe in under an hour for a sugar hit. Most days I meet Kev, who rides in on the Huon highway from Mountain River, which isn't quite as nice a trip, but any day on the bike is a good one.

Oddly the way back seems downhill too for some reason. Unless the wind is howling down the valley off the Snowy Ranges, I can make good time home. The final hill is the kicker - that 60km/h downhill run becomes a granny gear grind on the way back up, although it's a good test of where my fitness is. A final roll down on the grass to the house and that's the Cheesecake Run, just about the best 35km I ride all week.

2881km so far this year.

1 comment:

Treadly and Me said...

Total envy.

Even if I could be guaranteed a leisurely weekend ride every week, it wouldn't be anything remotely like that.

I think I'll kill you and assume your identity.