One of the consolations of this time of year is the Perfect Winter's Day. Tasmania has a reputation for lousy weather which is largely undeserved and the depths of winter can turn on some real pearlers.
Today was one such day. Apart from some early fog which quickly burned off it was clear this was one of those days to make the most of, with plenty of sunshine and not a breath of wind. Nicole and I loaded the touring bikes in the back to the ute for a quick drive down to Cradoc for a lazy 35km Cygnet loop. The plan was a meander along the river and over the hill into Cygnet, stop for coffee and cake then complete the loop with the short ride back to the car.
For the unhurried, the lightly-trafficked Cygnet Coast Road along the Huon River provides lovely scenic riding, first through vineyards and then along the waterfront with views across to Franklin and down towards Dover. Along the way we found a little beach that will be perfect for a picnic stop on a future kayaking trip and spotted plenty of lovely houses and weekended with great water views. We turned upwards along Wattle Grove Road. On a cool day a steep climb is a good chance to warm up and the low gears on the touring bike mean you're not working that hard while the scenery slides past. There are lovely views of the little farmlets up the valley and back down from where we'd come. A moment's pause at the top and then down the unsealed Forsters Rivulet Road for a long roll down into Lymington. By now were were both getting hungry and looking forward to a feed at the Red Velvet Lounge.
But such delights were not to be. Cygnet's two better coffee shops had closed for winter at the same time so we repaired to the Schoolhouse cafe for a very decent toasted sandwich and a flick through the papers in the delightful yard. Back on the bikes, the beauty of this loop is that there's only a short ride over the hill back to Cradoc and downhill run back to the car. A lovely day, we certainly made the most of.
3,093km so far this year.