Sunday, April 11, 2010

A weekend in Deloraine

Having plenty of inclination to go touring, but little time, the chance to get in a weekend of rides out of town is too much to pass up. In northern Tasmania, some bright spark has set up a series of rides centered about the pretty town of Deloraine, so we decided to park up there for a couple of days to explore the scenery.

The Great Western Tiers signal the start of Tasmania's central highlands. At their foot, these four rides take in the best of the scenic and gourmet experiences the area has to offer. Today we did a modified version of the Great Caves Ride - an 82km loop from Deloraine to Mole Creek and back along the backroads at the foot of the tiers.

What a cracking tour it was. We rolled out on the touring bikes about 9am, shrugging off a forecast of rain and making steady progress to Mole Creek. We passed on the Open Garden we had hoped to see as it was overrun by older folks and stopped for a ripper lunch at the pub.

Back on the road we copped a few minutes of rain, but the sting was taken out of that by the tailwind which pushed us along at a steady pace through Caveside and Meander before following us all the way back to Deloarine. The scenery along the way was nothing less than spectacular. The roads were mainly flat and lightly trafficked and afforded brilliant views over the green farmland and soaring crags above. It was a beauty of a ride, which I'd recommend to anyone.

We're going to squeeze in another tomorrow, hopefully it will be as good.

1608km so far this year.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

The more things change...

This snippet, from the New York Times, is surely good. Apparently people with Parkinson's disease are still able to ride their bikes. How cheery. Some consolation I suppose.

It almost makes up for the tired idiocy coming out of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Cyclists should be licensed and pay registration? Call yourselves a think tank chaps, for coming to the strikingly original conclusion that scofflaw cyclists are a major menace to society. You could have picked your timing a little better: rather than the same day the government announces a top anti-gang cop will head a new strike force gunning for drivers who continually flout the law. No that seems like a higher priority to me.

And as for registration, I will cheerfully pay to ride my bike on public roads when the facilities and the level of subsidies granted to cycling approaches the billions spent in an increasingly futile bid to make life easier for for motorists. And I won't whinge nearly so much as the car lobby and the motoring organisations, all gorged on the taxpayer dollar. But somehow I don't reckon I'm in any danger of needing to worry about it anytime soon.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Second wind.

Is it April already? The days are getting shorter, the weather is turning cooler and daylight savings ends tonight. It's always a bit of a test on a riders mettle here in Tassie once the nights become dark and cold. I spent a couple of hours in the shed last night putting a pair of rear lights on the Cross Check so I'm ready for the winter months ahead.

After the warmest summer on record I find I've done relatively little riding for this time of year. The motivation seems to have left after the Alpine Classic. Perhaps I suffered too much or perhaps I just need to find another goal. At any rate, while I've ridden a few kilometres most days, my disdain for riding just for the sake of it as opposed to as a form of transport means it hasn't been much.

The flipside of this equation is that when I do ride, my legs are fresh and not recovering from endless commuting miles. The last few rides I've done have been blinders. Today was a case in point - I knocked ten minutes off the time for the ride I call the Cheesecake Run, a 35km blast mainly on dirt roads into town and back, with a killer 15 minute 200m climb at the end. And oddly, the coming of winter seems to have roused my interest in riding again. It's no longer as, but perversely I'm keener. Who knows what's going on here, perhaps it just the normal cycle of motivation that we all go through: unexplained bursts of activity and equally unexplained periods of lethargy and disinterest. Let's see what autumn holds.

1477km so far this year.