Monday, September 03, 2012

Spring into Seymour 2012

Crossing Kirwan's Bridge. It's never been ridden, not even for a dare. 
Spring means the Spring into Seymour. I've fronted up for this lovely ride four times before, although have only started three times due to the major floods which saw the ride cancelled in 2010. I did the 200km on my own in 2006, before backing up for the 160km ride in 2007 and 2009. This year, for reasons I forgot to enquire about, the shorter distance had been cut to 120km, missing out the delightful section containing the Locksley Pub.

I caught the plane up on Friday afternoon and rode from the airport. Having done the "box bike in Hobart, unbox bike in Melbourne, ride away" routine several times before I'm getting a bit better at making a somewhat smooth getaway. I headed to Broadmeadows Station, from where I caught a train to Seymour and checked in to the caravan park for a chilly night in the world's coldest cabin.

Up for breakfast, I met Steve and Ken and John shortly before the start. It was a cool and clear day with little wind, so we set off like cut cats, stopping only to fix a puncture I suffered about 40km in. We had a brief break at Nagambie before continuing the thundering pace towards the bakery at Murchison. When we reached the decrepit Kirwans bridge, I realised I had the camera with me but the memory case was missing. Using the onboard memory, I was at least able to get the traditional walking across the bridge shot which I seem to take every year along with a couple of other to remember the ride by.

If they were so convinced I wasn't going to get the shot, why did they smile?
Now over the morning I thought we were doing ok, and we were, but the hidden ingredient in our stunning outward speed on the slightly downhill course was a gentle tailwind, which lifted slightly as we turned back into it. As usual on this ride, I'd gone out a little hard so the return trip wasn't quite the athletic tour de force I might have hoped for. In truth, it was probably a few things combining - this being the longest ride on the Thorn so far, a lack of fitness, a bit of excess weight on the rider, all ganged up to make the final 40km a bit of a trial. The Lairs were very patient as I flagged, then rallied, then flagged again, but we eventually made it back to Seymour in a respectable time. Perhaps it was just as well we were doing 120km and not 160km.

On the bright side, apart from the puncture, the bike didn't try to kill me. I replaced the cransket and cassette and chain with brand new ones and the drivetrain problems which pitched me over the handlebars seem to have gone. Having eliminated every other possible cause, I measured the chain after my last accident - and it was well outside the limit of the measuring gauge and should have been replaced months ago. Another lesson learned.

I can't say I've finished a 120km ride quite so buggered for many years. Every part of me seemed to hurt at the end and I'm not sure I was making much sense over the celebratory beers. Nevertheless after a huge meal of pizza and a big sleep I somehow managed to ride back out to the airport for my flight home on Sunday after another wonderful weekend of riding in country Victoria.

2911km so far this year.


Jan said...

Hi there
Just stumbled upon your blog. I am going to be cycle touring in Tassie in a few weeks. At the end of my trip I'll need to get me and my bike from Hobart to Melbourne for a flight back to Canada (on the same day).

Can you suggest a reliable/reasonable airline so I can be sure my bike will be there for my flight home? Thanks, Jan

David Killick said...

Hi Jan,

Either Jetstar or Virgin are generally good with bikes. Both count the bike towards your 23kg luggage allowance. Jetstar allows you to buy a larger luggage allowance when you're booking online. How long are you visiting Tasmania for?

Please let me know if I can be any more help. My email address is

Anonymous said...

Thanks David. I will send you and email. Jan