Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tuesday Tour

One of the advantages of living in Tasmania is that even the main roads get relatively little traffic if you pick your times right. Generally if you miss the school rush in the morning and afternoon, things can be pretty quiet in the middle of the day, making for pleasant riding. A good weather day on Tuesday allowed me to do a relaxed midweek tour along lovely loop from Geeveston to Dover and back. I decided to take my Surly Crosscheck because its wide tyres and saddle make for a more leisurely ride and underlined the relaxed nature of the trip.

I'm on holidays for two weeks, but the weather has kept me from venturing too far from home. Grand plans of multiday bushwalks and long rides have given way to time spent at home planning adventures rather than venturing out on them - although I have managed to fit a few rides in. The return section of this trip I've done before on the Dovernighter, and there's no good excuse why I have been this way since. So I parked the car in Geeveston and hit the road.

There's always a difference between how these rides look on maps when you're planning them and how they pan out in real life. On the trip south I had a lovely headwind which helped push me up some of the inclines. There's a gentle hill out of Geeveston then the toughest climb at the ride starts about 10km in at Glendevie, with a 200m rise in a bit under five kilometres, getting steeper towards the top. I haven't done much climbing lately although I'm in reasonable shape from all the cycling I have been doing. Oddly, I quite enjoyed the ascent, dropping back into the little chainring on the triple and spinning up.

From the top of the Glendevie hill there's a  magnificent top ring downhill run all the way to the halfway point at Dover. Although this was a cruise ride rather than a serious effort I didn't bother to stop in town but instead coasted along the waterfront to enjoy the views out over Port Esperance and the sound of the little waves breaking on the beach.

Turning north again on more familiar roads there's more climbing as the road wends up and down and over the headlands, dropping own into sleepy shack communities hamlets set in picturesque coves by white sandy beaches and past the land base for the area's salmon farming operation. The legs start to get tested here, although the scenery well and truly makes up for it. (Of course my iPhone battery let me down here so there's no photos of the really good bits.) Pushing on, it became clear my two hour ride was going to be closer to three. The only drawback to this as the very slight increase in traffic - along the coast road, perhaps two cars passed me, back on the highway perhaps two dozen doing the end of day school run. Most were extremely courteous, giving me a wide berth when they passed - a refreshing change from city riding.

What I'd guessed as perhaps a 40km loop turned out to be closer to 55km and with nigh-on 1,000 metres of climbing. I'd long emptied my single water bottle by the time I'd completed the long downhill run into Geeveston where a welcome cold soft drink awaited. A short trip, but a most enjoyable one and a reminder I need to head down this way more often.

5089km so far this year.

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