Big days on the bike.

Jan 19

Today our goal is Derwent Bridge. It lies 107k’s to the northeast. There are forest fires
Sweeping through various parts of Tassie and the resultant smoke has obscured the
Mountains as we move closer to the dense rainforests of the west. We are also gaining
In altitude. Baz and I have been battle tested in the Andes during our four and a half
Month bike ride down the length of South America last year. Huge days of climbing in heat, cold, snow and rain leave you mentally tough if not physically ready for long hard periods of cycling. This past experience gives us a different perspective than most other riders.

Dave is a very strong cyclist who has spent a lot of time on the bike both summer and winter. The advent of the fat tire bike has made cycling a year round sport for so many more people like him and he loves being on the bike. Amanda, however, has very little bike experience. She is a marathon runner and a very good athlete but the hours she spent on the trainer for this trip cannot prepare you totally for the days we are putting in.
The two big climbs of the day and overall climbing total of 1900 meters make a tough
Hard day for any cyclist but for Amanda it was huge. Her knees were giving her a lot of pain on the hills, the time on the saddle was long, and the energy required was very
Draining. She was forced to push her bike up a lot of the hills. Not many novice cyclist would have gotten through this day but she persevered through it all. She’s one tough Lady.

We met a delightful young French woman pedaling today. She was loaded down with
Heavy panniers both front and back and a sleeping bag strapped on the fender. As Barry and I were waiting on the side of the road for Dave and Amanda, Justine pulled in to chat. We discovered that she was 23 years old and taking a year off following her college and resultant job as a surveyor. Now she wasn’t sure if she was going to go back to her job. She had biked both islands in NZ, was riding around Tassie now, and then heading to Southeast Asia. She had an open, airy attitude that drew us in and was moving about the same speed as as our group at this point so we had several opportunities to visit during the afternoon.

The countryside was changing from farms and rolling hills to herding country and more frequent mountains. More pockets of woods were interspersed in the still parched yellow hillsides. I heard but couldn’t see flocks of parrots in the trees. They fill the air with a cacophony of raucous chatter. This sound is but a brief interlude as we rush past on two wheels. The air was hot today making our efforts even more taxing.

Arriving at our accommodations in the little town of Derwent Bridge, we were pleasantly
Surprised to find nice comfortable rooms and a large beautiful dining area. Described as a pub hotel, the Wilderness Hotel turned out gourmet meals and a had a full bar lounge. As soon as we found our room, Barry and I hustled down to the bar. He grabbed a cold beer and I got a couple of soft drinks. As we sat chatting Barry asked if
I knew there was liquor in my drinks. I had just drained the lime flavored fluid only to now see that it was 5 percent vodka. Not my choice after a hard day ‘s cycling. I saved the second which Dave chugged down upon his arrival. Sitting in the high ceilinged
Dining room after ordering dinner we were pleasantly surprised by Justine who announced that she found herself bored so pedaled on up to join us. She used our room’s shower then joined us for drinks. A nice way to end our day.

I haven’t posted any photos since I purposely left my computer in Hobart due to the siza and weight. The process of using Wifi to transfer them to my iPad is a little laborious but I hope to accomplish that soon. Sent from my iPad

4 thoughts on “Big days on the bike.

  1. Ahh, the Italians call it Limoncello–uo to 30% alcohol and even more likely than women to lead to the downfall of brave bikers.

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