Around Tasmania

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Around Tasmania

Postby MrK » Sat May 16, 2009 7:34 pm

Hi everyone,
I am just getting into cycling (at the young age of 57)
Looking at a solo tour around Tasmania.
Has anyone done a solo tassie tour? How long did it take? (please keep in mind I am a 'beginner') Any other comments about this proposed ride? Any recommendations about packing for trip? Trailer?
Many thanks
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by BNA » Sat May 16, 2009 8:24 pm

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Re: Around Tasmania

Postby hartleymartin » Sat May 16, 2009 8:24 pm

I'd advise trying out a couple of short overnight tours to get a better idea of how things are before you do a longer solo tour. When are you planning to do this tour? You might be able to find another cycle tourist here who will accompany you in your travels.
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Re: Around Tasmania

Postby Tale » Thu May 28, 2009 8:33 pm

MrK wrote:Has anyone done a solo tassie tour? How long did it take? (please keep in mind I am a 'beginner') Any other comments about this proposed ride? Any recommendations about packing for trip? Trailer?

My first ever tour was around Tassie in January 1996 (beware - I developed a hunger for it and ended up quitting my job and cycling across Europe!). Started in Launceston with a travelling companion and rode to Cradle Mountain (big hills, but worth it), then down the west coast to Hobart. Afterwards, we caught a bus to Port Arthur with our bikes, rode/camped around there and then bussed back to Hobart. All up, tourist traps included, it took us about two weeks.

We had been introduced through a mutual acquaintance, and we didn't get along, so we went our separate ways and I continued alone. He was a teacher and left to start the year. I was a freelance journalist so I called off my work for another two weeks and got a bus back up to Launceston to a music festival (nearly died when I accepted a lift in the rain on a dirt road and the truck ran off the road, down a 45 degree embankment and lodged on a tree).

After that I cycled down the east coast solo, spent a few days in Freycinet National Park (recommended) and went back round to Hobart. All up, I was in Tassie for four weeks and had gone right round Tassie if you fit the two half-laps together.

I used only rear panniers, with a tent and sleeping bag strapped to the back rack. Didn't need many clothes because it was summer. That was enough, but these days I'd carry more food and cooking equipment in some front panniers.
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Re: Around Tasmania

Postby heavymetal » Sun May 31, 2009 4:29 pm

MrK wrote:I am just getting into cycling (at the young age of 57)
Looking at a solo tour around Tasmania.


I'm ten years behind you, but having left Tassie again 5 months ago, for practice, start riding your fully loaded bike up the steepest hills you can find. Carry spare brake pads with you in Tassie, and know how to straighten your own wheels if they develop slight buckles. If you have exotic parts on your bike, don't bother trying to get them in Tassie. Most shops there have a definition of a touring wheel having only 18 spokes.

East coast is a good ride, but the extreme west coast is more challenging :twisted:

Riding in winter is a bit chilly on the downhills :D but with good wet weather gear it's actually quite fun.

Start practicing for your ride with the bike fully loaded as this will iron out problems with you and the bike. Enjoy the ride.

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Re: Around Tasmania

Postby il padrone » Sun May 31, 2009 8:35 pm

heavymetal wrote:East coast is a good ride, but the extreme west coast is more challenging :twisted:

The Western Explorer Road? Truly feels like you are cycling off the 'Edge of the World' :shock:

Image

There are hills.... and then there are Tasmanian hills :(

Image

+1 on the limited cycling supplies in remoter parts of Tassie
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Re: Around Tasmania

Postby hartleymartin » Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:58 am

Perhaps good practice for Tasmania would be to cycle from Mittagong to Wombeyan Caves on Wombeyan Caves Road and then back. Its about 50km each way, half of which is non-sealed road. The trip back out will give you some good hills which would give you an idea of what to expect in Tasmania. I'm looking forward to cycling that road some time - so many good places to ride, so few holidays...
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Re: Around Tasmania

Postby Aushiker » Mon Jun 01, 2009 1:19 pm

il padrone wrote:
heavymetal wrote:East coast is a good ride, but the extreme west coast is more challenging :twisted:

The Western Explorer Road? Truly feels like you are cycling off the 'Edge of the World' :shock:

There are hills.... and then there are Tasmanian hills :(


Nice country to ride in by the looks. Thanks for sharing the photo.

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Re: Around Tasmania

Postby heavymetal » Mon Jun 01, 2009 4:33 pm

il padrone wrote:The Western Explorer Road? Truly feels like you are cycling off the 'Edge of the World' :shock:


I see that it's a road now. When I did it, it was called the Corinna Track :shock: and thats what it was. Was the remains of my bike still there? After it broke in half I left it there. It's probably rusted away by now. :D

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Re: Around Tasmania

Postby RonK » Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:51 pm

There is comprehensive information for a tour of Tasmania here:

http://www.biketas.org.au/giro.php

I will be arriving Hobart late October 2009 for an easy-paced three week, 1,200 km tour.

I'd be happy to consider sharing the trip with like-minded and compatible companions, male or female.

Send me a PM for the details if you are interested.
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Re: Around Tasmania

Postby m@ » Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:21 pm

This map came out last year; probably no info you couldn't get from Google maps and tourism websites, but might be a handy reference.

I would recommend anyone heading into the alpine regions (anywhere around the 1000m mark or above) or the West coast at any time of year take adequate rain and cold weather gear and four-season tent and sleeping bag - as those areas can experience extreme weather at any time of year. And make sure you're well-practiced at steep, technical descents with fully-loaded panniers - on the climbs you can always get off and walk/take a break, but if you lose it on a descent it could be curtains (a touring cyclist crashed and was killed here a few months ago :().
harmonix1234 wrote:Forecast for Hobart next week is rain, sleet, ice and all kinds of hell.
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Re: Around Tasmania

Postby il padrone » Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:32 pm

These maps are some of the best you can get to explore Tasmania on a bike, IMHO. Four sheets cover the whole state. Unfortunatley they are out of stock at Tasmap at present. You may find them through other map sources.

Image
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Re: Around Tasmania

Postby RonK » Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:07 pm

m@ wrote:This map came out last year; probably no info you couldn't get from Google maps and tourism websites, but might be a handy reference.

I would recommend anyone heading into the alpine regions (anywhere around the 1000m mark or above) or the West coast at any time of year take adequate rain and cold weather gear and four-season tent and sleeping bag - as those areas can experience extreme weather at any time of year. And make sure you're well-practiced at steep, technical descents with fully-loaded panniers - on the climbs you can always get off and walk/take a break, but if you lose it on a descent it could be curtains (a touring cyclist crashed and was killed here a few months ago :().


Thanks - Tourism Tasmania were kind enough to mail me a dozen. Actually, I'm familiar with most of Tassie and could probably get by without a map, so this one has sufficient detail for me. But my itinerary is plotted on Google maps.

Yeah, I'm familiar with the weather conditions - have made frequent visits mid-winter, and walked the Overland Track in October for three of the last five years.

I understand that a lady on a supported tour ran off the road descending the Gog Range and was killed. I don't know the circumstances but she probably didn't have panniers. I last drove over the Gog Range on a wet July day, and it's is not hard to understand how such an accident could happen.
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