Tour de Flinders Island

Tour de Flinders Island

Postby CommuRider » Sat Dec 11, 2010 9:17 pm

Came across this

http://flindersislandtravel.com.au/flin ... rs-island/

85km of I suspect pretty safe terrain in a picturesque setting. Question is, anyone here has tried it? Could be the equivalent to Isle of Man's motor race?
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by BNA » Sun Dec 12, 2010 3:39 pm

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Re: Tour de Flinders Island

Postby master6 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 3:39 pm

CommuRider wrote:Came across this

http://flindersislandtravel.com.au/flin ... rs-island/

85km of I suspect pretty safe terrain in a picturesque setting. Question is, anyone here has tried it? Could be the equivalent to Isle of Man's motor race?


I reside 40 km out of Hobart, and frequent the Southern Tasmanian Veterans Cycling Club events, and various other social/training/coffee enjoyment rides. I have not previously heard of the Flinders Island event. It sounds interesting, and I should persuade my wife that we need to see the place!
Off on another ride subject now. If you want a ride with a difference, and cant wait until November, have a look at
http://www.stvcc.asn.au/Content/TheDoddle2011.pdf
Dale Carney has organised this ride for a number of years now, and I have enjoyed doing the last three. It is a different course each year. If you want more information, contact Dale, or bring your questions back here.
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Re: Tour de Flinders Island

Postby TassieRambler » Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:40 pm

I've not done this ride, but I've been up to Flinders 3 or 4 times over the last decade and it is a bit of a cyclists paradise in terms of traffic. There are some lovely roads up there.
I do remember chatting to a couple who were up there on a three week cycling tour. They were Tasmanians, so used to a bit of roadkill, but they mentioned that the amount and smell of road kill got pretty overwhelming at times. Also, I can speak from experience that it can be a bit of a hassle and expense to get gear up there. I'm not sure if you could get a bike up on a plane, and getting stuff across on the ferry is a pain. We took some kayaks across once and had to get them to Bridport, but that was years ago.
For my money, given the cost of getting there, I'd only do it if I was heading across for a week or two, and I'd probably take a mountain bike so I can enjoy the gravel roads as well and have a bit of an explore. It's a beautiful place, and very importantly the bakery in Whitemark makes reasonable coffee and cakes. :)
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Re: Tour de Flinders Island

Postby CommuRider » Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:38 pm

Sounds good though despite the hassle :-)

Are there any bike hires around there? Saves a packet transporting the bike.
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Re: Tour de Flinders Island

Postby TassieRambler » Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:56 am

It is good, especially on a sunny day, though for me a lot of the highlights have been getting out onto the surrounding islands.

I never noticed any bike rentals on the Island (and it's not that big that I'd miss it). There used to be a guy who hired kayaks and stuff, but I believe his business folded due to insurance premium increases. I noticed in the latest Outer Edge mag (p44) they had an article on Flinders which suggested mountain biking as one of the top five things to do, but no mention of bike hire.

If you're serious why not shoot that guy who organises the race an email, I'm sure he'd know what is and isn't possible.
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Re: Tour de Flinders Island

Postby CommuRider » Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:58 am

Thanks TassieRambler. I'm hoping to do some island hopping for the upcoming hols and instead of QLD, might try Tassie instead. And if I could do some cycling that would be an additional bonus. :-)
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Re: Tour de Flinders Island

Postby CommuRider » Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:53 pm

Ok...hoping to do FI this week. Logistical planning in place. Have decided to take the leisurely route and drive down to Melbourne/Essendon Airport and catch a flight to FI. I'm conscious of the flooding at Rochester but will be taking the Hume, and perhaps a detour to Rutherglen :D It's all very impromptu like our previous roadtrips but I hate getting ripped off by Sydney taxi drivers on the way back. So I'd rather avoid the multiple flight changes of Sydney-Melbourne/Devonport/Launceston-FI-etc-Sydney and just park the car at ParkingPort in Essendon (the online reviews seem to be positive of the operator).

If Sharp Airlines flew from Tullamarine-FI that would have made flying more attractive as I could have used my Qantas FF points and made more effort to co-ordinate the schedules. As it is, the emphasis on the road trip is 'leisure' and not 'stress'. Anyhoo, I spoke to Sharp Airlines and some flights get really full but I don't want to book yet until we arrive in Melbourne as I don't know how many detours we will take and frankly, the last thing I want is to miss our flight when we're nowhere near Essendon. Their website doesn't have anything on bikes but they do on golf clubs, prams, surfboards so it never occurred me to enquire about bringing our bikes along - maybe if this first trip goes well I'll try next time with the emphasis on entering the TdFI :-)
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Re: Tour de Flinders Island

Postby CommuRider » Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:11 am

Instead of a week at a Flinders Island we ended up doing a week of North-East Victoria (Beechworth and surrounds saw heaps of cyclists on the mountain bike trail, Bright for the Audax, a hardy few with panniers cycling down towards Glenrowan etc).

Anyhoo. Back to Flinders - this island is excellent for biking. Admittedly, didn't do a cycle but a car hire place has a couple of mountain bikes for rental. According to a local, flights into Flinders do allow bikes but they need to be bagged-up as a whip of grease ain't a good look. The baggage limit - however - is 15kgs. The alternative is packaging the bike for freight.

As for the TdFI, it is held in October and runs from Lady Barron to Whitemark which is a mere 40kms or so. I'd have thought they'd do Lady Barron to where the sealed road ends. However, Flinders Island has absolutely picturesque surroundings with ranges - Strezelecki and Darling on either side of the road. The road from Lady B to Whitemark is simply, awe-inspiring, gob-smacking gorgeous. I saw a couple of cyclists doing the run and given the population is 800 or so and every driver waves at you, it is a cycling paradise. Mind you, the gale force winds may deter some riders or you just have to wait for it to pass.

My advice for anyone thinking about Flinders Island - as cyclist or tourist - is lots of planning. It takes an hour to fly from Essendon Airport to Flinders Island airport but there are only 4 flights per week. Unlike Tassie which has flights everyday, trying to organise the departure/arrival dates proved to be challenging a bit. However, I do recommend it. It is pretty isolated but at least I don't need a passport to get to it! The natural beauty of the place makes it a very worthwhile place to go to. Plus, there's a vineyard that makes award-winning cool climate wines. So happy with that little foray :-)
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Re: Tour de Flinders Island

Postby CommuRider » Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:45 pm

Ok first time I've used photobucket so here are some shots:

Looking south - view of Little Dog Island, Vansittart Island, Cape Barren Island from Lady Barron, Flinders Island
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Pebbles, Thunder and Lightning Bay, Cape Barren Island
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Orange-lichen covered rocks at T&L Bay, CBI. Typical Tassie, all granite and orange lichen covered :roll: :lol:
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Creek at T&L Bay, CBI; I think Mt.Munro in the background
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Low tide at T&L Bay, CBI (looking west)
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Low tide at T&L Bay, CBI (looking east)
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T&L Bay faces south and we could see the faint outline of mainland Tassie from there.
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Re: Tour de Flinders Island

Postby Mustang » Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:59 pm

Dont forget this island is in Bass Strait , you can get any weather at any time?
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Re: Tour de Flinders Island

Postby CommuRider » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:15 pm

Weather in any island group can be quite temperamental BUT as I have experienced Orkney Islands and Hebridean weather, the Furneaux Group was a cinch. I didn't experience the 90 degree angle of sleet and rain as I did in the middle of summer in tree-less Orkney Islands. The Orkney hostel I was staying at has its roof nearly blown off one morning.

Out of 6 days on FI, we only experienced one day of so-so weather. One morning was gale force winds (I didn't want to get out of bed), but by lunchtime it had cleared. The last 3 days were perfect. Clear blue skies, no clouds, waves were calm, Thunder and Lightning Bay being rather sheltered from the roaring 40s is quite calm too. Same with Lady Barron (on the south side of their islands respectively).

The return boat trip from CBI to Flinders became a bit temperamental and the waves became rollercoaster like. However, I did the crossing on the Spirit of Tassie when they were still doing the ferry service from Sydney-Devonport (5 years ago), and I got seasick when it crossed Bass Strait. Whereas, the rollicking seas at CBI-Flinders didn't last too long as we got closer to Lady Barron where it is sheltered.

Here's a map

Image

The shipwrecks abound around the smaller islands so the crossing was a bit rough until after we rounded Anderson Island towards the relative safety of Lady Barron. As the boat captain said, it's the rocks we can't see that we should be worried about.

The impression I get is the weather is pretty mild all year around - they don't get the rough winters nor the really hot summers. It's not as far south as mainland Tassie so it ain't as cold. The 40 degree parallel crosses the island. I should have thought about staying a week longer there given Sydney's current state of humidity. Not looking forward to riding back to work this week...
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Re: Tour de Flinders Island

Postby glenn » Mon May 09, 2011 9:04 pm

I rode in this event last year. Its a great social ride around part of Flinders Island organised by the Lions Club, part of the Ride for Sight. (Gordon Rorison) Email: [email protected] It was well organised, lots of locals, and others from interstate. Wes Sulzberg rode as special guest rider, orginally from Tassie, rode the Tour De France last year. This is not a race,but great fun, the ride starts from Lady Barron which overlooks a lovely harbour and port. The 85 km ride then tracks north through undulating countryside, then turns west downhill towards Whitemark. Then back up the flat side of Strezlecki, the highest point on the island, so a bit of a grind. There is also a shorter ride that starts in Whitemark. All bitumen roads with very little traffic, so road bikes ideal. Plenty of support with serviced break stops. The finish is back at Lady Barron, Yellow Beach for a free BBQ with the locals and other riders. Suggest Furneaux tavern at Lady Barron for accommodation 03 6359 3521. There is no bike hire on the island, but locals will lend bikes, in varying condition. But suggest take your own road bike. Flights believe Sharp Airlines do regular trips, or try charter if you have a group. Trust this helps, but can recommend it, and I will back this year. Its held every November, early in the month normally.
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