Great Escapade TAS

Great Escapade TAS

Postby just4tehhalibut » Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:53 pm

Just noted that Bicycle Network Victoria (or Bike VIC) have updated their website to announce a ride in TAS http://www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/general/great-rides/30589/. As per their blurb (edited):
Sat 9 - Sun 17 February 2013
Launceston to Port Arthur - 531 km
Starting in Launceston on Saturday 9 February, we will travel through Scottsdale, Weldborough, St Helens, Bicheno, Triabunna, Copping and Port Arthur.

Curiously they've put a limit on their numbers, only 1000 riders. Bit like what they did in NZ perhaps?

The dates to enter as a rider or volunteer aren't open yet so gives me time to decide. Here's the route info http://www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/general/great-rides/94528/. Any comments on the route (for someone coming from the other side of Aus)? What is the weather like there in February? Any events on in TAS just before or after this that might be worth rocking up for?
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by BNA » Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:56 am

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Re: Great Escapade TAS

Postby mcdurdin » Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:56 am

Having just ridden a part of that route in a small bunch, I can say you will experience a pretty high level of car angst between Bicheno and Orford -- it's a narrow road, with no overtaking lanes, and few passing opportunities. At that time of year, there is a lot of tourist traffic. I'm sure Bike Vic has experience in this area, but there are no alternate routes for cars -- this is the main highway down the east coast. It's much narrower than the Great Ocean Rd, with no shoulder.

Even with just 12 riders, travelling at a decent pace, we had real issues with traffic queues behind us leading to the police asking us to ride single file (not that that helped -- there still wasn't room to pass most of the time, and it just took longer to pass)...

Just a thought.
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Re: Great Escapade TAS

Postby master6 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:15 pm

mcdurdin wrote:Having just ridden a part of that route in a small bunch, I can say you will experience a pretty high level of car angst between Bicheno and Orford -- it's a narrow road, with no overtaking lanes, and few passing opportunities. At that time of year, there is a lot of tourist traffic. I'm sure Bike Vic has experience in this area, but there are no alternate routes for cars -- this is the main highway down the east coast. It's much narrower than the Great Ocean Rd, with no shoulder.

Even with just 12 riders, travelling at a decent pace, we had real issues with traffic queues behind us leading to the police asking us to ride single file (not that that helped -- there still wasn't room to pass most of the time, and it just took longer to pass)...

Just a thought.


I have ridden this course twice, in a group of 20+, both times on long weekends (February Regatta weekend) and had no problems.
We Tasmanians :wink: :wink: think more than 2 cars in sight is a crowd. Mainlanders will want to know where the human race has gone :D

Come on down and discover the best kept secret in Australia.

Bring money.............................Tasmania needs it! :roll:
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Re: Great Escapade TAS

Postby mcdurdin » Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:22 pm

Master6, I take your point. However, we had a few more than 2 cars behind us -- it was angsty enough that the police were evidently called... And we were riding as a tight bunch at over 30km/h. Not in a spread out line of 1000 cyclists doing everything from 10 to 30km/h! I'm not wanting to discourage the ride, but I think the organisers need to make sure they plan for the traffic -- unlike the Victorian rides they organise, there are no alternate routes for cars, which I reckon could cause a lot of angst if not planned for.

Maybe we just had a bad day.
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Great Escapade TAS

Postby RonK » Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:02 pm

mcdurdin wrote:Having just ridden a part of that route in a small bunch, I can say you will experience a pretty high level of car angst between Bicheno and Orford -- it's a narrow road, with no overtaking lanes, and few passing opportunities. At that time of year, there is a lot of tourist traffic. I'm sure Bike Vic has experience in this area, but there are no alternate routes for cars -- this is the main highway down the east coast. It's much narrower than the Great Ocean Rd, with no shoulder.

Even with just 12 riders, travelling at a decent pace, we had real issues with traffic queues behind us leading to the police asking us to ride single file (not that that helped -- there still wasn't room to pass most of the time, and it just took longer to pass)...

Just a thought.

No need to cause unnecessary concern. My wife and I rode the last Tassie Escapade down the east coast and had no problems with traffic on the same route as far as Orford.
Not sure what the route Orford to Copping, but I attempted the Wielangta Road yesterday and it was closed due to a washout. We had to detour via Rheban. This is a gravel road not suitable for road bikes, so it's difficult to imagine they'll route the ride this way.
Right now I'm at Stewarts Bay Lodge, Port Arthur. Beautiful.

Edit: I've reviewed the route, Orford - Copping will be via Sorell, with the dirt road option for those with the right kind of bike.

On our 2007 escapade the police escort and road signage ensured we had no traffic issues, even thought the woodchip port at Triabunna was operating then There was even a cleanup crew removing the inevitable road kill.
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Re: Great Escapade TAS

Postby LG » Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:51 pm

I'll keep an eye out for you over the next few days Ron, I live on the Tasman Peninsula!
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Re: Great Escapade TAS

Postby master6 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:15 pm

LG wrote:I'll keep an eye out for you over the next few days Ron, I live on the Tasman Peninsula!


and greetings to you all. I must admit to having abandoned Carlton for the winter, back on the boat on 25/8. Ron , if you want some variety, turn left of the bridge at Dunalley, and take the dirt road around the coast to Carlton, Dodges Ferry, Lewisham, and in to Sorell. The dirt road is usually pretty good. I have done it a few times on the roadbike.
It is a bit damp here in Brisbane, but not painfull, and minimal to nil woodfire smoke.
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Re: Great Escapade TAS

Postby BenevolantDictatorD » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:58 am

Gotta love a great escapade!!!

I've been organising multi-day bunch rides for 10 year or more around most of the sealed major roads in Tassie with numbers in ranging from 12 to high 20's. The issues of traffic come up every time and, in all honesty, they are no different on those rides than they are on any normal bunch ride on any other day. My view is that on any road that does not have a white line on the side it is safer for everyone to rider double as there isn't any space to get a car past a single rider anyway. After that the single most important thing is to have an experinced rider at the back marshalling the traffic. If the cars see that we are actively trying to get them past then they cut us some slack - simple really. Yes, if the line-up is more than four long then those at the back can't see us trying to assist and they may get shirty but that is a rare event.

The alternative of someone at the back shouting"car-back" with an expectation that everyone gets into single file just creates a level of uncertainty in the drivers as the pack wobbles everywhere and there is no indication to them of what is going on. I'm not saying what everyone else does is wrong - just that an overt and engaging process works. A bit like when we are driving along and a tractor is in front - we slow down and sit there waiting to get past. If the tractor driver is looking around then we assume they are aware we are there and are trying to help us pass. We appreciate they have to be there and they are trying to help. When they do that for me I usually wave when I can get past.

And if it is a B road or higher with a white line one the side then there is room for a car and a bike in the same lane at the same time and we should all single up unless it is clear in front, we want to have a chat, and we are not impeding the flow of traffic.
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Re: Great Escapade TAS

Postby master6 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:49 pm

Do we have any Economists here?

It sounds like 1000 riders, mainly from outside of Tasmania, plus various "organisors" , spending money in the state. What is this worth to the economy?
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Great Escapade TAS

Postby RonK » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:01 pm

master6 wrote:Do we have any Economists here?

It sounds like 1000 riders, mainly from outside of Tasmania, plus various "organisors" , spending money in the state. What is this worth to the economy?

On the 2007 escapade, the towns we camped at went out of their way to welcome us. All the accommodation in the towns and adjacent areas was fully booked by non camping riders. The local service clubs such as the Lions and the schools p&c's laid on events and fantastic food. At Swansea and Bicheno we feasted on local crays, oysters and mussels, wash down with local wines. It must have been a bonanza for any town we camped at.
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Re: Great Escapade TAS

Postby just4tehhalibut » Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:45 pm

Bike VIC just sent out the email today and with it there's this Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3L6Pgmhw1Y&list=UUUlLW2ZGNXEi5PFezwQuPPg&index=1&feature=plcp, doesn't say much but does tend to support the beer and seafood kind of tour as happening.
Will people get time to see all that scenery while huffing and puffing up and down the course?
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Re: Great Escapade TAS

Postby Baldy » Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:32 pm

master6 wrote:Do we have any Economists here?

It sounds like 1000 riders, mainly from outside of Tasmania, plus various "organisors" , spending money in the state. What is this worth to the economy?


At $1500 per person, multiplied by 1000 I'd say someone's economy is doing ok :wink:

It would be interesting to know how much the organisers spend in the state. Some participants will spend more than others while here of course. But I think its fair to say quite a few will spend as little as possible, relying on getting value for their $1500 fee.

Without knowing the details its hard to say who will gain the larger slice of the pie. Vic or Tas?

Either way I hope they sell out and 1000 people get to experience riding a bike down Tassies east coast. I did it self supported[camping] and it was awesome. No traffic problems at all. On a 45kg bike your cruising speed on the flat is about 20kph[well mine is] so most of the time I was pretty slow and riding well left. The only place I remember having a few cars stuck behind me was that section of road north of Mayfield bay.

The sooner Tasmanian/Australian drivers get used to sharing the road with bikes the better. More bikes on the road is the only way it will ever happen.
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