My Activity Tracking
My target 1876kms
Final day 21/2
It was cold and wet when we departed Cradle Mountain. Weatherzone said 4 degrees before the wind chill factor. The aim was to leave at 7am, but given conditions, we left around 7:15am, which was good because of the poor lighting (overcast/rainy conditions). We rode as a group and the conditions gradually improved as we continued east. We all paused at the Sheffield turnoff at Moina.
This was because there was a massive downhill to the Forth River (and someone had previously passed away on this descent), so we descended separately for safety. It was beautiful and still at the bridge over the river, but a tough ascent awaited us on the other side. We rode the backroads and went past Tasmazia and the village of Lower Crackpot, just near the Promised Land.
Sheffield Baptist put on a lovely morning tea - this was Andrew and Neil Duffs home town. We took the opportunity to refuel with sandwiches, apples, and plenty of cakes. This town is also home to many murals. We had a pretty quick ride to Mole Creek for our lunch stop. The old 2 room cottage there was a reminder of how much we have today, compared to what people had in the past. At this point we also realised we had taken the long route around Mount Roland, but it was worth the effort for the warm hospitality we had at Sheffield.
Afternoon tea was taken at Deloraine. A great tailwind helped me get there so quickly that I almost beat Judy and Wes in their support vehicle (I was only pipped by a matter of metres into the first roundabout), and I had the luxury of watching all the other riders come in to stop at the Train Park rest stop. Given it was so close to the end, we just had a quick splash and dash and we all rode together into Launceston. It was a shame everyone scattered as soon as we reached the Door of Hope - the opportunity for a final photo with bikes and all was missed.
With the adrenaline of completion, much pain was forgotten and we looked forward to resting in our own beds. A few new friendships were formed and we hope we might get the chance to see each other in future rides.
Ride animation here
Rest Day at Cradle Mountain 20/2
It was a cold and at times a wet morning.
We walked over to the tourist information centre, warmed ourselves with a coffee, and then caught the tourist bus up to Dove Lake. There was a compulsory short walk to the boatshed, a couple of pics taken, then back to the bus stop. On the way back we visited the interpretation centre, and watched a few films (even black and white ones). The chairs were padded and comfortable and we nearly fell asleep.
Upon realising it was 1:10, we went back for a quick lunch, hung some clothes to dry out in the wood storage area in the big camper kitchen building, and sat around talking. Not much else was done and it was really quite the rest day.
Day Nine 19/2
We left Strahan somewhat reluctantly given the nice accommodation we had.
The day was overcast and we experienced some heavy showers on Henty Rd. We rode past Tassals Macquarie Port operations, and then the massive Henty sand dunes that stick out of the trees, but it would’ve been unpleasant to climb them on such a wet day.
Our morning tea break was at Zeehan, about 2 kms left of the junction, right near the skate park. Wes reported a few locals were interested in the morning tea, but not interested in our cause.
The road to Rosebery was rolling hills, with a big climb out of Rosebery heading to Tullah which was our lunch stop. I had been sweating madly give. I had dressed for much colder temperatures - Cradle Mountain max forecast was 7 degrees!!
I hadn’t mentioned this before, but my rear end really hurts. I’m thankful I don’t have any broken skin down under, but the discomfort has been something that sort of torments when riding alone. Your mind isn’t distracted with conversation with fellow riders. I’ll be walking like a cowboy for a few days when I get home.
The final kilometres to Cradle were cold and windswept, with some misty rain. At one point I had a tailwind helping me scoot along at 50+kmh, and brought a brief smile to my face. This was until I turned the corner and faced a headwind that slowed me to 8-10kmh. I was glad to arrive at Cradle, but it was quite late in the day and we were very tired. At 142km and 2558m of climbing, it was a seriously tough ride given we covered 310km and over 4000m of climbing in the 2 days before.
So on this trip I’ve covered 1372km and climbed 17834m (including a side trip to Mt Wellington). My bike is starting to creak and rattle just like me, except I can replace parts on the bike to make it better....
We get a rest day today and ride to Launceston on Thursday.
Something else you may not know. We rode past some mining operations around Rosebery and Tullah (Renison Bell and MMG), but was really surprised me was seeing the Hellyer gold mining operations on the road to Cradle.
Here is the ride animation
Day Eight 18/2
Bronte Park was remote and in the middle of nowhere. We knew this because there was no mobile data or reception for people on Optus or Vodafone, and Telstra was one bar of 3G if you stood in the right place. Being inland, it was also relatively cold as we started off at a warm 14 degrees. Per my bike computer, the average temperature during our ride was 13 degrees with a low of 8 degrees.
We were given the opportunity to visit “the wall”, this is a unique collection of panels of Huon Pine with hand carvings of images depicting a local story through the eyes of the artist. There are 50 panels, each was 1mx2m, and was created from smaller pieces that were glued and pressed together. This was housed in a custom enclosure and we were glad to visit, not just to see, but also because of the wood fire inside.
We had morning tea here before rolling through to the Nelson Falls track parking area where some people huddled around outside the toilets for shelter from the rain. By the time we were allowed to roll out, I was shivering and my teeth chattered for the new few kilometres until I got the blood pumping through my body again. We made good progress through to Queenstown. The final climb and descent was rain soaked and very gusty. But we were rewarded with a very pleasant afternoon tea at the back of JJs cafe. There scones with jam and cream, as well as hot mini sausage rolls! I was also warmed up with a cuppa tea and ready to power up the final hills over to Strahan.
We stayed at the All Inn holiday apartments which are very clean and comfortable ahead of our toughest day tomorrow to Cradle Mountain. I’m not sure if we will have enough signal strength for data at our accommodation.
Relive animation link https://www.relive.cc/view/2157327107
Day Seven 17/2
The disappearing rest day 16/2
Total mileage so far is about 910kms after today...
Day Six 15/2
Today was supposed to be a shorter day. Little Swanport to Hobart.
We made it down the nasty 3.5km gravel track from our cabins in Gumleaves to the highway without incident (not really that keen on doing Gravel Grit Laguna on 25c tyres)
One rider was struggling a bit, so a few of us took turns helping him keep a steady pace. Our first scheduled stop was in Orford, but was actually a surprise visit to Spring Beach Youth Camp, a Christian camp/facility. It was nice of them to put on morning tea for us, and they didn’t mind that we were an hour late due to the group splitting and getting lost due to lack of directions!! Strange things happen to tired cyclists. All was good when we were rounded up and herded like cats down a gravel track and steep hill.
Our rode to Richmond was more interesting with some oddly named hills including Break Me Neck hill and Bust Me Gall hill. We also passed a cherry farm and a raspberry farm with ice creamery. When we got into Hobart we were a little lost again, but google maps fixed that for frazzled brains.
I have passed multiple ice creameries, so I’m hanging out for ice cream when I get home...
Here is a link to the relive video
Afterwards I rode to the home of our billet, and promptly got lost on the way.
Tomorrow is a rest day, we may tackle Mt Wellington and visit Salamanca Markets on the way back.
Day Five 14/2
After a beautiful rest day in St Helens, it was time to say goodbye to our lovely hosts John and Cheryl. This incredible couple hosted 7 male riders! Actually St Helens had 3 churches hosting and supporting us, and their warmth and care was very encouraging.
The roads today were much flatter compared to the trip into St Helens. Smaller rolling hills, with only one significant climb last Devils Hill winery. Some roadworks meant we had to stop mid descent at a red light as only a single lane was functional. There is much less roadkill on the east coast, but plenty more potholes and road imperfections. There were some beautiful views out to Freycinet and the coastline, and we rode through some pretty roads - there was an interesting section where a cluster of large trees had grown over the road forming a bit of a green tunnel.
Our stop for morning tea break was at Lagoons Beach Conservation area, it was packed with grey nomads! Lunch was in Bicheno, and afternoon tea break at Swansea. Our accommodation was at Gumleaves camping grounds, where we had basic single bunk rooms. I almost shared mine with a huntsman, but I was able to encourage the little critter to go outside. The rough dirt/gravel road leading in was over 2 kms and we were quite worried about cuts and punctures.
Tomorrow is a shorter day to Hobart, where we enjoy Saturday as a rest day. My legs weren’t sure that having a rest day without riding was that great as the body had functioned well for 4 days straight. As such, I’m hoping the weather and logistics allow us to climb Mt Wellington (at a slow pace).
We are halfway through our trip, having covered around 725kms (day1-147.7kms, day2-112.8kms, day3-151kms, day4-165.4kms, day5-153.9kms)
Here is the relive animated video of yesterday’s ride
I’ll try to take and add more photos into relive as my phone is not cooperating when I try to add photos to this blog.
Day Four 12/2John and I had a great feed and rest at our billet in Launceston. Many thanks to our lovely hosts Kate and Guy Barnett. Today turned out to be an exceptionally tough day for all riders. We had torrential showers and strong winds on leaving Our starting point at Door of Hope Launceston. This made the wet roads treacherous. A moment of inattention on the roads leading out of town meant I lost the wheel of the fast group and ended up climbing the rest of the hills on my own until our first stop at Myrtle Park. Most riders were freezing, some getting changed and another was so cold he got in the car (he ended up with mild hypothermia at lunch break). The ride continued to be cold at sub 5 degrees up the Sideling (I was told this was one of Ritchie Porte’s training roads). It was tough as we were soaked through (and probably carrying an extra couple of kg of water absorbed in our clothing). Lunch was at Scottsdale, with a couple of thinner riders huddling around the heater with our hypothermic rider. Thankfully we were able to take out shoes and socks off for lunch break (yuck, but better than eating with soggy socks/shoes). It was drier from Scottsdale to St Helens, but still very gusty and cold at times. The total distance was 165kms, with lots and lots of climbing (2800m in total). We had a brief stop at Derby, which has improved facilities post the MTB tracks and increased tourism. I was relieved that John and Andrew slowed up to stay with me to ride the last 20kms post Pyengana into St Helens. At St Helens we are staying with a lovely older couple (John and Cheryl) who are billeting 7 men!! The animated ride can be seen here - https://www.relive.cc/view/2140412298
Day Three 11/2
Today was Burnie to Launceston.
We went via Penguin (looked more like a giant Pingu to me).
When someone said we were going to the big Penguin, I was actually expecting a 20m tall Penguin. But alas, it was but 2 or 3 meters tall.
Today was still very windy, with quite a few showers. Great rains for farmers, not so great for us.
Legs got tired towards the end. I think I ran low on power with about 10 kms to go. Still, I was very surprised and happy about my fitness levels.
I still struggling to ensure I eat less than I burn in energy. The hospitality has been awesome.
Tomorrow is a day of hills. At least my Wahoo behaved today.
Animated video link
Day Two 10/2
Today we rode from Riverbend (Smithton) to Burnie.
We stopped at Stanley for morning tea, and had a photo at a hilltop with “The Nut” in the background. We rode down another hour or so and joined the service at Rocky Point family church, staying for lunch afterwards. Afternoon tea was at Wynyard Baptist.
It was a windy day with showers and hills making descents a bit tricky at times.
My Wahoo ELEMNT bolt played up again, which was a bit frustrating from my perspective. It’s great when it works, just seems unreliable and fickle.
I had a puncture yesterday and had creaking noises today. Fixed the creaking noises by retentioning my rear quick release skewer.
Me legs are holding up okay so far, which has been pleasing. No cramps overnight, so happy about that. On day 4 we will travel from Launceston to St Helens via Scottsdale which means plenty of climbing. So I need to conserve my legs tomorrow.
Alf - there has been so much hospitality that it’s been difficult with regards to calorific intake. I’ve am being selective on intake, but sometimes there isn’t much/any choice.
Day One 9/2
Today there was a choice - 100kms to Marrawah and back the same way, or 160km loop via Arthur River to Marrawah and then back with the easier riding group.
I chose to try out the more scenic route via Arthur River. It was 4 seasons in a day. We had rain, sunshine (saw a double rainbow but wasn’t able to get a pic), cold biting headwinds and nasty gusts, and then even some hail.
It was good to stretch the legs, and was very happy to have a few good chats on the road. The countryside was beautiful, we saw forests, some burnt from a few years back, and some of the coastline was windswept with hardy shrubs.
The last few kms were a bit tough but glad to have made it back.
Tomorrow we visit a few different churches, so will be a shorter distance covered.
Travel day - 8/2
Day zero is flying to Launceston and then to Riverbend by car.
We were met at the airport by Neil and Andrew who kindly drove us over to Riverbend.
Dinner was at Sulfur Creek. It was a burger with the lot washed down with Orange juice. It was a much better burger than what the Golden Arches could offer.
Finally got the bike sorted ready for tomorrow.
Countdown - under 2 weeks to go (28/1)
Thanks to the Australia Day long weekend, I've taken the opportunity to do 3 consecutive days of training rides.
Saturday was my usual group ride with Lane Covelo. We rode out to Church Point via Roseville Bridge/Dee Why, and back via Terry Hills/Mona Vale Rd. I took a slight detour through Akuna bay to get some extra mileage and climbing, so clocked a decent 80kms.
Sunday was a shorter 48km ride - I was going to join a group ride, but left home late and didn't catch the main group. Most of it the ride was solo pacing, so I just went with what was comfortable. I got to Windsor Rd at the bottom of North Rocks Rd and then headed back with a detour around the back of Macquarie University. Thankfully the traffic was pretty quiet.
Today was a longer 110kms ride - a nice group ride up the old Pacific Highway past Brooklyn and over to Mt White, then back via Bobbin Head. After 2 days of riding, my legs were fatigued and I was dropped by the group in the rolling hills approaching Berowra. At least it was overcast and I didn't get sunburnt. Time for a some rest.
3 weeks to go (15/1)
Oops! In my enthusiasm to get everything ready, I linked this blog site to my Strava data (I track my rides through this app).
The real riding starts on the 9th of Feb...
Everything you see before then is likely to be either commuting or weekend rides.
Ken's mid-life crisis challenge!
Ken's mid-life crisis challenge!
- to ride about 1400kms in 10 days in a clockwise lap of Tasmania starting in the northwest corner as part of a supported charity ride organized by the Bible Society.
Facts and Figures:
- there will be about 10 days of riding about 150kms per day
- currently I only ride 185kms per week (which averages out to about 26.4kms per day)
- fortunately there will also be 3 rest days!
Will I make it? Follow my progress on this page, and also on Strava - https://www.strava.com/athletes/1972188
Please support me! Your tax deductible donations to the Bible Society will raise money to teach women in rural Bangladesh how to read and write.
Thank you to my Sponsors
Hong Ching Lee
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