How amazing to be on the road.


10/06/07 Day 1: Mt Wellington - Hobart - Roadside near Jericho

An amazing feeling, to head off down Mount Wellington after a send off with friends and Mum, Dad, Naida. As I went down the road Sputnik behaved beautifully and the stress and worry of the previous night slipped away. Pando, on his bike escorting me down, whooped out a yeehaaa at the sunny, cold frosty morning. Hobart, a thousand metres below, was draped in cloud that was wandering down the valley. It was a beautiful day.


There’s one problem with good send offs – having all your friends and family in one place makes you realise just what you’re leaving behind. It also gave me strength, knowing they were there behind me, looking out for me, reading this, following my progress and wishing me well.


Those first few kilometres were surreal. It’s twenty kilometres of descent into Hobart from the mountain. It’s slightly odd to arrive in your home town after a send-off. I meandered through the docks for a last look at one of my favourite haunts – I used to come down here and look at the boats and dream of adventures. From there it was up the cycle track to the chocolate factory at Claremont, and on to Granton.


People give you a funny look when they see all the gear on the bike, and you feel quite different to the lycra-clad road bikers who swish on past.


Granton was the place of a final decision. While the cloud of the Bridgewater Jerry flowed down the valley and made the bridge look eerie in the gloom, I had to choose between the Lyell highway to the West Coast or the Midland highway to the North. West would be hard and hilly; midland would be easier and more relaxed.


I’m relieved I chose the midland highway. I had a huge night packing last night –I badly misjudged the impact of not having my front panniers. The mistake was a blessing in disguise, as it meant I had to cut down my gear, but my parents and sister had to endure a very highly strung Nick. I was badly in need of a cruisy start.


Not ever having been cycle touring before (surprised?!) it was difficult to know my capability. Going by today it will be great to have a relaxed few days in familiar territory to work out routines like packing, food, eating habits etc.


After Granton and Brighton the traffic quickened but the hills came too! Two more hills tomorrow and that’s the major ups of the highway done.


Because I was all jumpy this morning I hadn’t eaten properly, and felt it with lower reserves than normal. I’ve made a resolution to eat well and take care of myself.


Now very tired and happily intending to sleep at 7.30pm! Tomorrow I’ll pass through Oatlands, over St Peter’s Pass and up to Ross for a late lunch at the bakery. Beyond that it’s a detour onto a side road my father recommended – it’ll be fun to be off the highway.


Distance 93 km (with 20km downhill from Mt Wellington)

Total odo 93km

Start 9.30am

Finish 4.30pm

Riding time 6 hours

Average speed 16.95 kmh




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