juliet: (Default)
Tasmania photos.

I am in Melbourne now - left Sydney Sunday night. Which is weird.
juliet: (audax)
Today I have mostly spent going UP a mountain (590m: 500m gain in 8km), between St Helen's and Derby. (Weldborough Pass, specifically.) I did this very very slowly, and with the aid of the ipod as alternative distraction to the perennial favourites "Name That Roadkill" (difficulty increases with extent to which corpse has decomposed/been eaten[0]) and "Count The Tinnies" (Australian version of "Count The Lucozade Bottles". Obviously they don't have Lucozade here.)

The descent on the other side was cracking (once it stopped being on a road which someone had decided to tarmac by scattering gravel over some sticky stuff and leaving it at that, i.e. with bits of sodding gravel skittering everywhere), though. For some reason putting panniers on the front of the bike led me to forget about countersteering, so my descending had become rubbish; I've now remembered again (courtesy of an article in Cycling Australia) so all is once again well and I can zoom round hairpin bends with abandon. Which I did. Zoom! The only game suitable for playing on descents is "No Brakes B*tch", which originated after I read an interview with one of the GB mountain bike team in which she said that this is what she chants to herself on descents. I like her style.[1]

Cracking though the descent was, it was not in fact "downhill all the way to Derby" as claimed by both the postie at Weldborough, and my routesheet. I knew this, really, as the postie was in a car, and drivers are just as unreliable on gradient as they are on distance, that is, very; and the routesheet used GPS or something which is also unreliable on gradient. This is why Audax UK still AFAIK insists that to award AAA points the organiser has to do things the old-fashioned way, counting contour lines on an OS map. But I digress. Anyway: it was about 10k actually downhill (which was top fun), 8k "rolling" with a downwards trend, & 2k very downhill indeed into town.

Plan A was to go another 33k to Scottsdale today, but Plan A has been abandoned in favour of Plan B, which is to camp in the park here (for free! But with, I think, no showers - ah well) & go to Scottsdale first thing tomorrow morning. It's a bumpy 33k & I am feeling a bit off today.

Other things I have been up to:
* stroking a Tasmanian Devil! And a wombat, and a kangaroo.
* being somewhat disappointed by the restaurant Angasi at Binalong Bay - everything *drenched* in oil and a bit bland. Maybe they just don't do veggies well.
* being intermittently rained on.
* cycling 6.5k up a VERY STEEP and unsealed road to stay at Seaview Farm, on top of a mountain near St Mary's. It was absolutely lovely and worth the effort of getting up there. Nice kitchen! Nice lounge with fire! Absolutely spectacular view! It was with great difficulty that I took myself off to St Helen's the next morning.
* Going to a carol concert in Richmond! Which was also lovely. (And occurred several days ago, but never mind.)
* Um, cycling a lot.

I would like to place a small bet that it will rain tonight, because I don't have access to a camp kitchen & thus will have to experiment with cooking in the tent porch. I will do my best not to set light to anything that shouldn't be set light to.

[0] When going fast it is possibly to confuse large stringy pieces of bark with *really* decomposed corpses, but this is less likely when averaging 3mph or less.
[1] For the benefit of people who are reading this & might worry (e.g. my parents - hello!), I feel I should note that I am in fact a v careful descender & do brake when appropriate. I just like to minimise the occasions on which it becomes appropriate.
juliet: (audax)
Today I have mostly spent going UP a mountain (590m: 500m gain in 8km), between St Helen's and Derby. (Weldborough Pass, specifically.) I did this very very slowly, and with the aid of the ipod as alternative distraction to the perennial favourites "Name That Roadkill" (difficulty increases with extent to which corpse has decomposed/been eaten[0]) and "Count The Tinnies" (Australian version of "Count The Lucozade Bottles". Obviously they don't have Lucozade here.)

The descent on the other side was cracking (once it stopped being on a road which someone had decided to tarmac by scattering gravel over some sticky stuff and leaving it at that, i.e. with bits of sodding gravel skittering everywhere), though. For some reason putting panniers on the front of the bike led me to forget about countersteering, so my descending had become rubbish; I've now remembered again (courtesy of an article in Cycling Australia) so all is once again well and I can zoom round hairpin bends with abandon. Which I did. Zoom! The only game suitable for playing on descents is "No Brakes B*tch", which originated after I read an interview with one of the GB mountain bike team in which she said that this is what she chants to herself on descents. I like her style.[1]

Cracking though the descent was, it was not in fact "downhill all the way to Derby" as claimed by both the postie at Weldborough, and my routesheet. I knew this, really, as the postie was in a car, and drivers are just as unreliable on gradient as they are on distance, that is, very; and the routesheet used GPS or something which is also unreliable on gradient. This is why Audax UK still AFAIK insists that to award AAA points the organiser has to do things the old-fashioned way, counting contour lines on an OS map. But I digress. Anyway: it was about 10k actually downhill (which was top fun), 8k "rolling" with a downwards trend, & 2k very downhill indeed into town.

Plan A was to go another 33k to Scottsdale today, but Plan A has been abandoned in favour of Plan B, which is to camp in the park here (for free! But with, I think, no showers - ah well) & go to Scottsdale first thing tomorrow morning. It's a bumpy 33k & I am feeling a bit off today.

Other things I have been up to:
* stroking a Tasmanian Devil! And a wombat, and a kangaroo.
* being somewhat disappointed by the restaurant Angasi at Binalong Bay - everything *drenched* in oil and a bit bland. Maybe they just don't do veggies well.
* being intermittently rained on.
* cycling 6.5k up a VERY STEEP and unsealed road to stay at Seaview Farm, on top of a mountain near St Mary's. It was absolutely lovely and worth the effort of getting up there. Nice kitchen! Nice lounge with fire! Absolutely spectacular view! It was with great difficulty that I took myself off to St Helen's the next morning.
* Going to a carol concert in Richmond! Which was also lovely. (And occurred several days ago, but never mind.)
* Um, cycling a lot.

I would like to place a small bet that it will rain tonight, because I don't have access to a camp kitchen & thus will have to experiment with cooking in the tent porch. I will do my best not to set light to anything that shouldn't be set light to.

[0] When going fast it is possibly to confuse large stringy pieces of bark with *really* decomposed corpses, but this is less likely when averaging 3mph or less.
[1] For the benefit of people who are reading this & might worry (e.g. my parents - hello!), I feel I should note that I am in fact a v careful descender & do brake when appropriate. I just like to minimise the occasions on which it becomes appropriate.
juliet: (Default)
But first: bloody hell. As [livejournal.com profile] uon said when sending me the link: maybe we do actually live in the future now. I am v impressed indeed.

Today & yesterday I have CHEATED & forked out to live in the indoors rather than the outdoors. This is because the weather is being absolutely foul. Particularly yesterday, when I had an exciting 65km of riding into rain and a strong headwind, in 15deg temps. Up mountains. (Well. Big hills.). It reminded me v much of Wales, except more so. (Ideal preparation for future BCMs: a couple of weeks of touring somewhere hilly.) Anyway: on arrival at Triabunna campsite, the nice owner-person noted that for an extra $5 I could have an indoor bed in their bunkhouse. We both looked at the rain lashing not so much down as *across*, outside. "You know," I said, "that actually sounds like quite a good idea."

She gave me a duvet and a blanket and I spent the next 2 hrs on the sofa in their camp kitchen, tucked up under the blanket with a nice cup of tea and a trashy novel from their swap-bookshelf, warming myself backup.

Today I was going to go to Maria Island, but the ferry almost certainly wasn't going to run (because of the weather), and anyway I don't have with me hiking kit suitable for strong winds and rain. So instead I set off up the coast to Swansea - a far better ride than yesterday due to the fact that a) it hardly really rained at all, & b) the wind was behind me. Whoosh! I should however by now know better than to believe the routesheet when it says "pancake flat": their reference for "pancake flat" is obviously something a bit bumpier than the marshes out near Rye.

Spent the afternoon pottering round Swansea, which is v nice even in storm conditions. Hoping that things die down tomorrow. (BBC weather indicates that it will be nicer in Hobart, anyway, so maybe this will extend 100k north.)
juliet: (Default)
But first: bloody hell. As [livejournal.com profile] uon said when sending me the link: maybe we do actually live in the future now. I am v impressed indeed.

Today & yesterday I have CHEATED & forked out to live in the indoors rather than the outdoors. This is because the weather is being absolutely foul. Particularly yesterday, when I had an exciting 65km of riding into rain and a strong headwind, in 15deg temps. Up mountains. (Well. Big hills.). It reminded me v much of Wales, except more so. (Ideal preparation for future BCMs: a couple of weeks of touring somewhere hilly.) Anyway: on arrival at Triabunna campsite, the nice owner-person noted that for an extra $5 I could have an indoor bed in their bunkhouse. We both looked at the rain lashing not so much down as *across*, outside. "You know," I said, "that actually sounds like quite a good idea."

She gave me a duvet and a blanket and I spent the next 2 hrs on the sofa in their camp kitchen, tucked up under the blanket with a nice cup of tea and a trashy novel from their swap-bookshelf, warming myself backup.

Today I was going to go to Maria Island, but the ferry almost certainly wasn't going to run (because of the weather), and anyway I don't have with me hiking kit suitable for strong winds and rain. So instead I set off up the coast to Swansea - a far better ride than yesterday due to the fact that a) it hardly really rained at all, & b) the wind was behind me. Whoosh! I should however by now know better than to believe the routesheet when it says "pancake flat": their reference for "pancake flat" is obviously something a bit bumpier than the marshes out near Rye.

Spent the afternoon pottering round Swansea, which is v nice even in storm conditions. Hoping that things die down tomorrow. (BBC weather indicates that it will be nicer in Hobart, anyway, so maybe this will extend 100k north.)
juliet: (Default)
V quick post - about to be kicked out of computer room. I spent last night on a SHIP going further from land on the sea than I ever have before, & now I am in Tasmania. Tasmania so far is a) pretty, & b) hilly. Got a bus to Hobart but headed more-or-less straight out to Richmond, 30k or so away. In Richmond they have local cherries, and a very cheap campsite, and the oldest gaol in Tasmania, which I have had a wander round (it's v well presented, with Interesting Stuff on boards).

Due back in Melbourne on Xmas Eve; in between now & then I'm heading to the east coast & cycling up there. With a few days off to go walking in national parks & so forth.
juliet: (Default)
V quick post - about to be kicked out of computer room. I spent last night on a SHIP going further from land on the sea than I ever have before, & now I am in Tasmania. Tasmania so far is a) pretty, & b) hilly. Got a bus to Hobart but headed more-or-less straight out to Richmond, 30k or so away. In Richmond they have local cherries, and a very cheap campsite, and the oldest gaol in Tasmania, which I have had a wander round (it's v well presented, with Interesting Stuff on boards).

Due back in Melbourne on Xmas Eve; in between now & then I'm heading to the east coast & cycling up there. With a few days off to go walking in national parks & so forth.

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