Did you ever heard about the Penny-Farthing? It was the first machine to be called a bicycle. Quite popular in the 1870s and 1880s. Surely was not the most comfortable saddle by the looks of it, but it seems it was not that bad because of it big front wheel made the hold difference. It became obsolete in the 1880s with the development of modern bicycles.
Took the ferry from Melbourne to Devonport. I was so excited. I couldn’t believe It. I am going to cycle all around Tasmania! For a “québécoise ” that means on the other side of the planet. Since my project in the sixth grande, I dream of visiting Australia & Tasmania. My dream have become true in February 14 2018. My birthday month and the best time to visit Tassie. Not to hot and just before rainy days starts.
He was the winner in his category 80 years & ++ Mr. Meyer (89) the power of will & human genes must run in his blood. It wasn’t his first medal. It is a popular activity organize each year in March. The event happening in Evandale is the hosts to the world’s largest penny-farthing racing. I have met numerous candidates from around the world. Africa passing to Italy to Brazil! For me it was my first encounter with the penny-farthing and the fans. No I didn’t try the penny farthing I was scare falling.
I still think I was dreaming. First thing after the ferry boarded, on my way to a friend house I met a Frenchman cyclists. He had just finished going around Tassie. Amazing. Just the person I need to have a chat I thought. I had thousand of questions to ask him. His name was Jean. I invited for a coffee
The next day we met at a Cafe. I was so excited had a hard time sitting still. Jean & I sipping a coffee for an hour or so. I Felt great and confident to have a talk with Jean ( 20 years of experience). Now I must know what I need to do for my tour around Tassie, I thought. Best roads, places to camp and places not to miss. The “to do” or “not do”. He suggested to Go along the coast on the east side towards Launceston first because of the dominant winds he said. Her I go…..
It’s amazing. My eyes are not wide open enough. I stopped every two minutes to take a photo or stop for what ever is moving on the ground. Along the way I have collected a few stories. Here is one that I would like to share with you. Jean had told me that it was possible to cycle the west side of the island the B27 even though it’s a regional reserve (Heemskirk). Most of the were not possible to ride with my kind of bicycle with load.
“It is very easy you will push your bicycle two to three hills then it will be okay”. Says Jean. It will be worthy the effort. The views are extremely beautiful. The forest, plants & birds. I love extreme beauty. Here I go again on the roads of Tasmania. Arrived at Corinna cross the small for a crazy price. Stop to ask for my road. It seems not to be known by no one if road okay for cycling. Of course surprise to see not so young woman pushing her bicycle on that only road. When I ask my way the locals they did big eyes and shake their heads. I am not surprised by their comments. Because of my age and the looks of my loaded bicycle. I am ready, stack up some food & water for three days. I gone and attack the incredible area. ( the Trail is 83 km) According to maps.me.
Crossing the river was easy and very inviting to stay in a luxurious ‘Auberge’. My first hill I push Mr. Minou. The old couple taking a lunch break were surprised to see me go with my load up, They said good luck I waved goodbye. Then around the corner see and other hill! It was straight up! Okay will do my best. The weather was great and not to hot day so not bad.Push Mr Minou again on top the third hill I was high enough to realize I was going to push Mr Minou more than two or three hills like Jean said. It’s was just concrete up hills & gravel down hills and so most of the time could not ride down. I did push most of the day. I was alone on that road or almost. Met two camper vans. It was beautiful and silent love it. Had no regrets. The view was extremely beautiful. I Saw the mountains ranges of the two parks. Franklin-Gordon Wild National its peaks and gorges My Rufus & Southwest National with Scotts Peak road and ride in Heenskirk Regional Réserve. I was heaven. I was so lucky the weather was on my side. I also had a glimpse up close to some of prestigious rare Huron pines!! I was just glade to be up there.
I was so proud of my self. I finally camp only one night on the road. To bad there was easy camping spot had mist the only one bush camp. The only car that past stop to ask if I was okay and offer water and cakes. I ask for the camp site, he said it was not used for long time so it no more a camping place because of few traveler. Finally decided to camp beside the road discovered a stream beside my camp! Life is good it’s provides for us. The next day the ride was getting much better was able to pedal more and go up & down without pushing. I have successfully done all around Tasmania was very grateful to have the privilege. The next day I met one couple going the opposite way also. They were surprised to see me alone cycling on that road. They assure me that the road ahead was going to be much easier.
So I end up in Arthur River. It’s also called “The Edge of the world”. Nice but couldn’t camp beside the pub. They said go down the steep hill there was the camp site. Okay, got to go where the camping spot is. The wind was picking up and bad weather was coming. Need it to find a shelter. I had Two options. In the public toilet [ not allowed] and a sand pit… I was hoping it would be okay in the sand. It wasn’t okay. It rained and the wind blew constantly until early morning I & everything in the tent & bicycle end up very sandy. Pack everything went to the toilet facility to prepare my breakfast in a dryer spot. Surprise!? There is campers in the toilet!!! Next time I said.
Hope you like my story. It is a wonderful island to ride and visit. People are happy to meet visitors. Most of the roads are easy every easy to ride. Camping is mostly free with dry toilets and sometimes water is available. Hope you will have the opportunity to visit Tasmania.
Comments are appreciate also questions.
Here I go again.