I've been cycling around my little area of Tasmania for a couple of weeks now and really enjoying it. It makes a change from the well trodden UK commute or my usual weekend loops. Not that I disliked any of those miles, but sometimes a change is good for the system.
The roads are much quieter here than in Surrey or Berkshire. I guess when the entire island has around HALF the population of Surrey the roads are going to be a fair bit quieter!
The blacktop is in much better condition than I was expecting too. The lower traffic count helps as well as the lack of freezing winter damage that many pothole-strewn UK roads suffer from (although it was frosty this morning). In fact pothole avoidance has now been replaced by roadkill avoidance! Kangaroos, possums, wombats and other wildlife are a real danger to road users around dusk and dawn, a fact evident by the numerous carcasses that litter the roadsides.
There are some great climbs around here too. I've got a couple of good training ascents close by that I'm using to improve my climbing, something I need after being an average speed junkie for so long. I've taken average speed off my Garmin screen to get it out of my head and focus on enjoying the hills for a change.
There is of course the 10 mile long HC climb of Mount Wellington on the Hobart side of the bridge, but as there was snow on the top last week I may have to wait until after winter to attack that one. For now I've got the scenic coastal roads and almost unspoiled countryside of rural Tassie to explore and enjoy.
I'm yet to find a weekend group ride in the local area, but I have a couple of leads on one that leaves from a point not far from here. I am also missing all those wonderful little cycling cafes dotted around the Surrey Hills back in England. Maybe I'll just have to start my own?
For all my Northern Hemisphere Wheelsuckers out there, I hope you're enjoying the start of your summer! Keep those wheels spinning on the blacktop and the wind at your back!
Middle Ringer is a born and bred Aussie who spent a decade living in the UK, where he honed his sub-par cycling skills on the mean streets of Surrey and Berkshire. He is currently cycling Tasmania and snatching KOMs from the locals.
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