CLC2018 Ride 7: Taking a trip to the North Coast

My seventh and final ride for this year’s CLC is actually a number of rides melded into one. There’s a reason for this though. I’ve been on holiday along the North Coast of Tasmania so took the opportunity to do a bit of exploring by bicycle. My wife April knows I get a bit moody if I can’t ride for a while so I always try and travel with a bike. She is fine with it now (or has accepted it, which is kind of the same thing).

Of course I can’t disappear for hours at a time when on our holidays, but the odd 90-minute ride here and there is fine.

For this “stay-cation” we booked into a beachfront AirBnB in the lovely town of Wynyard. It’s one of the smaller towns along the coast so not too busy and makes a great base to explore Northern Tassie. I’m not going to go into much detail as the photos from my rides will speak volumes without my words to distract you, but I will say this: If you haven’t visited Tasmania, put it on your “must-do” list of destinations and get down here while it’s still relatively un-spoilt! Tourist numbers and permanent mainland relocations are increasing year on year!

Quiet beaches, crystal (but cold) waters and plentiful sunshine!

My first ride was a simple 40km blast from Wynyard to Burnie and back along the coastal road. I knew it was going to be a fast course so I tried to see if I could really wind it up. It’s good to empty the legs every so often – I managed to hold a 32kph average on the outward leg and 35kph on the return. Contrary to the look of the route, riding along the Hume Highway is not as much fun as it may seem. There’s narrow verges on sections, below average road surfaces and those 22 wheeler semi-trailers barrelling past at 110kph can be a little unnerving!

Fast and flat hit-out from Wynyard to Burnie and back.

It’s not all flat along the North Coast though, straight out of Wynyard there’s the Table Cape, a popular spot with tourists hunting a colourful sunset photo for their Facebook feed. To get your Instagram snap, first you have to crest the 4km climb. The narrow road winds up to the top of the cliff and averages 4% peaking at over 25% incline! The road to the lookout is sealed, but if you want to get to the Table Cape Lighthouse itself, it’s a further 1km flat gravel section.

Table Cape Lighthouse.

The local loony “flat earth” lot have defaced the lookout (no shortage of people who failed eighth grade science class, ignore all scientific developments since Galileo and probably don’t vaccinate their children either, but I digress). On a clear day it offers an expansive view across the Bass Straight and down the coastline. I had to stop a couple of times along the way to soak up the views in the afternoon sunlight. What a magical part of the world.

Countryside by the coast, mystic evening views from the Table Cape.

When on holiday (okay, all the time) I try and sample as much local independent food as I can. Coffee and cake in every town! The photo below is of the most amazing caramel slice I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating – and I’ve eaten a few! A salted caramel and macadamia topping over a dark chocolate brownie base. Absolutely divine. I was very tempted to buy the cafe’s entire stock of it for later, just so damn tasty.

I need more of this caramel slice in my life!

All up I got in three decent rides totalling 115km. It keeps me sane and enables me to eat more cake. A great addition to a wonderful few days away relaxing and exploring more of our beautiful island state. So there you have it, book your tickets and get down here. I’m waiting! :-)

CLC2018 ROUND UP: I stumbled across the Cycle Life Challenge through Tony’s Tassie Cycling Blog and decided to give it a go. I love riding my bike and aim to cover 200km a week on average. The CLC2018 has been a great motivator for me. Not so much to ride more – but to ride out of my usual routine and visit new places. It’s been great. Keep those pedals turning and the wheels rubber side down!

Ride 1: 101km
Ride 2: 35km
Ride 3: 45km (virtual)
Ride 4: 103km
Ride 5: 26km
Ride 6: 32km
Ride 7: 115km (combined)

2 Comments Add yours

  1. stuwj_velo says:

    I reckon I have a five-year window remaining in which to emigrate from this dump (UK). On this evidence I think your part of the world is going on my shortlist. I mean there are coastal rides available in this country that are probably just as good but the weather is nearly always shite (as you well know…).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a different lifestyle out here. A good English summer’s day is hard to beat, unfortunately they are few and far between. If I had worked a little harder/smarter and been able to afford the lifestyle with a nice house and land in leafy Surrey, I may have stayed. I do miss the close proximity to easily travel Europe!

      Liked by 1 person

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