Every now and then I feel the need to totally disconnect from my everyday life. I need to push work and adult responsibilities out of my head for a while and “reset” my mental health. With tourists still not allowed to travel into Tasmania due to COVID, I had the perfect opportunity to escape in my own backyard, so to speak! I grabbed a few friends (I totally have those), loaded up the car with snacks and bikes, and took off for a long weekend of leaving our everyday lives behind.
Not camping mind you. These days I prefer to travel in comfort, so I’d booked us all a cabin on the Tasman Peninsula overlooking the water and wilderness. With no WiFi and nothing to worry about, it was the perfect opportunity to really connect with why we ride bikes in the first place – because we love it! Every morning there was nothing more to think about other than breakfast and bikes. Bliss!
My “bike wife” Alice was keen for some MTB skills lessons. She’s just taken delivery of her first full-squish trail bike and she’s a real beauty (the bike and Alice, hehehe). We spent each day just kicking around, practicing braking, weight distribution, cornering techniques and generally just exploring and having a laugh on two wheels. It was Big Jim who said that cycling is great, but it’s the friends that really make the pedals go round. It’s so true.
It’s refreshing to let go of the “must get faster/stronger” training side of road cycling and simply enjoy mucking about on bikes. It was like going back in time to before I was a “serious” cyclist. Hell, I didn’t even turn on my Garmin for most of the rides!
Early one morning I found a trail that spat me out right into the Port Arthur Historical Centre, a famous early convict prison (and infamous as the site of Australia’s worst shooting massacre which gave the government the fuel to legally take our guns, but I digress). It was before opening time and there weren’t any signs or gates to stop me, so I simply rode in! I guess not many people get to experience the tranquillity and sombre serenity of Port Arthur from the saddle. If you ever get to Tasmania, be sure to put Port Arthur on your list.
Of course the long weekend went way too quickly and before we knew it, Monday morning rolled around and it was back in the car and straight to work (okay, so the home office for me). Sure the end of a fantastic break is always a little sad, but the weekend was more than enough to refuel the body, relax the mind and create some fantastic new memories on two wheels with friends.
Is it time you took a break from the world to truly reconnect and embrace life?