With the Pedlar’s patient assistance and tutorage, Bec and I had packed our bikes into boxes the day before. Presumably this crash course in dissembling and assembling our bikes would be sufficient to get us going when we reached Hobart, and packed up again in Devonport. Our panniers went into big striped shopping bags with a zip as there was no way they were fitting into the bike box!
Bec’s bike and gear weighed in at 26kgs, while my bike and gear came in at a hefty 34kgs! I would just like to say that my gear contained our tent, cooking gear and solar panel. As well as that, my Vivente touring bike is heavier than Bec’s road bike, designed as it is to be strong and capable of carrying heavy loads (just as well!).
Due to a debacle with the supplier and Australia Post, the front rack we had ordered for my bike did not arrive in time. This meant that I would be reliant on only two rear panniers with an Ortlieb dry at on top, limiting the available space. On Thursday afternoon I picked through my packing to see what items could be left behind. My fantastic folding chair (I can’t remember the brand), whilst folding to the size of a shoe, along with the Airspresso (the only two items I had originally packed that I thought were luxury items), were both taken out. Bec and I each paid $30 to check-in an additional bag on the Qantas flight so we could take the bike box plus the extra bag.When we arrived at Hobart airport, my old friends were there to meet us on their road bikes! They waited patiently while we set up our bikes ( which arrived in perfect condition) and then cycled with us to Steve and Lisa’s house where there was food, wine, a soft bed and cooked breakfast in the morning. Thank you guys!
On Sunday morning we rode into town (yes Bec, there really are lots of hills in Tasmania!), and met with our friends for coffee and lunch at the Henry Jones Art Hotel. This place looks after cyclists and is well worth a visit if you are about.At 2pm, the height of a hot Tasmanian afternoon (note: it was hot by Tasmanian standards) we rode the 30 kms to Richmond, following a route which went over Grasstree Hill. Our friends Jo, Greg, Steve and Al came with us. Al met us halfway and escorted us back to his lovely old sandstone house in Richmond where he fed us fresh strawberries from a friend’s garden and wine. Fortunately both Bec and I survived the ride up Grasstree Hill, which is about 4kms long. It is not that bad compared to the hills we are about to encounter. It was a good warm- up.
Richmond Caravan Park provided us with a lovely tent-site and we cooked out first meal together on the Trangia. A bottle of wine always helps things taste better…Tomorrow we are totally on our own, heading to Orford. We are looking forward to new ground and good couple of hills!