I think my cycling week is just about done so here is part II of the Ross Ride and Week 6.
After cycling into Ross, by 14.30 I had set up camp on the banks of the Macquarie River and settled in for the afternoon / evening. I had a Tasmanian product for tea – a freeze-dried Massaman Curry. It was very tasty although a little gritty from where I dropped and rescued the rice. The one-person tent works really well but my advise is not to let your arms rest against the inner tent. It is made of mesh to reduce weight and I can now confirm that mosquitoes easily bite through the mesh.
Early morning At Ross Bridge. This view was about 10 paces from the tent.
The next morning I packed up, had eaten breakfast number 1 by 8.30am and was ready for breakfast 2. Unfortunately little was open in Ross as it is geared for the drive-through tourist trade which allows for a later opening time.
The Ross field gun is back after maintenance. The town corners of Salvation (church) and Damnation (Pub) can be seen left and right.
A slightly different route back – 75ks this time
No obvious B2 in the offing, I decided to head up the Midlands Highway to Campbell Town for it and then head to the country byways for home. Immediately leaving Ross the head wind was noticeable. I felt the legs were complaining a bit after yesterday and the breeze was enough to slow things down. The Highway route to Campbell Town starts a little uphill and curvy and then flattens out to an 8 kilometre straight – today straight into the headwind. The hard shoulder is minimal most of the way and traffic noticeable. On various highways around Tas., new road works include a reasonable hard shoulder but there have been no roadworks on this section. What with watching traffic coming towards me (for overtakers), watching in the mirror (for passers) and watching to avoid riding over the junk on the hard shoulder, a cyclist is busy. The wind noise deadened hearing of anything approaching from behind so mirror work was essential to be ready for the wind blast from speeding trucks.
Arrival at Campbell Town – stopped at the Red Bridge park for a walkabout
The oldest bridge in Australia continuously used by a major highway. The “Red Bridge” was built in 1838 to cross the Elizabeth River. 1,250,000 convict-made bricks were used. The bridge was built on dry land and then convicts dug a couple of kilometers of new river channel to bring the water to the bridge. The things that can be done when somebody else does the work.
After that explore it was time to find the bacon and egg roll and coffee I had been dreaming about! This was ordered and devoured and it was time to head off once more. Time to aim for the Cressy bakery and another coffee with one of their pies for lunch. But first I visited:
The Grange, Campbell Town.
Dr William Valentine built “The Grange” in 1847. He organised, with the US Navy, an expedition to this site to watch the 1874 Transit of Venus. This was one of several sites in the southern hemisphere used to view the transit. In 2012 a commemoration event was held in Valentine’s Park to watch the 2012 transit – basically at the same spot.
The Midland Highway runs through the main street of C. Town with a strictly policed speed limit of 50kph. It is a favourite stopping spot on the road having fuel, toilets and an abundance of cafes. I cycled though with a lot of traffic but the slow speed and wide streets make things easy. Just as things start to speed up and tighten up again comes the side turn to Cressy. I took it.
After several kilometres of hills and side to headwind there was a delightful 2 kilometre descent to the Macquarie River. Crossing the river, the route takes us up to the junction with the gravel road travelled yesterday and, from this point on, the ride is the reverse of yesterday – remember, watch out for those gravel trucks!
About to cross the Macquarie, the road onwards snakes around to the right leading into headwinds once more.
From the bridge it was ever increasing headwinds all the way. The day also kicked up to around the 30°C mark and there was little shade. At about the 2/3rds mark I had finished the water bottles and things were getting a bit tough. The oasis of the Rustic Bakery in Cressy loomed large and slowly I pressed on stopping whenever a gravel truck came into sight. Today there were 4 of them dashing up and down. The day’s silver lining (always one if you look for it) – the wind kept the little “sticky’ bush flies away from mouth, nose and ears.
Eventually I crawled in bottom gear up the hill into Cressy, cycled along to the Bakery only to find :
What a blow. A recent thunderstorm has damaged buildings in Cressy – mainly hail filling then blocking gutters causing overflows. The Bakery a casualty.
I bought a bottle of room temperature water from the IGA (chilled water was sparkling or flavoured) and drank it sitting under some trees in the park where there was a subdued, slightly cooling breeze. Then filled the water bottles from a tap I saw some kids using and drank that too!!
There was only 8 kilometers to go to get home but it seemed in the mind like a hundred – until I got going. Then all was OK. The rest and the water had bucked up the system and it didn’t take long to get home. More water and more resting at home and all was OK again! BUT I didn’t unpack the bike until the next day.
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On Friday I took the Brompton to Deloraine for the P(eople) o(n) W(heels) ride. The Ross ride had left me with sore hands (arthritis) so I thought I would use a different set of handlebars. I also thought I would be a bit leg sore and would only complete half the ride BUT all went well, 20ks completed and I arrived back in Deloraine tailing C’s electric bike.
All up a good week for senior citizen cycling.
Total for week : 179k Total for year : 650k
Vivente : 146 k Brompton : 33 k