Downhill on Lake Leake Road

We were on our way to Howden, south of Hobart where we will be visiting for the next few days.  First though we were taking the opportunity to divert off course a little to have lunch with friends at Dolphin Sands just north of Swansea.  The way to go is down to Campbell Town and then across country to the coast via the Lake Leake Road.

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Lake Leake Road is a wonderful 60+ kilometre road of light traffic and sweeping bends as it climbs up and over a 500 metre hill range.  A motorcyclists delight which I have savoured a number of times when riding motorised 2 wheels.

Today my ride began at the highest point on LLR because it is quite a climb up from Campbell Town and the day wasn’t long enough to do both parts.  Anyway it is much nicer to ride down!

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‘Ere we go !

We stopped at the Information Board at the point the road starts down and I unfolded the Brommie.  Sue drove off and I began the descent.  I held the phone in front hoping for a reasonable video.  Once over 40kph it proved impossible to cycle one-handed!  Every bump moved the front wheel and I was over correcting as the front tried to take off somewhere other than straight ahead.  No good.  I had read it is not possible for normal riders to ride these bikes with “no hands” but I can’t ride one-handed once a bit of speed is on.  Never mind – I continued and, with two hands paying attention, speeds of 40+kph were safe.  The stiff “seabreeze” coming head on prevented some truely remarkable speeds occurring but it wasn’t long before I could see the sea and the granite hills of The Hazards and knew the first 15k was coming to an end.

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There were warning signs advising bends for the next “x” kilometers.  These feature regularly.  Then – after a nice ride – the Hazards could be seen !

Once out of the woods the breeze blew nicely straight into my face and I had to spin along in 3rd gear to keep any sort of speed up.  After the descent the countryside seemed to be passing awfully slowly.  Across the paddocks I could see the east coast highway but it didn’t seem to get much closer for quite a while.  The questions in my mind were “how busy was it?” and “how many caravans were travelling today?”.

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Closing in on the highway – look how the colours on the sign mirror those in         real life

It proved to be a quiet day on the highway and with the breeze now coming in onto the left shoulder 4th gear was do-able.  As I passed a couple of items of roadside interest I was able to stop and get pictures.

On the left are shots of Wet Marsh Creek.  Back in the day the sign was changed as shown in the 2007 picture of me on the maxi-scoot.

Onwards towards Swansea and the Dolphin Sands turn off.  On the left along Dolphin Sands road there was once a walnut orchard – part of an experiment to see how they would grow in the area.  It can’t have been very good as a couple of years ago the trees were pulled – but the irrigation remains.  We think the late spring frosts the area has (even though it it not far from the sea) knocked the trees around too much.

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Did anyone see “From Dusk to Dawn”, the zombie movie?

The road leads to an area of of sand dune territory which has been divided up into 5 acre  lifestyle blocks.  Initially they were used by people for the building of shacks or setting up permanent caravans mostly for use as holiday homes.  Then Tasmania’s east coast was discovered and the area was much in demand from interstate buyers and block prices rocket in about 2 years from $50,000 to $350,000.  Permanent residents then built permanent houses and the area is now home to many interesting people (mostly retired) who bring a variety of skills (and stories) to the community.  Intermingled with the new are older residents who find a ready market for their tradie skills and local knowledge of how things are done.

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End of the Road.  View from Dolphin Sands across to Swansea

A delightful lunch was gratefully received and the above was pretty much the view from the dining table.  Then it was back in the car, hitting Hobart just as rush hour was at it’s peak so a slow trip south to Howden followed.  While passing through Hobart, we saw two heavily laden touring cyclists on Viventes (like my other bike) biking the footpath through the docks and up Davey Street. Although they were being held up by walkers striding homewards they stayed ahead of us for quite a few blocks.

Oscar was not the only one glad to arrive and have a stretch.  The next report should be of a ride in the Huon.

 

 

 

Author: antc1946

Born in 1946 I learnt to cycle about 10 years later. On a bike with rods connecting brake levers to the brakes - anyone remember those? I emigrated to Australia (from the UK) in 1974 and moved to Tasmania in 1984. Bicycles were in my life for most of that time although sometimes they were replaced by motorised two wheels for a bit more excitement. On reaching 70 I decided to stick to pedal power but, who knows, an electric bicycle may make an appearance down the track

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