Week #52. 2018. A cycling holiday

Well, a holiday from cycling with only 43 kilometres cycled in the week. Instead we took the car plus caravan over to the north-west corner of Tasmania and stayed at Smithton for a few nights. Smithton is lovingly known locally as “Smiffy”.

The “normal” place to stay is Stanley. As shown in the leading image, it has a geographical feature knowns as “The Nut”. However the caravan park is a bit precious when it comes to dogs – so we went on to Smiffy and camped in the caravan park on the edge of the Duck River.

Smithton – the last town on the north-west coast.

The area around Smiffy and stretching ever further westwards is prime dairy country. Vegetable growing used to be a good money earner but the frozen food plant closed a few years ago. McCains remains running a potato storage, processing and freezing plant for chips. Veggie growing still occurs (we saw potato, corn and something we couldn’t identify) but dairy and beef seem to be the big thing these days. That and an enormous wind farm at Woolnorth.

On Christmas Eve we took a trip further west to the Edge of The World. This is actually the mouth of the Arthur River where it meets the Southern Ocean and not the Falls the Bushman throws the Coke bottle over in “The Gods must Crazy“.

Lots of timber comes down the Arthur and ends up in piles at the river mouth
The Arthur River with it’s dark tannin filled waters meets the Southern Ocean

Looking west, if tall enough, you could see past Africa right across to South America. Google Maps wouldn’t reduce enough to allow me to get the complete scene in but you get the picture. It also is clear why Cape Grim nearby has some of the cleanest air in the world. From the CSIRO website – Cape Grim, on Tasmania’s west coast, is one of the three premier Baseline Air Pollution Stations in the World Meteorological Organization-Global Atmosphere Watch (WMO-GAW) network. Baseline stations are defined by the WMO to meet a specific set of criteria for measuring greenhouse and ozone depleting gases and aerosols in clean air environments.

Christmas Day we took a look at the Tarkine Wilderness – a World Heritage listed area but the State Government will not protect it as a National Park. We only travelled part of the way around the Tarkine Tourist Drive. Initially we were driving through another major industry of the area – forestry. Large timber plantations are being harvested right up to the edge of the Wilderness.

Coupes around this stand had been recently logged.

We were aiming for a geological feature – the Trowutta Arch. It is a sinkhole and the track ends at a viewpoint where you can see through the side of the sinkhole (the arch) into the waterlogged centre.

The track in runs through stands of Manferns. Today the area feels dry but normally it would be damp.
Looking through the Arch

The Brompton had joined us for the trip but for the entire period it didn’t get a run. So, there was a bicycle involved but it just sat there in the back of the van!


Other Stuff

Towards the end of the week Brompton got it’s normal Friday run along River Road.

On Sunday Magnum had a run along Bishopsbourne Road. There are new signs along the way advising that road works will be happening during January and February and delays will occur. I understand it is road widening plus surface improvement. That probably means faster trucks and poorly done chip seal. Bugger!

The Sunday run also tested a change I made on Thursday. It was a hot day with temps rising into the 30s for the first time this season. There were other things on, so a ride wasn’t on the cards – but there was time to nip a few links out of the chain. I have been meaning to do this since buying the trike. Initially I had to push the boom in quite a bit to get it to fit me and then the addition of the tiny 24t from chain ring helped show up the slack chain. So I took out 3 links. The results were tested on Sunday and a) gear changes work OK and b) there are fewer rubbing noises in the lower gears as the derailleur is working better. Perhaps another link to two should come off? Maybe.


Total for week :    43 k                                      Total for year :    5,275 k        

Brompton :   19 k                                           Magnum :   24 k  


That’s it then – 5,275 kilometers ridden in 2018 on 5 bikes. Vivente Randonneur, Brompton, Greenspeed Anura, Greenspeed Magnum and a borrowed Bike E.

By the time of my next post I will have worked out a few challenges for 2019. Spoiler – they WILL include a ride Melbourne to Adelaide – more next week!

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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