A late Summer ride to Poatina

There is a good Cafe at Poatina. It does a very tasty Lamb and Mint sausage roll which goes well with their coffee, so Colin and I decided to ride there on Saturday. There-and-back would be a lengthy trip, so we asked our beloveds to meet us up there, bringing the cars for the return.

It all worked out well. It was a late summer coolish day with a bit of a breeze blowing. Mostly it turned out to be sidewinds and sometimes even a tailwind.

Although there is a week or so to go to the official start of Autumn, the hedgerows have decided it’s on.

The Hawthorn hedges are displaying a great crop of their red berries. It looks like blossom from afar.

Northern Tasmania has had a bit of rain recently but not enough to convert the bulk of the paddocks from straw colours to greens. Any green coverage that can be seen is due to irrigation.

What a great old tree. Obviously things haven’t gone well but it is a game old thing.

We set off from Longford, heading out to Bishopsbourne once Colin had returned home and found his phone on the road just outside his house. The scenery was particularly worth looking at as the sun was making it sparkle – the angle setting off contrasting lights and shadows on the land and in the trees.

The Grey Nomads are coming out to play and several were camped at Bishopsbourne. Indeed I noticed that this week there have been plenty using the free-camp “leave no trace” sites in the area. Schools go back after the summer holidays and the Nomads come out. I suppose they have been doing child-minding duties up to now.

From Bishopsbourne we rode along to Blackwood Creek. This stretch is quite hilly and the woods by the roadside have been selected as a good place to live by numerous Kookaburras. They are not native to Tasmania and cause quite a bit of havoc among local birdlife – but we won’t be getting rid of them anytime soon. They like it here!

Just before Blackwood Creek we come to Richardson’s Cutting

Richardson didn’t actually cut the hill down by much – maybe just enough to get a horse and cart over back in the day. Here Colin was coming back to find me as I had stopped. I was taking pictures but might have been broken down. He is a thoughtful person!

Soon after this we reached Blackwood Creek and knew we had been exercising. Even with the motor and because I had been using it a low power, I could feel the goodness of the climbs! It was time to turn left and enjoy the downhill (mostly) to the next turn.

We cruised down past irrigation pivots and past two huge almost empty dams. Irrigators were still running but it’s hard to see where the water is coming from. One short pivot was watering a sad looking bit of grass on which some sheep were grazing. Given the cost of equipment and irrigation water, they must be very special sheep to get much profit from the venture.

At the next junction we had a think about when to phone our partners so they would arrive about the same time as ourselves. We decided to leave it until we arrived at Poatina Road as from that junction we would have 5/6 kilometres to go and most of that uphill.

This is because Poatina is situated in the foothills of the Western Tiers. It was a hydro village, one of a number created to house the workers when the Tasmanian hydro schemes were being developed. Poatina began later than most with work starting in 1958 and the station opening in 1964. After that the village was sold, lock, stock and barrel, to Fusion Australia, an Australian Christian Youth and Community organisation that works with young people and their communities throughout Australia.

The village is on the left. The pipes bringing the water down to the power station are on the right.

We set off, initially up a gentle climb that allowed us to enjoy the views and see the goal on the near horizon. As we began to climb a bit more the road became more windy and the views narrowed. Sue came past as we climbed. Good, my car will be there ready to carry me home!

Before the climb proper we passed the main switching yard – well, that’s what I think of it as. From here power walks away over the farmland heading for Launceston and the National Grid via the Bass Link cable from Georgetown.

Up we went. Colin was going exceptionally well. When I climbed up here on Maggie I recall being in bottom gear and cruising at 4. something kph. Colin was getting along a lot better than that. His recumbent riding legs have definitely kicked in and this is looking good for the Victorian tour. I turned the power up and pedalled up at the same speed!

2 ks to go – a welcome sign.

The turn came into sight, we turned and ran down into the village. As we did so Jeanette came past and so we knew Colin could also get his lift home. A little further and we turned down to the small shopping area, parked and entered the Tiers Tea Lounge for a well deserved lunch.

A good 50k ride with quite a bit of climbing was turned into a very enjoyable ride by the weather.

Click HERE to access a short video of the ride.


PS: Ride with GPS says my top speed was 118 kph. Strangely this is not true! The GPS satellites over Tasmania are having troubles. In fact I thought my phone must have broken for a while as it just could not find enough satellites to work out where we were. Things have improved slightly but now and again the link fails. When it comes back on line the software links where you left and where you came back, connects the two and works out how fast you would need to be travelling to make the link. Hence 118 kph!


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 in 2019 an electric recumbent made an appearance. It is good!

3 thoughts on “A late Summer ride to Poatina”

  1. Fantastic speed mate, 118 klms per hour. That last climb was indeed a stretch I think I lost a kilo in sweat. I’m so glad
    we decide to leave all the gear! in Longford.

    Like

  2. I did wonder about that 118kph in the first photo! Yes, Richardson could have done a better job with that cutting, and good on Colin for coming back to look for you over that one. I MIGHT have ridden back to the top of the hill and had a gander, but coming back down the other side again…. maybe, eventually….

    Hope you get in some more good rides in good weather before you set sail.

    Like

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