Mar. 19th, 2008

Tasway

Mar. 19th, 2008 05:37 pm
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So I spent a large chunk of last week in Tasmania, ostensibly bicycling round the west coast. Peter was in town, and the experience was appropriately wacky. I don't know what possessed me to think I could haul my generous posterior around anywhere on a bike, much less up and down the "it's just a small hill"s of Tassie.

We were molested by bumblebees, camped in a variety of different types of mud, had lunch in a dry riverbed, witnessed the world's largest collection of carved pelicans, stole some apples and mooned many, many people while changing in and out of bike gear. I managed to (carefully, conscientiously) lock the keys in the car, which meant I missed the Lake St Clair walk, but the ranger regaled me with stories of recovering the corpses of lost hikers and the difficulty of trapping feral cats while we waited for the break-in kit to arrive.

I drove the rider-support vehicle more than I rode, but I think I racked up 45k or so, only ten of which were spent walking my bike up a tiny, small, miniscule, not-to-worry cloud-covered mountain. The plus side was that I got to see a furry caterpillar, a hopping mouse thing and a dead baby bat being eaten by wasps. The minus side was that by the time I got to the top I'd pretty much already been dead for forty minutes and rigor mortis was setting in. And the wasps were looking hungry.

The best part about riding is the food. When you're riding, you can eat whatever crap you like. Esther handed me a bag of cashews, saying I need salt. Peter introduced me to pickled onion and salami crackers. Chocolate and dried fruit and fudge and lollies take on a dietary-supplement shine, and dinner is enormous piles of pasta and bread and meat. You get to eat all the junkiest food with a glowing halo of self-righteousness. It's lovely.

My riding for the weekend ended when I drove the car into a knee-deep pothole and my bike crashed down off the roof-rack. Peter and James and the guy who wandered over from the next campsite managed to get it into ridable shape, and for a while there I had a new and exciting ninth gear that hadn't previously existed, but I figure mobius wheels aren't a long-term solution. Hard earned cash goes once more to Brunswick Street Cycles.

I've put some photos on my flickr page:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pictureskew/

I don't think bike holidaying is for me. I like to stop and smell the flowers, and when your feet are carrying you from town to town, you don't really have time. It's up at 7am, pack down tent, swallow food, race off for three hours, eat lunch, ride some more, collapse, put up tent, eat dinner, play half a game of scrabble and then zonk out. All the worrying about flat tire fixing equipment and water supply and sunburn prevention and who packed the spoke-wrench underneath the tent. I believe a holiday should include less... what to call it... obligation?

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