And up we go! - Three old blokes tackle the Tasmania Trail - CycleBlaze

March 16, 2022

And up we go!

Blackwood Creek to Miena

After a blustery noisy night at Golden Valley the previous night, we all slept like  puppies in our tents outside the church. Today we had our biggest climb of the trip and reached the highest point of 1192 metres above sea level.

I woke sometime after 6am with my buddies on the other side of the fence baying for more Canton Chicken sauce. I was still dozing when I swear there was a stampede of cows heading for our tents, but fortunately that was just Steve rolling over on his extremely noisy sleeping mat.

An early morning stroll to greet my friends
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We were on the road by 9am in cool still conditions. You could see the mist shrouding the mountain we were heading for, but for the moment we were heading downhill in seemingly completely the wrong direction.

I’d mapped todays stage at 45 ks but I completely messed that up. I’m not sure how that happened but it did. I was tailing off behind the other chaps when I suddenly realised I was unemployed for the first time since 1982. Weird eh? I’m using this trip to try and work out what I really want to do. Maybe I could be an instagram foodblogger?

#living my best life
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Maybe not. I thought my breakfast was delicious. I didn’t realise baby food came in so many fruit varieties. That goop on my muesli is banana, strawberry and mango.

The mountain looms.
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Autumn has hit.
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.Eventually we start climbing in the most perfect conditions. It’s around 14 degrees and dead still with a fine mist. We get to about 250 metres and reach the tiny town of Poatina which has a volunteer run general store but no coffee machine. English breakfast tea must suffice.
If a downhill is unwelcome this was the moment. We gave away most of that gain as we dove down into a hidden valley and then started the climb proper. It wasn’t long until we were in the fog and the mist turned to light rain. With no wind it was so quiet. Only bird noises and my squeaky right pedal. And no mobile phones either. (Love you Ross)

There was the occasional vehicle and logging truck coming down the hill whose air brakes you could hear for minutes before they burst through the mist. But mostly nothing. Halfway up we stopped for a cup of tea just as the rain really set in.

A nice cuppa
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Pete gets a doping violation for administering anti coagulants.
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Pete CoxLuckily, Dennis had ‘borrowed’ some little salt packets from a cafe. Leeches don’t like salt!
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8 months ago

We plugged away and eventually made the top of the western Tiers. It was a bit weird as you could hardly see 50 metres in front of you so had no real idea where the summit was. When the bike started rolling by itself I figured we were there.

Spooky!
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Cherie LangleyAmazing photo 😊💗
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8 months ago
Keith AdamsI vividly recall a similar day many years ago, on a large group tour. Everything was just a hazy blur, but the riders who were wearing neon yellow jackets and those with flashing red taillights made luminescent blobs in the fog.
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8 months ago
Tour de France shot no 3
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At the top it was pretty chilly and breezy but the rain had eased and the visibility was much improved. After devouring 2 sardine, cheese and tomato wraps the wind blew us towards Miena, where we’re staying at John and Dors fishing shack. We rode alongside some irrigation channels and eventually limped into Miena.

You’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all but Steve was mightily impressed.
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After a sensational meal at the Miena pub (which involved a 6k round trip ride) we cycle back in sleet and maybe 4 degree temperatures. Another great days riding!

Today's ride: 82 km (51 miles)
Total: 363 km (225 miles)

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