In late 2002 I found myself in need of a bike tour, and without the time or energy to organize one myself. With the weather heading south, I decided to follow it; turning my globe upside down, I searched for an appropriate place for a week-long bike tour. I decided that I didn’t want to deal with language issues, which eliminated South America, (mi Espanol es no muy bien) and I felt that it wasn’t the best time for a white American to be touring in Africa, so that narrowed it down to Australia and New Zealand.
Searching on the Internet and through my Adventure Cycling magazines, I was able to find a few tour groups which do supported tours Down Under. I was looking for something which was challenging and majestic; there are many good options in that part of the world, but the one that fit my schedule and other criteria best was Pedaltours tour of Tasmania. The trip could be done either as entire circuit of the island (which is about the size of Ireland), or as the eastern or western half. The eastern half sounded more historic, with lots of British prison colonies and towns; the western half sounded more natural, which fit my desires better. So I signed up for the western half of the trip, 6 days of riding from Launceston to Hobart via Strahan on the western coast.
After a 14-hour flight, and several days in and around Sydney, I took a short flight into Launceston, and was ready for the start of my trip.
As is the norm when I tour with a group, I was running late and wound up being last on the road. The hearty breakfast had energized me, so despite my legs being somewhat tight, I was able to catch up with the rest of the Bay Area group, and we rode together to the top of a moderate rise, where we learned that “Fatigue Can Be Fatal.” (This became my mantra while battling 60kph headwinds a couple days later).