Woman climbing a steep hill on a bike, with two riders far in the background

Day 4: Tullah to Strahan, via Reece Dam

Since Tammy had the bright idea to do 60 extra klicks, we had to get rolling pretty early. Claire continued to waffle throughout breakfast [Ha ha!] on whether she would do the extra mileage, and even after we were on the road she hadn’t totally made up her mind. But when it came time to make the decision, she turned the same direction as the rest of the gang. We were going to be isolated from humanity for almost 100 klicks, until we rolled into lunch at Zeehan.

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Four cyclists riding on the left side of a long road with no cars, with granite mountains in the distance

Day 2: Silver Ridge Retreat to Cradle Mountain

The morning after the first day is always the hardest. Fortunately the next two days weren’t all that big; we were scheduled for about 60k today, up to Cradle Mountain, the most popular national park in Tasmania.

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).

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Day 0: Launceston

Flying into Launceston, Tasmania, is, in itself, an amusing experience for a city boy. The airport is tiny, and “baggage claim” consists of going into the garage and waiting for the truck to pull up. It’s a city of 50,000 people, second largest on the island, but very small by any American standard. (Of course, that was the point). Here I met up with our guides, a father/son pair, Bob and Damien, with the improbable surname of “Boocock.”

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