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Thursday, July 28, 2005

Bicycle heaven in Tasmania

Bicycle heaven in Tasmania

By DMITRI ALEXIEV | My first Great Bike Ride in Tasmania was through the Central Highlands, which was perhaps the most scenic route of them all, into some very remote areas and past many lakes — although always on sealed roads.

Of all the extended bike rides I have done in three states only the Great Ocean Road in Victoria compares in beauty to those in Tasmania.

In Victoria they get several thousand on some rides; accompanied by doctors and masseurs, reading rooms, yoga and so on. I’ve not been on one of these massive efforts myself.

Up to 800 or so riders undertake the Great Tasmanian bike rides, which is organised each second year by Bicycle Victoria. Quite manageable.

The days’ rides vary in length between 60-80km, occasionally up to 100km.

The days go like this: The road opens at 7am and by 9.30am everyone should have breakfasted and left. A sweep car checks for stragglers, the camp support facilities tents are dismantled and the luggage trucks roll off. A bunch of volunteers looks after these sorts of things — the volunteers have as good a time as the riders. Maybe better, because they work as hard but they do not have to cycle up hills.

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