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Journeys : Aug Sep 2012
As we untangle bikes from the back of Gav’s wagon and fuss about with shoes and helmets, back-pocket food and spare tubes, Craig arrives from an earlier start, helping to stow rowing sculls with his daughter. It is sunny and mild, but with a hint of rain and musty autumn in the air. Our rendezvous point at the river-edge park in Huonville offers plenty of parking and excellent amenities, while to my nostalgic surpr ise, pedal-powered craft still bob at moorings nearby. A challenge perhaps for another day – but we’re here to ride to Cygnet and return, a morning jaunt to catch up with the PBP team and enjoy a short section of the picturesque D’Entrecasteaux Channel Highway, a loop well known to cyclists. Gravel crunches under tyres as we swing east from the car park onto the B68. Wide, flat tarmac narrows quickly, the road folding into a succession of steps away from the water’s edge. At around 12 kilometres in there’s an option to turn off onto the C639, to follow the water’s edge, but w ith heavy clouds spitting, we opt for nearby Cygnet. Pedalling close-knit, our mood remains light until we meet the only real challenge of the morning. The banter stops as the grade begins, and we simultaneously stand on the gear and climb. Drive and ride Scott Dickson and his mates in the Paris-Brest-Paris cycling team enjoy the picturesque ride between Huonville and Cygnet Having raced the day before, Steve reckons his legs are dead today, just as I glance down and see a small bird lying lifeless in the verge. A moment’s introspection is lost to a dry crack about skinny bike riders, and gasping out-of-breath laughter as we circle and regroup for the dow nhill. Swooping, gentle cur ves down into the tow n are welcome reward for our climbing efforts. More timber sheds, late season apples for sale and orchard rows under netting blur at the edges of the valley view. We find the Cygnet street market in full swing and tap about in our riding gear, feeling conspicuous among shoppers who don’t really seem to notice. The tow n feels lively for a Sunday morning and there are plenty of options for good coffee and a tasty treat before heading off again. Sunny warmth has now turned to drizzly, dim grey. Our sharp shadows on the road are lost to a cloudburst that, if possible, makes the air taste somehow sweeter. The shower soon eases, and the road dries. In spite of the damp, there are still smiles. “This is great, isn’t it?” Rolling along beside me, Gavin’s enthusiasm hauls me into the moment. Rather than making mental notes I find that I have been thinking the same thing, enjoying the company, the colours of the trees and the glimpses of the water. With a mock sprint to Huonville’s 60km/ hr sign, Gav’s arms aloft, we are back to the cars, taking our time to pack the bikes, reluctant for the morning to end. This is not a ride to undertake with young children – the roads are narrow at times, with a number of blind crests. The rise into Cygnet is not steep but makes for a little bit of a challenge to justify that extra-large slice of cake. On this easy Sunday mor ning, we found the traffic courteous and thoughtful, the roads a smooth pleasure and the coffee excellent, in spite of changeable weather. In a future issue of Journeys, Scott will report on riding the back lanes of Longford. Life on the move Clockwise from above left: Craig Hoey and Gavin Hinds; on the road; Cygnet rest stop. Photos Scott Dickson August / September 2012 29
Jun Jul 2012
Oct Nov 2012