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2013/2014/2015/2016/2017/2018 - Your Short Tours
 Machka member offline
Lifetime: 56,991 mi
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Member since: Mar 2004
Home: State: Tasmania, Australia 
Thorn Club Tour
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Audax Australia - Victoria
posted 1/27/2013
at 6:50:03 AM
viewed 3697 times
Short tours are great for those of us who can only spare a few days from our busy schedules to spend on a cycling tour ... or for those of us who want to do a quick exploration of the area where we live, or an area we want to learn more about ... and for those who want to test equipment, bicycle setup, etc.

When you go on a short hub-and-spoke tour, weekend tour, long weekend tour, maybe even a week-long tour, or something similar, tell us about it here.

Where did you go? What did you see along the way? Would you recommend the area? What sort of accommodation did you use? What kind of bicycle did you ride? Did you learn anything new?


What short tours do you have planned for 2018?
thread edited on 3/18/2018 at 8:28:59 AM

 Machka member offline
Lifetime: 56,991 mi
Member No. 1789
Member since: Mar 2004
Home: State: Tasmania, Australia 
Thorn Club Tour
Touring Road bike
Audax Australia - Victoria
posted 4/19/2015
at 6:35:14 AM
post #11 viewed 682 times
Little bit of a hub-and-spoke tour on the Easter long weekend.

We drove to the ferry, overnighted on the ferry, then drove to our "hub" in Victoria.

Friday -- 40.52 km on old familiar roads in an area where we used to live. So nice to ride there again. Really nice! And it helped that the sun shone, the sky was blue and there wasn't too much wind. The high for the day reached 23C ... a hint of summer!

We also walked 8.5 km. 6.5 km earlier in the day when we first arrived, and then another 2 km to go to dinner.


Saturday -- 35.23 km on our folders up the local Rail Trail. The longest Rail Trail in Victoria runs through this area, and I've missed it!

Partly cloudy, 23C today.

I also walked 3.8 km around town.


Sunday -- 40.11 km on another part of the Rail Trail up to an old train tunnel and back.

Another nice day with a high of 23C again. A little more overcast, almost threatening rain at times and some wind. But no rain materialised.


The pictures are coming, slowly but surely, starting with the Devonport pictures in the middle of the second page of this album:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/machka-bb/sets/72157648779392193/detail/?page=2

 handyhannah member offline
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posted 4/19/2015
at 6:36:02 AM
post #12 viewed 681 times
I have always wanted to do a couple day journey by bike with some friends. None of us can come upwitn a plan we agree on! I am not brave enough to go by myself.

 Machka member offline
Lifetime: 56,991 mi
Member No. 1789
Member since: Mar 2004
Home: State: Tasmania, Australia 
Thorn Club Tour
Touring Road bike
Audax Australia - Victoria
posted 4/19/2015
at 6:52:17 AM
post #13 viewed 677 times
I have always wanted to do a couple day journey by bike with some friends. None of us can come upwitn a plan we agree on! I am not brave enough to go by myself.
-- posted by handyhannah


Do several tours then ... go one place one weekend, and another place another weekend.

Or just go with one friend who would like to go where you want to go.

Life's short!! Get out there and enjoy!

 Machka member offline
Lifetime: 56,991 mi
Member No. 1789
Member since: Mar 2004
Home: State: Tasmania, Australia 
Thorn Club Tour
Touring Road bike
Audax Australia - Victoria
posted 5/24/2015
at 7:12:14 AM
post #14 viewed 648 times
Long weekend time ... tell us about your short tours on these long weekends.

 Machka member offline
Lifetime: 56,991 mi
Member No. 1789
Member since: Mar 2004
Home: State: Tasmania, Australia 
Thorn Club Tour
Touring Road bike
Audax Australia - Victoria
posted 10/21/2015
at 1:05:47 AM
post #15 viewed 600 times
So ... did any of you do any short tours over the last few months? Got any planned for the next few months?

Rowan and I are tossing about some ideas for the coming summer.

 Machka member offline
Lifetime: 56,991 mi
Member No. 1789
Member since: Mar 2004
Home: State: Tasmania, Australia 
Thorn Club Tour
Touring Road bike
Audax Australia - Victoria
posted 3/15/2016
at 11:58:12 PM
post #16 viewed 546 times
Saturday 16 January -- 101.6 km training ride with approx. 560 metres of climbing ... and with the feel of a day tour about it, what with the ferry segment.


I cycled from home down to Kettering, then caught the ferry across to Bruny Island. Once there, I cycled down to Alonnah, and back to the Bruny Island Ferry Terminal.

That's the short story. Now the slightly longer version ...

Today was a lovely day with a high of about 20C, mostly sunny and a fairly strong south-east wind gusting up to 40 km/h. The wind started a little lighter than that, but got stronger as the day went on. This meant that I had a headwind on the way down, and a tailwind on the way back. That headwind had me worried for a while because I didn't realise how strong it was and was beginning to wonder what was wrong with me that I couldn't seem to get up any speed. At the turnaround point, I overheard a couple people in the shop talking about the wind and saying it had become quite strong. Oh ... heh heh ... maybe that's what was up! And on the way back, I definitely had speed!

The first 25 km was from home to the ferry, and that bit contained about half the climbing. So I had quite a hilly start to the ride. The remaining 75 km on the island, had the other half of the climbing, concentrated in the beginning, the bit right around the turnaround point, and the end. The middle gave me a bit of a break.

The traffic was pretty good. We've got a 1.5 metre law here ... motorists are supposed to give cyclists 1.5 metres. The vast majority of the drivers did that ... there were just two I can remember who cut it pretty close.

On the ferry ride over to Bruny Island, I met a couple who were also cycling and we chatted the whole way over and a little bit when we had disembarked. That was really nice. We also spotted a seal in the water doing it's body temperature regulation thing with the flipper out of the water. They were heading the opposite direction to do a bit of camping (cycletouring).

There were quite a few other cycletourists along the way as well.



One funny thing happened after I'd been cycling on the island for about 10 km. All of a sudden there was a trumpet! Loud and sounding like it was right next to me!!

"I'm not feeling that bad after all that climbing for Gabriel to be coming for me now!" I thought.

It was someone standing on the beach, next to where I was cycling, playing the trumpet.


At the end of the ride, I stopped by Rowan's orchard to see where he was in the process of wrapping up his day, and then I cycled down to the ferry terminal to wait for him. We rode the ferry back together and then I caught a lift home.

I was really pleased with two things in particular:

1) I managed an 18 km/h average rolling speed. That's the fastest I've ridden in a long time.

2) Last weekend I did a 77 km ride in a total time of 5 hours. This weekend, I did the 75 km on the island in about 4 hours 40 min. I knocked 20 min off that distance!



Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/machka-bb/albums/72157660554742114
(Starting with those labelled 16Jan16)
post edited on 3/16/2016 at 12:12:12 AM

 Machka member offline
Lifetime: 56,991 mi
Member No. 1789
Member since: Mar 2004
Home: State: Tasmania, Australia 
Thorn Club Tour
Touring Road bike
Audax Australia - Victoria
posted 3/15/2016
at 11:59:54 PM
post #17 viewed 545 times
We're back from a short tour. A short multi-modal credit-card hub-and-spoke tour that included planes, trains and automobiles ... and buses, cycling and walking!




Thursday 4 February we drove to the airport, parked the van, and unloaded our 'one piece of checked luggage' each ... our Bike Fridays neatly and compactly folded into suitcases. The first leg of the journey was a flight to Melbourne and a shuttle van to the hotel.

We usually select a hotel right at the Melbourne airport, but I thought I'd check around to see if there were other options, and found one. The two were about the same price, but the determining factor was dinner. The hotel at the airport offered us McDonalds or possibly a cafe in the airport, if any were still open by the time we got there. Not particularly appealing. The other hotel offered an all-you-can-eat buffet for a decent price ... and it was definitely the right choice. Delicious!


The next morning we caught the shuttle bus back to the airport, and then caught the Sky Bus (https://www.skybus.com.au/) to the Southern Cross station.

We were booked onto a direct train between Melbourne and Warrnambool, but unfortunately they've been doing work with the trains and so we were informed that the train would take us to Geelong, but there we would have to transfer to a coach. Inconvenient ... but free! Yes, the trip between Melbourne and Warrnambool was free because of this inconvenience!

Up till now we had been pleased with our method of transporting our bicycles ... neatly and compactly folded into suitcases. We had no issues getting them onto the plane, into the shuttle van, into the hotel, or onto the Sky Bus. No extra charges. No raised eyebrows. No heavy sighs. No refusals. But when we were informed of this change of plans to the train portion of our journey, we were immensely pleased with our decision to use our Bike Fridays!! If we had full-sized bicycles there's a really good chance we would not have gotten them onto the coach in Geelong.

The train portion of the trip was lovely ... the coach, not so much. Very crowded. They had to run at least three coaches to fit everyone in! But we got there in the end and acquired a taxi to our caravan park. Again, it was good to have the Bike Fridays because the suitcases easily fit into the boot of the taxi.

Once settled in our cabin, we walked to the nearby shopping area for dinner.


Saturday, Rowan built up our Bike Fridays so we could ride ... 45.02 km in total. Our first journey was a mission to find breakfast ... not as easy as we had anticipated and we had already logged about 10 km before we finally found a place.

Then we decided to explore the city ... up and down some of the roads and checking out the cycling paths.


"The Promenade links the historic breakwater to Logans Beach. The sealed pathway starts with great views at the 1890 Breakwater, passes Lake Pertobe, follows around Lady Bay (it can be tempting to divert to the beach), crosses the mouth of the Hopkins River estuary, and ends at the whale nursery at Logans Beach. The path is suitable for all forms of wheeled transport including bikes, rollerblades, wheelchairs and pushers."

Visit Warrnambool | Bike & Walking Trails

I really liked the Promenade ... mostly because of the proximity of the beach and the ocean. It was beautiful!

We decided to take in dinner and a show that evening at Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village: Flagstaff Hill | Home Page ... the Shipwrecked Sound and Lasar Show ... and of course we cycled there and back after the show. Dinner was good, the show was really good, and the ride home in the dark was lovely.
post edited on 3/16/2016 at 12:06:51 AM

 Machka member offline
Lifetime: 56,991 mi
Member No. 1789
Member since: Mar 2004
Home: State: Tasmania, Australia 
Thorn Club Tour
Touring Road bike
Audax Australia - Victoria
posted 3/16/2016
at 12:01:40 AM
post #18 viewed 544 times
On Sunday we decided to take on the Warrnambool to Port Fairy Rail Trail ... 84.7 km in total. Victoria has a number of lovely rail trails, and we've ridden several of them. We had ridden some of this trail a number of years ago, and it was not particularly brilliant then, but I had read that they had made some improvements so we wanted to see.



https://www.railtrails.org.au/trail?view=trail&id=160

Port Fairy to Warrnambool Rail Trail

The first part of our journey was along the Promenade, mentioned above. That was nice. Then we headed out of town on a path of finely crushed quartz dotted with boardwalk bridges here and there as we made our way through marshy land. We enjoyed that part as well. The path was decent and we could watch the herons and ibis and other birds.

But then, we were plunked onto a fairly rough gravel road and it wasn't long before we were longing for paved roads again. Thankfully, we got to a paved lane after a few kilometres, and we opted to stick with the road the rest of the way to Port Fairy. We figured it would take us forever to get there if we returned to the gravel path and we were getting hungry!

Port Fairy is a favourite location of ours and we've been there several times. We would have liked to stay in Port Fairy this time too, but the logistics were a bit difficult. However, we checked out the beach and then cycled to our favourite fish and chips place. Sadly it closes for a while between lunch and dinner and we weren't prepared to wait 2 hours for it to open again. So we found another cafe ... and discovered that a monument to Graham Woodrup (well known in the cycling community in Australia) had been removed!! There had been some construction in the area, so we hope it will be replaced.
Graham Woodrup | Monument Australia

Feeling more energetic, we decided to take the rail trail back to Warrnambool. It is paved in Port Fairy now, but the moment it leaves Port Fairy it turns to crushed limestone ... a bit rough, but not too bad. And it was definitely an improvement over what it had been a few years ago. A few years ago, it was a narrow overgrown path, but now it is quite wide and fairly well groomed. There were several cyclists using it as well, so that was good to see. It is a gradual climb all the way to Koroit plus a slightly steeper bit on the other side of Koroit before the descent into Warrnambool.

Just before we reached Koroit, Rowan flatted and had to change his tube. We suspect that the replacement tube may have been mislabelled because it was a lot larger than what we expected. Bike Fridays take 20-inch tubes, and we have a suspicion that tube may have been a 24-inch tube. Nevertheless, Rowan stuffed it in and we got going again.

The trail is paved through Koroit, and then returns to crushed limestone again. About 10 km from Warrnambool, we intersected a paved road ... and decided to take the road back to Warrnambool. We had had enough of gravel. That last 10 km was much quicker, and we arrived back at our caravan park in time to freshen up a bit and then cycle into town to one of the Mexican restaurants for dinner.


On Monday we decided to go the other direction and check out a tourist attraction which we've seen from a distance before and was recommended to us again this time ... Allansford Cheese World: Allansford Cheese World - Warrnambool Our impression was a bit different from reality. Somehow I envisioned a whole lot more cheese ... or perhaps a variety of dairy products. Unfortunately the place has seen better days and was more or less a run-of-the-mill cafe and gift shop.

However, we ended up spending a bit of time there because Rowan flatted again, and this time it was because of the size of that tube, we suspect. He patched it, but because we didn't feel entirely comfortable with how well it was going to hold up, plus because time was getting on, we decided to return to Warrnambool via the Hopkins Training Route ... a cycling route so popular it is actually signed.

Back in Warrnambool we went to a different Mexican place for dinner ... which, incidentally, I've just discovered, has recently opened in Hobart too!! Then we cycled around town a bit in the evening because it was so nice out. 51 km in total. And actually Rowan had cycled a couple extra kilometres getting some supplies in the morning.
post edited on 3/16/2016 at 12:07:52 AM

 Machka member offline
Lifetime: 56,991 mi
Member No. 1789
Member since: Mar 2004
Home: State: Tasmania, Australia 
Thorn Club Tour
Touring Road bike
Audax Australia - Victoria
posted 3/16/2016
at 12:03:07 AM
post #19 viewed 543 times
Tuesday was our last day so we did a short ride out to a bicycle shop, which didn't have much of interest, and then to the beach, and finally for fish and chips. 13.75 km in total. We packed the Bike Fridays back into the suitcases, and the process only took 1 hour!

Then it was a taxi back to the train station, where we were able to check our bags in, and then we were free to walk around town until the train arrived. The train was delayed half an hour because of some difficulties with one of the carriages, but fortunately, we had a train all the way back to Melbourne, and it was a lovely trip. Very comfortable and relaxing ... we do like trains. I even saw a kangaroo hopping along the track. I was hoping to see one. Tasmania has lots of different "hoppies" but no kangaroos. The biggest here is a wallaby.

We arrived in Melbourne quite late, but had a hotel right next to the station. We weren't sure what it would be like, but it turned out to be quite nice.

This morning, we were able to put our baggage into storage while we roamed Melbourne for a few hours on foot. Breakfast by the Yarra River. Exploring Federation Square. Checking out the shops along the Bourke Street Mall: Bourke Street. Listening to street performers, including a talented concert pianist.

Back at the hotel, we collected our bags, and walked up to Southern Cross station to catch the Sky Bus back to the Airport ... and from there, it was a quick hop over to Tasmania. Home again.


Six days of no driving, but a whole bunch of other methods of transportation, including 194.47 km of cycling + 11.5 km of walking. And 4 of those days were just cycling and walking.

We were very pleased with the comfort of our Bike Fridays, and the convenience of being able to pack them into ordinary suitcases.



Just a few photos so far, but there will be more:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/machka-bb/sets/72157623312198466/page5
https://www.flickr.com/photos/machka-bb/albums/72157623312198466/page6

... the last few on that page, but the other photos in that album are from previous trips to that area.
post edited on 3/16/2016 at 12:10:29 AM

 Machka member offline
Lifetime: 56,991 mi
Member No. 1789
Member since: Mar 2004
Home: State: Tasmania, Australia 
Thorn Club Tour
Touring Road bike
Audax Australia - Victoria
posted 3/16/2016
at 12:04:48 AM
post #20 viewed 542 times
February 27/28


I really didn't know what to expect.

The websites about Maria Island don't provide much in the way of photographs and even the online cycling map isn't very detailed ( www.parks.tas.gov.au/indeX.aspX?base=7592 ).

However, I did know a few things:
-- Maria is pronounced like the singer some of you might remember, Mariah Carey.

-- Maria Island has one pay campground with an amenities block near where the ferry docks, and two free campgrounds elsewhere on the island. It also has converted the old Penitentiary (we are in Tasmania here, old penitentiaries are plentiful) into accommodations which turned out to be full this weekend ... so therefore we were camping. But that was an excellent option.

-- Maria Island does not have a shop or cafe of any sort on the island, so we had to bring everything we wanted with us.

-- Maria Island has a pack out policy, so we had to carry all our rubbish off the island with us.

-- Maria Island is a National Park and requires a park pass.

-- Maria Island's most popular feature is the Painted Cliffs. Type: 'Maria Island Painted Cliffs' into Google, and you'll see what I mean. There are heaps of photos.

-- Maria Island does not allow motor vehicles. There are a few motor vehicles on the island (we saw a tractor and a couple utes) belonging to the Parks and Wildlife Service for their use, but that is it. People get around the island by walking or cycling.


So I didn't expect:
-- the size of the mountain on the north island. Somehow I had imagined the island to be flatter than that. I should have know, we are in Tasmania here! It was spectacular!

-- the views. Being as I had imagined more flatness, I didn't imagine the mountain scenery, the cliffs, the roaring waves ...

-- the wildlife. Somehow I not only imagined a relatively flat island, I also imagined one devoid of wildlife. But if you want to go somewhere in Tasmania and see wildlife, overnight on Maria Island! In the evening, our tent was surrounded by pademelons, wallabies, a wombat, possums (who attempted an exploration of my panniers in the middle of the night ... but I thwarted them), green parrots, Cape Barren geese and Tasmanian native hens. I'm pretty sure we also caught a glimpse of a Tasmanian devil in the camp kitchen. I've never seen so many different Australian animals all in one place.

-- the roads. I knew they'd be gravel, but somehow I didn't expect them to be quite so heavy going. However, the east coast of Tasmania has had a lot of rain recently, so we suspect there has been some washing away, and perhaps they aren't quite as good as usual. I imagined we would cycle the whole island with no difficulty at all on Sunday. It's about 20 km down to the south end, so a 40 km round trip. Plus maybe a side trip or two to add up to about 50 km. Even going slowish and stopping to take photos, I figured 4 hours tops.
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