Well our 2019 Gym Trip is well and truly underway, with cold and rainy conditions! The team made it to the west coast yesterday, after cycling for 3 days in torrential rain!
On the plus side, they get to see all the streams, waterfalls, and rivers with water in them, which is more than we can say for much of the mainland at the moment! They have toured through lush, breathtaking bushland and quaint, soggy villages and are having yet another EPIC Gym Trip experience!
They arrived in Hobart on Friday morning, stashed their bags and headed straight out again to spend some time hanging around the MONA – an underground art museum with a playful vibe & a wine bar on the Moorila Winery grounds. Sounds pretty spesh, right! They took a ferry there, so also got to appreciate some of the harbour and the famous River Derwent. Once they returned they got their rooms, and met Manfred, their guide for the next 10 days. He fitted them out on their hire bikes, and Chris averted a disaster by peddling to a friend’s house to borrow two helmuts… there wasn’t enough for everyone!! They then had dinner and got to know eachother before hitting the hay!
Day 1 of riding was wet and miserable, but it didn’t stop everyone getting on their bikes! They were charged up with fresh oysters and ready to ride! One by one, the conditions got on top of each rider, and they trickled in to the bus for relieve and a sheltered ride to their first stop! The most determined of the crew managed 25km in torrential, and i mean torrential rain, and about 4 degrees on the thermometer! Excellent effort peeps! We have some footage of Martin, our self-appointed videographer, riding from person to person checking on them, which was very encouraging!
Once everyone was sodden through, they did some lovely little hikes (that’s right, no hot shower yet!) and saw some beautiful waterfalls before they considered themselves done! The day ended with beer and stretches in front of the Rugby… which went better for some of the group than others!
Day 2 of Riding saw a miraculous break in the rain, and they started in somewhat dry conditions! It quickly changed, though, and the team managed 28km of nice undulating hills that were not difficult, except for the wind and rain. They an early lunch, and set out again, but only managed 16km. The torrential rain and high winds had returned with a vengeance; the last 10km was downhill and too dangerous in the conditions. Michele and Di had heat pads which they used on their hands as soon as they got off their bikes “before my fingers fell off”! They also managed three different bush walks in the afternoon to some more amazing waterfalls, and the lookout at Donaghys Hill to see the Franklin River. Chris spent years guiding rafts down the Franklin, and enjoyed getting nostalgic and seeing it again! It was a great day, despite the difficulties, and the team spent the night in Queenstown.
Day 3 of riding and the team managed 40km – 56km this time (depending on when the team member pulled up stumps and decided to get on the bus)! Yep, it was raining again. Michele comments that she “Had no idea that the weather on the west coast of Tassie was going to be this great 🙄”. We are laughing on the inside, Michele! The riding was amazing today, through the rainforest from Queenstown to Strahan. There was lots of speedy downhill options, and a well deserved afternoon tea in Strahan! You wouldn’t believe it, but the sun came out once they were in Strahan; they went walking, this time explored the history of this tiny little village!
They’re back on the road again today… can’t wait to find out whether or not it rained again!