2020 has been a year like no other. We all know that, we have all been affected in various ways.
The sad reality of cancelling our Italian, French, Swiss cycle holiday in May plus our cycle tour of Taiwan hit home. The saddest part is knowing I won’t see one of my kids (Ben) for what literally could be years (as he lives in Switzerland).
I have always needed goals, and with two being removed, saddled with another reality check of Tony being made redundant after 25.5 loyal years with Caterpillar (and that was via Skype) new goals seemed difficult to find. We always knew that one day this would occur, but we had a plan…I would take 6 months off and we would travel. I never did factor in a global pandemic. The timing was a bit sucky.
My travel guide reading started to resemble the picture below….
My work had changed. I’d been pulled off my usual activities and was establishing and administering a grant program for business continuity. I was also assessing a sustainability grant and loan applications. Daily my job involved reading multiple stories of financial and personal distress particularly in the hospitality and tourism sector.
Much coffee was consumed…reminding me again of the cycle tours where it was cafe to cafe to cafe…..reminiscing of wonderful trips of years gone past.
We had never contemplated doing a cycle tour in Tasmania. Whilst the roads are superior to Europe we do not have the same cycling mentality/acceptance with our car drivers. Frankly they can be pretty scary here…and it only takes one careless driver to snuff your life out…in a split second.
As I sipped that coffee it hit me…no, not the car….but C19 presented a unique opportunity as there were no tourists (at that time). Our roads, in theory, should be quieter. Hopefully quieter would equate to safer.
Since that realisation, our borders have opened to most states of Australia, but not international tourists.
I also have not had one day off work on annual leave since last Christmas. There was one period where I worked 7 days a week for over a month, under a lot of pressure. It has been a tougher work year and a bit of time off would be good for the mind, body and soul.
So we started mapping and came up with a plan.
This route is just over 2100 km. Far too much climbing, and some gravel sections. But this is touring and we will chillax as much as possible, trying to get on the roads a bit earlier (as most places here do not provide breakfast options like Europe) to try to minimise traffic as much as possible.
Our first port of call is Low Head. Other overnight stops include Gladstone, St Helens, Swansea, Orford, Port Arthur, Acton Park, New Norfolk, Strathgordon, Mt Field NP, Lake St Clair NP, Strahan, Corinna, Waratah, Cradle Mt NP, Deloraine, Poatina, maybe Deloraine again, then home.
I have certainly got a serious amount of km in my legs…41,000 km this calendar year…that is more than the worlds circumference. The legs are tired, having just finished a massive October raising $ for kids cancer charity. I rode in excess of 5,000 km, and raised $16,800. Full recovery won’t be possible before this tour starts, but we will be taking it easy. This ride is not about speed but safety and enjoyment.
Covid presented other opportunities this year including being the first female Zwifter, globally, to ride 100,000 km. That occurred in April. I am now at 129,500 km. In addition, this assisted me in becoming a Trek ambassador in Australia….so look for the opportunities in difficult times.
Door to door cycling has its advantages…no packing your bike up. We will roll out our driveway maybe 7 am ish…..this coming Saturday. Cycle touring is all about ‘ish’. So stay tuned for the latest adventures.