Ride with Phil

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Posted on: 26th February 2015

Tassie Cycling

Ride with Phil Hobart Report

It has been a busy couple of weeks, but the weekend I spent in Hobart was a relaxing break from it all. 

The wonderful Henry Jones Art Hotel provided our accommodation for the weekend, where the old and new are blended in the heritage listed IXL Jam building to lavish results. 

We began on Friday afternoon with a little 50km roll along the Coal River Valley. While this was to be the flattest of our rides, there was still the odd remark made about the “undulations”. There is no escaping the odd incline down here! 

With a welcome ride under our belts, our next chore was a degustation dinner with matched wines at Ethos Eat Drink. Everyone was impressed with the dishes, which continued to roll out into the evening and delighted the taste buds every time with flavours made almost entirely from local ingredients. Delicious! With a bit of a glow, we strolled back to the hotel with Mt Wellington on our minds, the challenge for Saturday.

An early start and fantastic weather met us in the morning as we departed the waterfront (sea level!) in two groups to take on the 1270m climb of Mt Wellington. I’m told it can be hit-and-miss with the cloud cover up there but we weren’t disappointed, with clear blue skies and spectacular views across Hobart and southern Tasmania. Forget Beach Road—this is real riding at your doorstep!

Everyone made it to the summit successfully, but most opted for the leisurely option of returning straight to our hotel for some recuperation before the afternoon activities. Russell might have taken the KOM title, but only David was hard enough to take on any extra kilometres, adding a loop to the south to his account for the day before joining the rest of the group in Hobart.

In a day of contrasts, we traded the lycra and wheels for Moo Brews and a ferry, and headed to MONA, the Museum of Old and New Art, in the afternoon. For anyone who hasn’t visited this museum since it opened a few years ago, it’s a pretty interesting experience. The current exhibition, a juxtaposition of contemporary art and Egyptian antiques, isn’t always everyone’s cup of tea, but the building and grounds provide the setting for a fantastic stroll and, once again, opportunities to imbibe more Moo Brews! 

To finish the weekend, Sunday greeted us with more good weather as we headed south to do a loop around the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and Huon Valley. Five of us left directly from the hotel, while the remainder decided to take a bit of a head-start with a lift in the mini-bus to Woodbridge. While the plan was for the first group to catch up to the second before ride’s end, the “slower” group failed to live up to its name, waiting in Cygnet, iced coffee and pastry in hand, for the struggling fast group.

To top off a great weekend, we piled into the mini bus to take a quick shower in Huonville before sitting down to some well-deserved and tasty ciders at Willie Smith’s Apple Shed, just up the road. And it was just in time as the sky morphed from pale blue to deep purple, lit up sporadically by a brilliant lightening storm that burned over the horizon while we gazed in repose from our shelter. What a way to finish off!

I can’t wait for our next visit south! 

Written by Phil Anderson

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