Every lane is a bike lane
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia - passionfruit capital of the universe!
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Day 24: I've found the worst dirt road in Tassie!
Started the morning with the 1km walk out of the campsite back to the end of the road, and set off to continue where I left off yesterday. The first 5km or so follows alongside the River Derwent as it starts it's long journey toward Hobart - mine would be a little longer. I rejoined the Lyell "Highway" and continued toward the east, in virtually no traffic with only a few gum trees for company.
About 30km or so into the ride I headed on the C173 - a virtually deserted dirt road which would provide an alternative route to the town of Ouse (pronounced "Ooze" - truly a name to conjure with!). The early part of this route was quite bearable as it headed past a couple of mountain lagoons, through the village of Dee (a collection of prefabricated houses).
Soon after this, there was a massive descent through some forested country. I took a slight detour to Victoria Valley falls. This turned out not to be worth the effort, as there was virtually no water flowing here at all. I returned to the road and continued the descent toward Ouse. As I got lower I noticed the corrugations from the North East had returned - also that the gravel here was considerably looser than it had been.
About 20km or so from Ouse the road was almost unrideable. In fact, there were stretches where I simply rode the ditch at the side of the road as it offered better traction than the road itself. The wind was picking up from the south-west, hardly making control of the bike any easier. 12km from Ouse I copped a particularly severe gust of wind, the back wheel (I think it was that one) spun out completely. I managed to get it back in time - overcorrecting dramatically on the other side.
Fortunately I had a touring load in place, it reduced the amount of the over correction and gave me time to re-correct the situation. Now I had it back on balance again. I paused and looked at my map - only another 5km of dirt road left - Woohoo! I negotiated it without any further scares, and wound my way through rolling hills into Ouse.
I freecamped that night in a secluded spot by the Ouse River. This was in the Derwent Valley - an area I'd heard described as "real redneck country". I noticed the woman working in the supermarket here didn't want to say anything to me. Not quite sure whether it was the lycra or the bike - and nor do I really care all that much to be honest.
"I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
"We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.