THE

Great
tasmanian
Oyster
Tour

2017

 

DAY 1   DAY 2   DAY 3   DAY 4   DAY 5  
BONUS ROUND   TRANSFER

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PRELUDE


Between laziness and other, seemingly more-important, responsibilities; we start by acknowledging that this has taken far too long to pull together. This write-up acting as a snapshot into the week abroad.

Something that had begun as an idea thrown around almost a year ago, to which was over in the days before the ’17 Christmas burn. We had decided to ride from Devonport to Hobart over 5 days, via a somewhat soul-breaking route, all to sample some sweet nectar of the Tasman Ocean. Some of us had never been to Tassie, let alone sucked down an oyster. This was to be somewhat of a performance analysis and a study of possible future capabilities amongst the team and beyond.

Thus begun The Great Tasmanian Oyster Tour.

701kms. 9700m.

In the lead up, one of the chosen few had had their fate sealed by the likes of a ‘large range rover’, which ended Yung Ming’s chances of seeing @deancycle actually make a ride. Another, had decided to take one for the team and extend his knowledge of the foundations that the GPCP is built upon.

Two weeks out. Two down. Seven remain.

With no-one willing to fill the enormous hole left in the group, it was time to move forward.
 
 
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After settling into our cosy cabins onboard the SOT, and eye-ing off the Banditos, we started with 4x* Boags XXX Ale’s back to back (much to Jonesys’ displeasure) while mesmerised by the sunset across Port Phillip Bay. Considering the week gone, and the week ahead, it wasn’t long until we were all getting rocked to sleep.

*give or take

 
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DAY 1

Devo to Launey

 
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Day 1 started with the rudest awakening from a man who had entered all our dreams a little too easily. The intercom was telling us to wake up and get off the ship. After lingering in the corridors (like something out of Titanic) waiting for @deancycle to pack his belongings  (minus shoes), we scuttled and then rolled into the nearest truck stock for breakfast (Big Breakfasts’).

From there it was a blur of water sprinklers and Instagram photoshoots, until we hit the Bowens Road climb over to Beaconsfield. Some were dishing out KOM efforts in the newly found gravel, while some were in the midst of realising they had brought the wrong gearing (or bike). All worth it for some Valhalla Lavender Ice-cream from the endlessly sinking town of Beaconsfield.

Post ice-cream TT-efforts (#aerotouring) were plentiful on the last leg into Launceston. Although, Jonesy lacking behind due to the aerodynamic difficulties (Ryans’ thongs) on the front of his handlebars. Upon arrival, post sleeping arrangement discussions, we ventured off to the Saint-John Craft Beer Bar from Beers and Burgers — Slides mandatory.

 
 
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DAY 2

MT SOUL-DESTROYER &
the infamous JACOBS LADDER

 
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Is a good way to start a big day of climbing in the Tasmanian Alps, to get lost in the first 5kms? Probably.
After what seemed like 200kms of up, we made it to the start of the Mt Barrow road (30kms in), somewhat unaware of how incredible this climb was going to be through the forest, to the exposed moon-scape switchbacks. Ascent times doubled as we stopped, shot after shot.

Brent was a little too ambitious with the whip-skids on the -20% descent, loosing his footing and coming off second best to the coarse dirty gravel. Minor cuts and grazers brushed aside, we moved onto the trek across to Ben Lomond.

Some were starting to show signs of a steady fade, due to too many KOM efforts and lack of hydration. Mid way up Jacobs Ladder it was decided that half the pack would go on to the top in search of glory (water — severely dehydrated), while the other half would seek refuge amongst the trees. After a gruelling slog to the top of the Ladder, and a vigorous search, we found some alpine river water flowing from the heavens.

The little beast that Howard is made it to the top, unscathed, until the descent where he stacked while travelling a mere 150kms/hr. Post horrible screams of death, with miraculously only a slight scratch to his cameras lens cap, he got back up, turned into a steam train and managed to pull us all home.

It was quite the range of emotions when we arrived back at the hotel with news of the $28 ‘Large Parma’ not being available after 730pm as DINNER FINISHED AT 730PM. Nevertheless, we continued to the nearest Italian restaurant and ordered a total of 14 main meals to replenish the millions of calories lost that day.

 
 
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DAY 3

FRAUDULENT RECOVERY RIDE

 
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It was a Monday morning. The mood was quite somber. Boston Bunz were being consumed at a much slower pace. A feeling of accomplishment from the day gone, mixed with pure discomfort as our back-sides settled back on the bikes. Progress was slow out of Launceston towards the hills, past the dreaded turn-off for Jacobs Ladder as we ventured into Upper Blessington via Guns Road — AKA, Pure Fucking Gravel.  

By the time we arrived in Fingal, some (if not all) of us were dishevelled. Total mess. We consumed all we could in the short time we had, including copious amounts of Ibuprofen, before Route-Master Cam hurried us along. 120kms down — 40kms until we hit the beach, the haven that was the White Sands Resort & Ironhouse Brewery.

Due to our tardiness, we were once again struck by the ‘Dinner finishes at 730’ line. So instead of getting soggy in the pool, we scrubbed up and headed for Oysters and Beer on what was Rhino’s Birthday. 

 
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DAY 4

PURE F**KING BLISS TO THE TRIABUNNA PUB

 
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Our accommodation was good enough to throw us a bone in the desolate east coast of Tasmania, and provide the GPG crew with a lavish breakfast full of heart stopping goodness. We then continued to watch Jonesy pump his slow leak for the 19th time that week.

It was now time to say goodbye to the man himself, Howard Chiu. The resident Psychologist was off to further develop his skills in financial therapy interstate and abroad, for when we needed it most. Not before, almost missing his bus and having to wave it down in the middle of the highway though. Farewell Yung-Howie.

Once again being fuelled by Ibuprofen and Bakery treats, the 100km — tailwind infused — Boston Bun XXPress to Triabunna for their ‘Famous killer house made Parmigiana’, was nothing short of ‘slower than it should have been’. Even with a tailwind, we weren’t setting any records down the old Tasman Hwy.

Stopping by a local watering hole (Frecinet Bay), we dipped our toes and replenished our souls, ready for the holy grail at the Famous Triabunna pub.

 
 
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DAY 5

HOT BOYS OF RICHMOND

 
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The final day — We said our goodbyes to Greg and Marge, and rode South-West towards Hobart. We discovered more hills in our way, one by the name of ‘Break-Me-neck’ (or ‘Bust-Me-Gall’ if your coming from the west side) which offered a nice gradient in the realm of 8kmph up, 80kmph down.

Blistering heat from above made our stop by the ‘Famous for it’s Bridge’ town of Richmond all the more worth it. We basked in the shade, with bakery goods in hand, and reminisced on our time spent riding these incredible roads, amongst (mostly) ‘a-meter-matters’ drivers — All except for the Hobart CBD.

Finally in Hobart, like something out of Full House we hiked up the hills, into our GPG AirBNB Headquarters.

 
 
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BONUS ROUND

WELLO & MONa

 
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Fueled by Choccy® milk and Red Bull (gives you wings™), the plan was to take the KOM off Nathan Earle up Mt Wellington and relish in our efforts amongst the weird and wonderful on David Walsh’s public estate.

Things didn’t quite go to plan. Most falling well above the hour mark. Nevertheless, we moved forward.

Almost draining The Source of any remaining oysters, we then accompanied Jonesy on his trip to MONA.

 
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JONESY GOES TO MONA

DAY 7 + 8

TRANSFER

 

Time to pack up, and ship out.

One last dash with death through the Hobart CBD, for some Flippers Gormét Potatø Cakés — carpeted with chicken salt — and then into our mini vans for the trek back to Devonport > SOT > Melbourne. Via Golly’s of-course, for some 1970's racism.

The lure of the Boags XX-Ale aboard the SOT proving too strong, for some going above their usual tolerances with @deancycles’ ‘high pitch laughter’ ensuing. 

Upon return to the Motherland, we couldn’t resist a visit to our inherent sponsor for one last hit before calling it, and crashing into an endless slumber.

 
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