Iconic road-bike descent on a Brompton

Isn’t the idea of a “bucket list” the greatest con since the Grace Brothers came up with Christmas! My punishment for never remembering to take a novel when I get on a plane, is I find myself reading inflight magazines and lists of 101 things I “must do” before I die. Funny, how all of them cost a few hundred dollars at least. By the time the seat belt signs are turned off, I’m ready to kill the next goose who tells me their ridiculous spending habits are all because of some list in their head.

May I suggest though, that it’s okay to have a few hankerings? Before I moved to Tasmania, I googled “cycling in Tasmania” and found the following clip. Fast forward to 3:40, to the section that gave me a hankering to descend on a bike into Queenstown, in the West of Tasmania.

Though I’m sure our Manchester boy Dave never saw a cent from Tas Tourism, he was my inspiration to pack the family all off in a car and head to Queenstown this week. I was good. I only packed the Brompton, not the road bike, so we could park the car and do family things without me having to stay behind guarding my racing bike on the roof racks.

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I was very good actually. I constructed a ruse. I booked the whole fam on a 5 hour fun trip on the Tasmanian Wilderness Railway. Luckily, it was the hottest day of the year and the generator for the air conditioning broke on the train, leading to scenes of dozens of families almost dying of heatstroke and asphyxiation because the train has been fitted with windows that cannot be opened. I was the only one with the nous to lodge a written complaint. People: that’s how you get refunds when things you have paid for turn out to be crap.

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So not only was I good, but karma repaid me. I got to fulfil my hankering to ride a bike back down into Queenstown—something Dave there told me was grous—and I got to do it without spending time away from the kids during their holidays, and best of all, I got to do it without paying for Western Tasmania’s “bucket-list” “must-do” “once in a lifetime” “worth dying  poor for” experience.

If only the money they were pouring into toy trains were spent on a real train connecting Western Tasmania. The historic rail route could be turned into a trail that my family could get to using the real train, taking our bikes.

About Steven

I'm on a mission to put cycling on the agendas of architects, urban designers and fellow academics, who see the potential for bicycles to change cities and buildings. My PhD is in architectural history and my interdisciplinary research spans art theory, philosophy and cultural studies. I teach architectural history and theory and design studio at The University of Tasmania, Australia, and formerly worked as an architect designing large public housing projects in Singapore. My favourite bikes are a titanium racing bike I use for racing, a Velorbis retro commuter for riding to cafes and work, a single speed ultra light Brompton that I take with me when I travel on planes, a 29er hard tail mountain bike that I get lost on in remote places, an old track bike that scares me, a 1984 Colnago Super with all original campagnolo components that is plugged into a virtual realm that I train in, and a Dutch-made Bakfiets, that could easily replace half of the bikes I just mentioned.
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One Response to Iconic road-bike descent on a Brompton

  1. Have you seen the passenger train sitting forlornly at Burnie Station?It’s just waiting for someone with a ‘bucket’ of money to spiff it up and carry passengers along the north coast line. Even better, how about a service from Devonport to Hobart?Tourists only,of course as I doubt those car loving northern Taswegians would fall for it.

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