Breathtaking scenery, hardly a car on the road, air like pure oxygen, no wire or glass on the road to cause your tires to go down, and no risk whatsoever of overheating in your winter woolies: enough to inspire a body to ride for six hours, which is what I did today.
As you will gather from many of these photos, my ride incorporated a race, but it needed’t have. The farmlands could as easily have been enjoyed on my retro balloon bike, with a tartan thermos of tea in a bottle cage. Road bikes are good though, for the sheer ground they cover. It is very satisfying seeing mountains up close that through the week you view from a distance, and knowing you crossed that valley yourself, in not much more than an hour.
It would be a little bit creepy if you noticed, without my pointing this out, but I have put on some weight since I was last racing. Alas, that was way back in May. 3 weeks gorging myself on French food, then all the hassle of moving house, means all my best trousers have had to be put to the back of the wardrobe, for now. They were bought and tailored for the 68kg me, not this 76kg thing I become each year after I go to Europe. But never mind. My addiction to endorphins has always given me little to worry about, when it comes to my other addiction to food.
I’m drifting off topic. I didn’t want to write about lycra’s cruel trick of letting tummies balloon without notifying the wearer. I want to write about Scottish immigration to Tasmania’s Northern midlands, giving this region a stoicism that I swear you can feel.
Theory: the popularity of bike racing in this part of the world, is a factor of it being cheap like a Scott, disciplined like a Scott, and kind of intolerant, like most Scotts I’ve known. I would be intolerant too, if I had cultivated Tasmania and managed to feed the world from it.