First day of six-day Cycle, Kayak, and Walk Tassie tour by Tasmanian Expeditions featured a 45-kilometer ride from Fingal to Four Mile Creek on the east coast between St Marys and Bicheno. There were six of us — two Aussie sisters and a friend on their annual adventure holiday and a couple from the Washington, DC area and me — and two quite capable, experienced guides.

I was relieved to find early on that most everyone else on the tour was just as unsure as was I about individual ability to handle the day’s long ride since most of us had long been out of regular bike routines. But in addition to the psychological help that comes from knowing that the tour is van supported, we took basic precautions (helmets, safety vests, route briefings, van transport through one area deemed too risky to bike, etc.) and had short breaks every 10-12km or so. 

It helped, too, that lunch in rustic and picturesque St.Marys featured a spread of cold cuts, good cheese, fresh veggies, and fresh bread from a nearby bakery. And we were informed early on that the day’s stopping point was to be Iron House Brewing on the coast, which was about the best incentive ever to keep pedaling.

The ride featured drastically changing landscapes between the farms and sheep herds of the interior region and the wide beaches along the Tasman Sea. The highlight was rounding a bend where the scrub tree landscape opened to reveal the beautiful coast with breaking waves just 100 meters to our left. My legs had just started to burn a few kilometers before that point, but the scene provided a second wind. 

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