Tuesday, September 4, 2012

We are the Champions…of the Driveway.

After a 10 day long bikeless visit from my in-laws, Ginger and I were eager to return to cycling. When people visit us in Tasmania, inevitably there is a lot of walking up stairs and inclines; this holiday was no exception. We scaled 'The Nut' at Stanley…

When it's already called 'The Nut', innuendo becomes redundant.
View from the top. The Zig-Zag path ascends in only a little over 400m so it's rather steep.
Those ascending tend to share a facial expression,
one of 'Abandon hope, all ye who nut.'
Those descending are generally contemplating arthroplasty.
The casual stance of this man is a LIE.

…strolled leisurely down the many mossy steps to the bottom of Guide Falls…

Grey zip-up Hoodie - $39.95 Grey Cardigan - $29.95
Bland Catalogue Posers with Nature's Majesty - Free to a bad home.

…trotted up and down viewing platforms and generally spent time repeatedly navigating the torturous entrances to our abode. Sometimes it felt like exercise but other times it didn't and in between bouts of walking we ate ourselves sick enjoying all the benefits of a burgeoning culinary tourism industry. (Watching Ginger eat Belgian waffles for breakfast at the House of Anvers Chocolate Factory sent me into paroxysms of Gluten Jealousy.) Unfortunately, I was struck down with a sinus infection just before the major walking and spent the day being very dizzy on the sofa instead of visiting Cradle Mountain. Consequently, I wasn't feeling healthy let alone any fitter over the week and was genuinely surprised to discover last Saturday that I could do this:

Usually, I require assistance at this point.

Triumphant and Fat-bottomed about to crest the summit.
Granted, the Jenny is the lightest of my two steel upright bicycles but it's still heavy and I hadn't even attempted to get it up the driveway since my initial failure just after we moved in. As usual, these photos don't do the driveway justice - it's such that Ginger cannot walk down it when he's wearing clipless cycling shoes. He has to carry them down and put them on at the bottom. Taking the bins out is an extreme sport. It's the kind of slope that whispers temptingly every time you roll a bicycle out to the top, "I bet riding down here would be fuuuuun…until you broke your pelvis." Walking our bikes to the bottom often makes the brakes squeak with effort. I was pleased with my calf muscles for propelling the Schwinn post-ride but also mystified as to their sudden strength. I've since decided to credit infrequent road bike bouts on the bike trainer over winter. Now that Spring has arrived, I'm looking forward to a lot more bicycling outside of my lounge room.

And even more ludicrous poses insulting to the natural beauty of the landscape.


  1. That looks exactly the sort of driveway that I would anticipate in Tassie, but, if really true to form, I expect you have breathtaking views. The amazing scenery over there is one day going to get me over my 'incline disinclination' long enough to tour for a few weeks.

    So lovely to have found your blog. Could I ask, have you become less fond of the Pashley now that you're living somewhere hillier?

    1. Believe it or not, our driveway is not the worst on our street - we actually live at the bottom of the hill responsible for that insane angle. You're right in that the scenery is worth it. At least I can get from my house to town with nary a peddle. (But a lot of brakes!)

      The poor Pashley is confined to the house unless Ginger is home to help me drag it up the driveway. As this house is temporary, my fondness for the Pashley has not diminished but been put on hold until we move to flatter ground. I still take it out for leisure rides in the next town (via ute) but as transport and cargo carrying go, I'm afraid the Pashley is on hiatus. Until then, I look forward to a flatter future of groceries in baskets :)