Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Scody Tour of Tasmania (With bicycle theft.)

Last weekend provided a treat for both North West Tasmanian bicycle enthusiasts and those enthusiastic about stealing bicycles. The 2012 Scody Tour of Tasmania ran from Hobart upwards including climbs up Mt Wellington, being thwarted by unusually wild winds and snow near Launceston and finally last Thursday it reached the north coast, colliding with the good citizens of Devonport. It was here that Queensland Gold-coast based outfit, 'Team Downunder' had two competition bicycles stolen after leaving them locked in their trailer overnight, amounting to a loss of about AU$26,000 and ending with one rider completely pulling out of the tour. As the news coverage suggested, it will be a hard task for the culprit to either ride or sell such equipment within Tasmania. Despite the presence of tours and roadies, being a bicycle backwater means there's not many $9000 Avanti Quantums with $1700 Garmon computers and $2500 wheels cruising the streets of the North West coast or indeed the state.

Tasmanian cyclist Ben Grenda lines up.
(He won the Burnie stage!)

Those unaffected continued across to Burnie on Saturday via Ulverstone on Friday, doing a 30 lap criterion around an 800m circuit of Burnie CBD before setting off back to Devonport for the big finish. Plebs who fancied cycling on the closed roads could pay $99 for the privilege and tag along as part of the 'Tour de Burnie Corporate Ride', like the annoying little brother of the main tour. On Saturday, Ginger walked into town to view proceedings, wondering why they had elected to set up the presentation podium outside the ugliest building in Burnie rather than the beach directly in front of said ugly building. He said there were about 100 people spectating and he phone-captured the general malaise for posterity. To be fair, the weather had taken a turn for the dour despite being Spring.

Clouds roll in by the beach.
Starting positions.
Rub and tug by the beach.
Praties is a fast food shop that sells baked potatoes with your choice of toppings.
The embarrassing Burnie clipart logo.
The ugliest building in Burnie.

Later, I dragged my fat bottom out of bed and we walked to a bottle-neck on Bass Highway outside one of our favourite caf├ęs and stood waiting for three minutes until I managed to take four entire pictures of the tour as it left town. With a hit rate of 1 passable picture to 3 terrible pictures, I felt satisfied with my work and walked the 10 metres inside to buy an iced coffee and some macarons. Bicycle spectating is hard work.

An insult to bicycle race photography.

(Ginger's camera work.)

1 comment:

  1. What an awful shame for the Team Downunder cyclist who had to pull out. Especially as he'd probably already cycled up Mt Wellington (can't type that without shaking my head in bewilderment that someone would do that voluntarily!!).

    I think you did rather well with your 'motion' shot. I need any subject to stand still for at least 2 minutes whilst I fiddle with buttons, scratch my head and mumble a lot under my breath.