Friday, May 17, 2013

Last of the Summer Whine.

I am not a hot weather human. It has taken moving as far away from the baking pavements of Perth as I possibly could without changing countries for me to view the sun as something I may occasionally enjoy rather than constantly fear. Unfortunately, Tasmania had a record breaking heat wave in January with Hobart sweating through 42 degree, bush-fire-filled days while I was down there. Fortunately for me, ordinarily I live in the magical weather bubble of the North West Coast where temperatures never exceed 30 degrees celsius nor drop far below zero. So once I was back in my bubble, I declared we should take advantage of the kinder, gentler summer and embark upon a lazy ride complete with copious refreshments, minor photography and incidental product review.

The 'incidental product review' was the Memories Bottle baskets.
They proved quite excellent.

Doing my part for Tasmanian population growth, I imported my immediate family from Perth in October 2012 and left them to ferment in the North coast splendor of Ulverstone. Once they were sufficiently boozy, I forced them to join me and Ginger on a summer ride to Le Mar café at Turners Beach. This was our first high summer in Tasmania and we made the trip on a deliciously temperate mid 20s day with barely a cloud in the sky. My Mother, Father and Brother all brought their bicycles with them from WA and had a history of two-wheeled transportation so I did not anticipate any problems. Cue problems.

It seems the family that rides together, gets a sore backside together. I forgot that it had been some years since my Mother had used her bicycle for daily transportation, she also had a wrist injury that day which made squeezing the brakes difficult. My Brother was primed having already explored the path alone. My Father approached it with the enthusiasm of an excitable Boy Scout, albeit a Boy Scout with an aged pension. Ginger and I drove our bikes (it always pains me to type that, we never had cause to in WA because of a more comprehensive infrastructure) to Ulverstone and were greeted by the cheerful sight of a rag-tag bunch of family cycles waiting in the sun.

After a fair measure of both dilly and dally about tyre pressure, helmets and attire I led the charge to the nearby path, freewheeling gleefully down to the Leven River. With a sea breeze blowing, the cloudless sky yielded perfection. My only complaint at that time was that my brimmed hat could not be worn. The sad little visor on my helmet did nothing to keep the sun off my face, I had to hope sunscreen was enough.

Green lingered in some fields, others were completely yellow.
Ginger's Classic Al by the River Forth.
Brother, bicycles.

The caravan parks on the way to the main path were full of caravans, a thing we had never before seen. Lots of families were camped right next to the beach, revelling in the hot sun. When the wind dropped, it was indeed hot. Not Perth hot, not 40+ record breaking hot but enough that you started wishing for the wind to return. I knew that when we stopped we'd actually have to cool down, something I had not needed to consider since we left WA. We arrived at Le Mar with minimal fuss and everybody ordered a cold drink and a hearty lunch. Anywhere with an all day breakfast is my kind of place and the pancake stack was monstrous, piled high with Tasmanian berries.

Father wears his helmet by the River Forth, dares the environment to give him a head injury.
Dry fields, fat bottoms, plenty of sun.

A quick stop at the public toilets near The Gables and then we set off for home. This is where saddle fatigue and sun caught up with us. Once you've passed it, it's very easy to forget the buttock adjustment period from the first couple of times you exceed a few kilometres. Even with a cushy seat (on bicycle and yourself!) the sitz bone will eventually have a say. And it will most likely say, "My ARSE!" Thus began an increasingly slow journey home with a rest stop at every bench along the path so that my Mother could take time off from her saddle and my Father (despite not being as sore or tired) could remind us that he was over 70 years old. Of course at every rest stop I became subject to the sun as the lack of movement and shade made me overly toasty. Ginger and Brother were given leave to go on ahead while I dutifully stayed behind, vowing to revise my acceptable maximum temperature to 22 degrees on cloudless days. Eventually the town was reached but the jolly air with which we'd set out was in danger of souring so I made a lone detour to the supermarket where I took full advantage of my new baskets and gathered afternoon tea supplies.

Pictured: Mood souring.
Solution: Food as reward.

A round of turkish delight flavoured cupcakes and a pot of tea soon had saddles a distant memory. My parents even declared they'd like to do the path again which just goes to prove that sugar cures everything.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there
    I write Id love to interview you for a book im writing. Please email me on
    Caz x