Travel by Bicycle

Maps are coming

Overlooking Spain Bay, Tasmania. But just where is it? And what’s the range of hills in the background called….

It’s confusing as hell. First, no one knows (including me for my first 30-something years) where Tasmania is. But Spain Bay, Tasmania? Forget about it…

Until now.

Yep, maps have been added to RiverEarth.com. So soon you’ll be able to find out just where those freaky looking lobsters were caught. Or where the guy with the kangaroo bullwhip collection lives. Or,… Continue reading

Tasmanian Crayfish

By now you know the drill. My attempt to ride a mule around Tasmania failed because, well, mule are near impossible to find here. Still, the ten dollar-bike I ended up taking off on has served me near as well as an equine companion. Better, in fact, I’d argue, when it come to meeting crayfish.

Last time I wrote, I mention how I landed a berth on the crayfish boat “Miss Carmen”. On it, I ended up going to sea… Continue reading

Going to Sea

Damn Skippy! The Plan’s not going as planned. The original hope had been to ride a mule across Tasmania. Silly me. I never bothered checking whether or not Tasmania had mules before I showed up.

Bugger. They didn’t. Seems Tassie’s a Mule Free Zone. But it’s not bike free. Which is exactly what I bought at the junk store. And just hit the road with that.

So last week I’m standing on the Southport dock talking with a fellow called… Continue reading

Meet the Ashlands

Meet the Ashlands: Yee haa! Nothing finer on spring day in Tasmania than an oar, a crayfish pot and a parked boat. If you think kids these days are all hooked on cell phones and internet, you haven’t met Melissa and Judd Ashland’s family. They’re keen!

Slowly, I’m coming to grips with the notion that I may be touring Tasmania by bike and boat instead of horse, as I’d hoped. Like Mick Jagger sang, you don’t always get what you… Continue reading

South East Cape – The Farthest South You Can Go In Tasmania

South East Cape, Tasmania

Recently, to get a better sense of what Tasmania’s southern coast looks like, I biked to Catamaran on the southern coast. There, I picketed my bike (you can tell I miss my mules because most people just refer to parking their bike) and hoofed it cross-country to the shore of the Southern Ocean.

WIthout getting all geographic on you, South East Cape is the the southern-most cape in Australia. Along with Cape Horn and the Cape… Continue reading

The Exploded Life of Tiny Orchids (Part 2)

Last time we spoke, my bike was spilling its guts across Deborah Wace’s doorstep deep in the Tasmanian bush. Deborah is an orchid expert. Luckily she and her husband Laurie are resourceful folks, used to making and mending what they just can’t run into town to buy.

Deborah Wace with one of her orchid prints

And so it went with my bike repair.

On a bike, the bottom bracket is the unit that helps the crank spin freely. On older… Continue reading

The Exploded Life of Tiny Orchids (Part 1)

I feel sorta like the tiny Tasmanian orchid. The plan was to tour Tasmania mounted high on a flashy charger. Women would pull nursing babes from their breasts, men would stop their road graders. Hell, folks would pull over to the side of the road just to look at me and say “wow, look at that guy!” Instead I ended up on a ten-dollar bike from the junk shop. And folks don’t stop their daily routine to admire me.

Razor the Amazer

Razor the Amazer and son Darcy: you’ll hear more from Razor in a minute (Southport, Tasmania)

My original plan to explore Tasmania ran along my ideas of freedom – visit the island under mainland Australia by mule. I couldn’t find one, ditto the horse, and found myself tackling the island state with a ten dollar junk shop bike. Not the flavor of freedom I was originally going for….

Because my bike can’t carry much weight, maybe twenty five pounds, I… Continue reading

Stan West Plays a Tune From Tasmania

A man never knows where he’ll find a horse to buy. In this, my third week of Tasmanian horse hunting, I visited the Cygnet History Museum on a whim. Like I said, you never know….

That’s where I met Stan Watts. Stan is a museum volunteer. And while he couldn’t put me onto a horse, he did offer to play me a tune on the museum’s harmonium.

Stan Watts seated at his organ

Built by Stan’s reckoning in the 1920s,… Continue reading

Postcard from Southport Tasmania

Call it a banner day. Not only was I able to enjoy a beer at Australia (and Tasmania’s) southernmost pub, I was able to send out some postcards – all from the same building. What makes these cards especially unique are they were posted from Tassie’s southernmost post office agency!

There’s no wrong place to write a postcard – or put down your beer glass for that matter….!

I know, I know, these cards should show up in your letter… Continue reading

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