My introduction to mountain bikes
Fitting an 80cc bicycle motor kit
Bicycle motors are great
The Scots have a great sense of adventure and, after several “stubbies” (bottles of beer) on a Saturday night, Greg blurted out in his strong Glaswegian accent
“Right! These little motors are great. We need to take them for a trip round Tazzie”. Thinking it was a drunken joke, I agreed.
I got out of bed the following afternoon to find that Greg had already sorted out ferry tickets and our tour had suddenly become real.
The bicycle motor made the adventure
The tour starts
Big distance on a motorized bicycle
Heading for the ferry
Motorized bikes don't cure saddle sores
The mainland fades
On board the Spirit of Tasmania, I watched Port Melbourne shrink into the background as we crossed Port Philip Bay.
It was inspiring. My adventure had become real. I watched the turbulent wake from the stern of the ship for almost an hour as we passed from the Bay into the Bass Straight. That’s when things started to change.
The instant crack of thunder associated with the flash is the most deafening sound I have heard.
You would think that fear would have had me worried out of my wits but the storm itself was the least of my concerns. After only an hour or so out to sea, I had started feeling nauseous. Like most of the passengers, I was now feeling far to seasick to be worried by the dangers of the storm.
Oranges cure seasickness?
Proceeding to the ships bar, I knew I would find Greg there. He was the only one in the empty bar and was passing time chatting to the barman. Greg had joined the British navy to help fund his university degree. He could see that I was struggling with sea sickness and handed me an orange as the solution.
Wow!” I said “I didn’t know oranges cured seasickness” Greg responded “No, it won’t cure anything, but it will taste a whole lot better when it comes back up!”
I guess that’s why they are called Naval Oranges.
Motorized bicycle reality
We docked at Devonport early in the morning. I had had little sleep and was still feeling awful. Our adventure was in front of us though so I pushed my heavily laden bicycle off the ferry and persisted through the mizery.
Our adventure would now take us west across Tasmania. I had often fantasized of setting off on such an adventure of a lifetime but now my powered bicycle had turned my dream into a reality.
We rode into the center of Devenport and sat down at a cafe for a couple of hours to let my stomach settle and to let Greg fill up on breakfast. We talked for a long time before I felt human again and Greg opened up to me with some very personal things.
Greg has a great sense of humor and laughed about how he had found his fiancé in bed with his best friend the day before his wedding. It seemed like a strange thing to find funny but it was long in his past and his rye Scottish humor and the way he told the story had me splitting my sides with laughter.
Touring on a powered bike
Bicycle engines are inspiring
On the third morning of our bike journey across Tasmania, the temperature was dropping. We were close to a small town called Westbury, near to Pearns Steam World. Pearns had a large display of vintage tractors and other farm machinery which appeared to be the only commercial tourist attraction for miles.
I opened the covers of my tent and met two locals from Launceston who had been loading up a truck to head back into the mountains. They worked for a company that maintained the power lines in rural areas. With temperatures well below freezing in the hills, they were wrapped up so that only noses, eyes and mouths protruded. They were admiring our powered bicycles and believed that everyone and especially every cyclist, should have a list of dream destinations to visit. Our little bicycle engines had inspired them and they assured us that they were also going to motorize there rides.
They felt that the wild rugged landscape of Tasmania should be top of everyone’s bucket list. They advised us where to find crystal clear waters, mesmerizing beaches and unusual animals. They also assured us that the Tasmanian Tiger was still at large.
They told us which rain-forest to visit nearby and where to partake of some of the world’s top wines. Australia is is a massive country and Tasmania is the lushest, greenest and most fertile part of the continent that boasts so much variety you simply have to visit.
This page covers a lot of questions that I am regularly asked about travelling long trips on a motorized bicycle. I have tried to answer every aspect thoroughly.
If you are interested in bicycling tours, I would urge you to read my other articles.