Friday, 11 May 2007

Getting Serious: Day 1, Stage 1, Hobart-Sorell (Option 1)

Preparing the route details, and with the idea that Circumcyclogation should hug as much coast as possible with as little doubling back as possible, this starting leg serves as a shakedown run and provides a picturesque start to the great adventure. Beautiful views of the Derwent, no serious hills and a fair smattering of quiet backroads will provide much to talk about over the first coffee of the journey, at Sorell.

0km: The ride will start at Rugby Park, in the leafy Hobart suburb of Lutana, heading along Queens Walk to the Intercity Cycleway and Tasman Bridge. The cycleway follows the railway line down to the river bank and the bridge. Taking the upriver path of the bridge allows cycling all the way, as the downriver path is only accessible by stairs.

4.3km: Across the bridge, in Montagu Bay, the route passes under the bridge, left opposite the primary school, then right, all the way up Riawena Rd: the first good leg test at 50m elevation. Just over the hill, turn right onto Bastick St, then left through Rosny College and around Kangaroo Bay to the Bellerive Yachtclub and shops.

6.8km: After crossing at the lights outside the Yacht Club, ride a short distance to Percy St, turn left, right onto Scott St, then left onto Queen St. This leads to bellerive Beach and Rotary Park: a popular and beatiful beach and reserve behind Bellerive Oval. From here the route takes the short cycleway between the car park and Alexandra Esplanade.

8.1km: Follow Alexandra Esplanade to Wentworth St, then turn right into Clarence High School. (Only traverse the High School on weekends or school holidays, on weekdays, proceed up Wentworth St to Clarence St and head directly to Shoreline Shopping Centre.) Riding down the right side of the high school, cross the lawns at the end of the school carpark to the rear student entrance on Silwood Ave.

9.2km: At the far end of Silwood is another stretch of cycleway, through Wentworth Park, behind Howrah Beach. Bellerive and Howrah are very popular suburbs because of these public parks behind the main beaches. At the end of the cycleway, the route emerges onto Howrah Rd, turning left, then proceeding to Clarence St, where we turn right to head to Rokeby via another cycleway.

11.4km: At the end of Clarence St, the road is closed off to the South Arm Hwy, but connects with the Rokeby Cycleway. This runs parallel to South Arm Rd to just short of the Garden Centre, turning right into a right-of-way up to Buckingham Drv, the highest peak on this leg at just shy of 100m elevation. Turn left and follow Buckingham Drv to its junction with South Arm Rd and turn right onto the cycleway which leads to Rokeby.

13km: Following the cycleway, the route soon connects with Grange Rd West at the Rokeby fire station. Follow the road down to the first exit to South Arm Rd, cross (carefully!) to Grange Rd east, then ride to the end of the parallel section and cross onto the left side of South Arm Rd. Follow South Arm Rd past the Rokeby Police Academy to Acton Rd, on the outskirts of Lauderdale.

18.2km: Turning left onto Acton Rd, the route approches the halfway mark for this leg. Follow Acton Rd to Axiom Way. Turn right here and follow Axiom Way to Seven Mile Beach Rd, turn right here and follow Seven Mile Beach Rd into the town of Seven Mile Beach, via Esplande and Lewis Ave.

25.1km: Seven Mile Beach was once proposed as Tasmania's first nudist beach, and while its more remote end was used for this purpose, it was never officailly recognised as a nudist beach and nudism is illegal in Tasmania. (With our weather, so it should be!) Turn right from Lewis Ave onto Surf Rd, then follow Surf Rd to Pittwater Rd. Turn left onto Pittwater Rd, proceeding to the Tasman Hwy.

31.8km: Turn left onto the Tasman Hwy (A3) and follow this road across the causeway to Midway Point. Be careful at the roundabout as Midway Point is a busy satellite suburb of Hobart and many cars will turn off to the left here. Still following the highway, head over the second causeway to Main Rd, Sorell, turning right onto Forcett St.

38.2km: Follow Forcett St to Parsonage Pl, which runs adjacent to the park which used to be rail yards many, many years ago. At the end of Parsonage Way is Sorell's CBD, a coffee with croissant and the Arthur Hway (A9), the start of the next leg of this great adventure! 38.9km, approximately 2 hours riding.

Coming Soon: Day 1, Stage 1, Hobart-Sorell (Option 2 via Grasstree Hill) and Day 1, Stage 2, Sorell-Dunalley via Lewisham, Carlton Beach and Connellys Marsh.

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