Luckily, the very strong winds announced yesterday for today stopped during the night. I woke up early in order to ride some mountain bike tracks with Mark in Meehan recreational area. I was really happy to see him and bike with him again! We rode more or less 20 km of pure flowy singletrack all along, with some challenging switchbacks uphill and downhill, some rocky sections and some berms. The course was really fantastic and I enjoyed it a lot, even with my tyres that were not quite suited for this kind of biking (1kg each, not very knobby nor large). We then had a drink together and then it was time to say goodbye. I really hope we will see each other again, either in Japan, or in Belgium, or somewhere else!
Afterwards it was time to go to Hobart itself in order to visit the city and to get some issues sorted. I found a bike shop that was kind enough to replace my bottom bracket and missing screw within a few hours, even if their workshop was very busy. On my side I cleaned all the transmission, checked the tension in the spokes and the tightening of all screws. The bike should be fit for another thousand kilometres!
I also bought some supplies for the next part of the journey and extended my pre-paid SIM card. I spent about two hours in the tourism office to prepare the following weeks of my trip.
The city itself seems really nice to live in, located between the estuary of Derwent River and the impressive Mount Wellington. The waterfront is beautiful, some old buildings of the early times of the city are preserved, such as the old IXL Jams factory, the warehouses at Salamanca Place, churches and the Parliament House. My favorite place in the city was Battery Point, an old maritime village with lovely lanes and 19th-century cottages. Sadly, most of the modern buildings in the CBD (central business district) are quite ugly. The life quality in the city seems pretty good: between 4 and 5 PM, the city gets empty and the CBD is like a ghost town after 6 PM! With so much outdoor leisure possibilities, no wonder that people leave their work early!
In the afternoon of my second day in the city, I climbed 2/3 of Mount Wellington (750m) to enjoy the views and mostly to bike the North-South Track. This 23 km long singletrack is said to be one of Hobart’s best riding. Indeed, the track was amazing and I had a lot of fun, even if I would have loved riding it with my Scott Spark instead ;-). I was again impressed by how well the track is designed: everything is made to please as well the intermediate biker as the advanced one, with many optional technical features. Sadly, I have no pictures of it to share with you since my phone strangely cut off (because of the rain?). But believe me, this is really a dream for mountain bike lovers!
All in all, I still biked 97 km during these two days, so I am not sure that they could really be called rest days 😏
Tomorrow, I will put the paniers back on the bike and ride south towards Bruny Island!