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Sure, I’d love it if you came to Hobart and booked a tour with Hobart Mountain Bike Tours and rode with us.  But maybe you prefer riding on paths and roads. Here are some tips to enjoying Hobart by bike.

Taking it easy.

30 min: < 5km You just want a nice easy ride to see some sites and strech your legs

Hobart is flanked by The Derwent river to the east and Mount Wellington to the west.  Unless you want to get wet or climb up big hills you should ride north south.

Heading North: From Hobart’s beautiful waterfront there is an great bike path that runs North towards the Tasman bridge.  This is an easy 30 minute return ride  with great views of the river.

Heading south the path is a bit harder to find but it goes around the water front, alongside Salamanca, past the CSIRO, through historic Battery Point.  Turn around before you go down Napoleon Street and head back for an easy 20 minute scenic ride.  ( How will you know which one is Napoleon Street?  Well, if you come to a crest and looking down gives you vertigo, STOP – you’ve found Napoleon Street. You could ride down here but I don’t recommend it because ONE:  if your on holiday chances are you’re on a rented or borrowed bike and your life will depend on how well the brakes have been serviced and TWO you will have to ride back up and at 25% its too steep for most people to ride back up )

Going a bit further, but still taking it easy

1 to 3 hours

The bike path from the water front path continues into the northern suburbs for roughly 20km. An out and back ride is pretty ambitious unless you are a regular rider who remembered to bring cycling shorts. Ride out as far as you feel comfortable before turning back but don’t forget to check the wind.  10km with a steady breeze at your back can whistle by in no time but turning around and riding 10km into a stiff sea breeze will seem like a gym session with a sadistic instructor with a hangover and a tax debt who just got dumped by his girl friend. One very nice option is to ride to MONA, ( about 15km ) have a drink in the gorgeous bar on the lawns and then catch the ferry back to Hobart ( DONT FORGET YOUR BIKE ).

I can ride a bit but Hobart’s hills are a bit daunting

2 hours + mostly flat

Follow the bike path south through Battery Point.  At the bottom of Napoleon ( be careful ) street cross a small foot bridge and continue on around the water front on Marieville Esplanade.  At the end of Marieville Esplanade turn left onto Sandy Bay Road and enjoy your ride.  Sandy Bay road turns into Channel Highway and continues for a long way.  Some good options for turning around are: Long Beach and Lower Sandy Bay shops ( 10km return ), Picnic Basket Cafe, Taroona ( 20km return), The Shot Tower ( 22km return ), Bonnet Hill ( 25km return ), Kingston Beach ( 30km return ). The Bonnet Hill and Kingston option include a medium climb averaging 5%.

I can ride a bit and I don’t mind a climb

3 – 4 hours The Commando route

There are several variations of the Commando route and they make a well worn route for the local road cycling fraternity.  The easiest variation of the comando is out of town up Cascade Road and past The Brewery.  Continue as Cascade Road turns into Strickland avenue.  Turn right at the end of Strickland Avenue  on Huon Road, past Ferntree into Neika.  The road crests at Neika at 500m altitude before zooming down the other side.  Take a very sharp left onto Lesley Vale road.  After 2 or 3km Lesley Vale road intesects the hUON hIGHWAY where you need to turn left.  If riding on the Huon Highway sounds a bit daunting it is, BE CAREFUL.  Follow the Huon highway into Kingston and turn left at the first set of traffic lights on the Channel Highway.  Follow the Channel highway all the way back into central Hobart. You’re a local now.

Most people i know think that Im crazy

Normal crazy – Ride Mount Wellington

Just follow the signs, 20km and 1300m up, then 20km and 1300km down. In Tour d’ France terms its a  Hors Catorgorie climb or in laymen’s terms, its going to hurt, a lot!  Be careful of hypothermia on the descent.  It can be bitterly cold up the Mountain but you’ll be warm on the way up, however, when you turn to ride down you’ll need good gear to stay warm.  At the very minimum pack a windproof and gloves in your pockets.

Really Crazy – The Tour of Vanders

Local legend Simon Van der Ah ( commonly know as Vanders ) created the Tour of Vanders to coincide with the Begian Classic, The Tour of Flanders. And like the Tour of Flanders, the defining feature of the Tour of Vanders is a series of short steep pinch climbs.  The original route has been lost over time in a foggy beer haze but the general idea is any route which has at least 12 short climbs of over 15%.  Some names to start with when picking your Tour of Vanders route include: Napoleon Street, Wayne Avenue, Marlborough Avenue, Lynton Avenue, Liverpool Crescent, Forest Road, Poets Road, Patrick Street, Warwick Street, Melville Street, Hillborough Road and Knocklofty Terrace ( the bit that was closed because it was too steep ) and all routes must include Mellifont Street.

While writing this I’ve decided to appoint myself the official adjudicator of all Tour of Vanders rides.  Send me your route prior to departure, proof that you completed it and and I’ll mail out a Tour of Vanders Certificate.

There are lots and lots of other road riding options around Hobart and Southern Tassie, if you need more just leave a comment below, send me an email or give me a call.