Cyclist returns to Tasmania for an insider’s guide to the finest roads and delights of the state’s north with former pro and local Wes Sulzberger and En Route.
Words & Photography: Bob Barrett
Before arriving in Launceston I didn’t know too much about it, I had heard the riding in Tasmania was good so I was really excited to get out there and see for myself.
I arrived to Peppers Seaport Hotel mid afternoon on Friday with no plans for the evening so I just wandered out from the hotel, which looked over the River Tamar, and explored the town’s beautiful city parks and historical streets as the sun went down.
We were in Launceston to experience day one of En Route Tours ‘The Weekender’, before returning for the Launceston Cycling Classic criterium on Sunday. After walking these steep parcours, there’s little wonder why the race is so exciting to watch.
En Route Cycling Tours is the creation of Wesley Sulzberger. Wes raced as a professional for six years, from 2009-2014 for Française des Jeux (FDJ), Orica Greenedge (Mitchelton-Scott) and Drapac Pro Cycling (EF Education First–Drapac p/b Cannondale). Prior to this he was a scholarship holder with the Tasmanian Institute of Sport and Australian Institute of Sport for six years.
Wes grew up in “Lorny” and has the experience on these roads to create routes for any sort of ride, from a flat scenic cruise along the river to the lesser known hillier parcours for a real suffer session.
Once 0n the bike, it’s mind-blowing just how quickly you’re out of town and onto quiet roads and beautiful scenery along the river. We rode a cruising pace to take it all in, stopping regularly for the endless photo opportunities along the route.
Tasmania is famous for it’s vineyards, fresh food and produce, and with En Route they are as much about the riding as they are about the great food and wine. Today we set out for Pipers Brook Vineyard. On arrival you roll up through the gates along a gravel road through the vineyard up the hill to the cellar door where a platter of cheeses and cured meats awaits, with, of course, accompanying wines. This was an outstanding way to finish a ride I have to say.
Next was Jansz’s, the climatic conditions of the Jansz vineyard rival the famed French wine region of Champagne. In fact, it was originally with French contribution that Jansz became Tasmania’s first sparkling made by méthode traditionelle.
After a refreshing stop at Jansz’s you’re driven to Barnbougle for a drink with a view. Leave your bike with the support crew at the door of your luxury accommodation ready for a post ride massage, and watch the sunset across the dunes.
This was just day one of ‘The Weekender’ tour, and it was excellent in so many ways, with quite a lot packed into one day, you’re sure to sleep well. Enroute tours also offer custom options for those wanting something a little longer or to cater for a particular group. En Route have suggestions on their site but will really come up with anything you are after so just get in touch with them and start the conversation.
For further details on travelling to Northern Tasmania, head here: northerntasmania.com.au