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Blue Tiers

I cycled through the Blue Tiers in North Eastern Tasmania today. The day started beautifully at the small town of Weldborough, but the weather quickly deteriorated and I ended up doing most of the 35km in cold rain.  I’ve never ridden in such cold conditions (3 – 4 C) before, and it was satisfying to know I could do a tough ride in such difficult conditions.

The route was east out of Weldborough, up the mountain, then down a dirt road to Lottah, up to the Blue Tier camping ground at Poimena, and then down the “Descent” trail back into Weldborough.

Lottah Caravan
As I rode into Lottah, it was pouring with rain and freezing, so I waited a while at this little caravan and shelter. No one was there, and the door was unlocked. I went in, and there was a guest book on the table, so I signed it.

What a welcome sight to a cold, wet traveler! I celebrated by eating Snickers bar. I was amazed at how quickly the chocolate and nuts warmed me up.
Poimena
Which way to go? I had a pretty basic map and I tried to follow all the signs. Even so, there were still a few times I thought I had gone the wrong way.


I got sick of battling to climb all the rock gardens on foot, so I stopped and did a quick video 🙂

Weldborough Hotel
This is where I started and ended my ride. I was so glad to arrive there 90 minutes late at the end of the ride.

It was built in the 1880’s and is pretty spartan inside. So I had a Ham Pot Roast and a cup of tea as I sat by the warm fireplace.

That meal was better than any I have had at a fancy restaurant. It warmed me to my core.

All up, it was a total ascent of about 1,000m. The climb up was steep and I worked hard, but it was much more difficult coming down the mountain. There were some very rocky descents, and quite a few freezing flooded creeks that I had to cross.

I couldn’t take many photos because it rained so much, so I couldn’t get the phone out to take photos because it would get wet.

I’d say this was the hardest ride I’ve done todate because I did it alone, so I had to be extra careful, and because of the unfamiliar conditions – very cold and very tricky downhills.

Because my phone conked out I don’t have a complete log, so I’m basing the profile and map on the manual route I worked out before the ride. I actually rode an extra 5km in the middle of the ride at Poimena because I made a mistake and got onto the descent trail the “long” way instead of the short way.

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/magictyger/4871487906/” title=”Lottah Caravan by Neil Ennis, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4136/4871487906_e2c5b838d3.jpg” width=”500″ height=”375″ alt=”Lottah Caravan” /></a>

4 comments to Blue Tiers

  • damien

    Hi
    I am thinking of doing this ride while I am down in Tassie at the end of this month.

    I saw your post on pedalbite about this ride.

    You mentioned that you got lost or confused

    “After that I had some problems though:

    First one was that when I got to Poimena, I followed the first sign I saw pointing to the “Blue Tiers Mountain Bike Descent”. After reviewing the directions you guys gave me, this was obviously wrong. I ended up following a lot more winding route through some pretty thick forest until I got to Emu Rd. I almost took a wrong turn to “Australia Hill” since when I got to that junction, the only two signposted alternatives were “Australia Hill” and “Wellington Loop”. Nothing about a MTB descent, so since no-one here mentioned “Australia Hill”, I took a gamble and just followed the “Wellington Loop” sign. Thankfully this turned out ok, I eventually got to Emu Rd, and followed the signs to Weldborough.”

    Was this because mudslut gave you the wrong directions?

    I will probably do this ride by myself.I have been riding MTB for twenty years.

    Should I not do this ride by myself?I have driven through there and it was pretty mountainous from memory.Should be abit warmer by the end of the month.

    Any advice appreciated.

    Thanks

    Damien

    • G’day Damien

      Thanks for the comment. It’s an awesome ride, and well worth the effort. I did it alone in winter, so if you’ve got 20 years experience, I don’t think you’ll have any problems in summer if you’re careful.

      I started and ended at the Weldborough pub. The guys there are great. You can leave your details with them and they’ll raise the alarm if you don’t get back by dark.

      From Weldborough I rode up the bitumen to the Lottah turnoff, then to Lottah, left at the Caravan to Poimena. Once I got to Poimena the road forked. I made the mistake of taking first trail off to the left which was marked “Blue Tiers” and “Australia Hill”. I followed it, but it was pretty hard work. From reading the pedalbite forums I think I might have had an easier ride if I took the left turn. Further up that road was another trail that I could have followed to the descent.

      Emu road is rough as guts. You’ll have to drag your bike up some really rocky bits unless you’re a super-hero. Take some spare socks because you’ll also have to cross a few creeks which were waste deep in freezing water when I did them.

      Have you got a decent GPS? I’ve got your email address and will send you the tracklog / GPX of my ride. It’s only partial but it should give you an idea since it covers the more complicated bits.

      I’d be really interested in how you go, so please write back with any info / photos.

      And feel free to email me with more questions!

      Just be aware that the climb up is the easiest bit. (And it’s a big climb) The “descent” is really difficult. This was the hardest ride I’ve done, and I ride a lot.

      Neil

  • Ryan

    Im doing this ride this weekend with a mate and can’t wait.
    Thanks for the info as we’ve never been there before. We will take 2 cars so we don’t have to ride up.
    Looking forward to it and hope we don’t get too lost.
    Ryan

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