609km – Gowrie Park to Hobart
You’d think the cold breezes of Tasmania alone would have been enough for anyone from balmy Queensland to go running for the first plane home but Frank put up with the bracing weather and everything else these two Canadians could throw at him.
A 100km ‘day trip’ to Cradle Mountain? No problem. Want to go bush camping, Frank? Sure. Cycling into a headwind under rainy skies? Frank was game. Even when the days stretched into early evening and ended with impossibly steep hills, Frank just kept his legs spinning around without complaint – and he didn’t have the benefit of two year’s training beforehand!
Frank even found time between the climbing and dubious weather to teach us a few Aussie words. “Oh, they’re having a domestic,” we say now when we see a couple having a fight. And an easy day on the road is now a bludge of a ride. Not only that but the man cooks a mean wallaby curry (yes, really, we ate wallaby) and can be trusted to have the coffee going at 5am.
What a legend.
We tried to convince Frank to keep going with us but instead he insisted on going back to work (did we tire him out that quickly?) and seeing his family. He kept on talking about a soak in the bathtub. Must have been all those hills that finally brought on a case of aching muscles after 620km and 8 straight days of riding.
We understand but we were sad to seem him go. When we left Hobart for a trip to Bruny Island on Saturday morning, we felt the team was incomplete. Frank, come back! Team Wallaby misses you.