I had the opportunity recently to revisit some of my favourite roads in the North East of the State. My good friend Brett and I tagged along on a ride at the invitation of my youngest brother, Rob. He and a couple of his mates were heading to Weldborough for lunch. Social media truly is a wonderful thing as a couple of key taps on a mobile phone ensured that our plan was on the ‘instawhatsit’, and before I knew it, we had a line of 10+ bikes heading out of Launceston on the Tasman Highway. And what a mixture of bikes it was. There were a couple of mid sized Trumpies with their melodious 3 cylinder howl, a hot rod Harley that snorted and bellowed its way around every corner, a gaggle of Japanese sports bikes that wouldn’t look out of place on a race track, and Brett and I on our trusty adventure tourers.
Minimal traffic (as is usually the case in Tassie) ensured that we had a fuss-free run on the flowing sweepers between Nunamara and the foot of The Sideling. For those of you not familiar with Tasmania, The Sideling is the most wonderful stretch of snaking road that weaves it way up and over a small range before descending into Scottsdale.
The lookout at the top of The Sideling is a definite stop. The view over the North East is simply stunning. As is always the way with a group of motorcyclist, the stop at the top is a great chance for a chat and to look over other machines.
The run down the range into Scottsdale continues the theme of fast flowing hotmix corners and switchbacks.
We stop for a quick cuppa in Scottsdale and reflect on the perfect 40 odd minutes of riding we’ve just had. Yep, we’re not even an hour away from home yet!
East out of Scottsdale we head on through Branxholm to Derby. This stretch of road is even better than I remember. Hills, sweepers, twisties and straights all enveloped in the most beautiful farming countryside you can imagine.
Brett and I stop at Derby for an early lunch while the rest of the crew continue on through the famous Weldborough pass. We chowed down on a couple of enormous hamburgers at the Crank It Café before turning around and repeating the whole trip in reverse.
I reckon I’ve ridden this road over a thousand times in the past 30 odd years and it just keeps getting better.