Friday, March 30, 2012

Unusual getaways - Norfolk by bike

A few months back now I was lucky enough to be invited over to Norfolk Island to check out the cycling opportunities on offer. I spent a week checking out the island, exploring roads, and even better generally relaxing and enjoying the hospitality of the friendly locals. For anyone with some geograhic knowledge it is not surprising that the tiny island (a territory of Australia) doesn't spring to mind as a cycling destination.

Initially settled as a penal colony, and later by the descendants of the famed "Mutiny on the Bounty" Pitcairners; it is Norfolks isolation and history that are it's more regular attractions to visitors. However a fairly forward thinking group of locals is keen to put on new events to reinvigorate the tourism market and MTB came to the top of the list. As such, the Island will host the Norfolk Cross-Country MTB Tour from July 02-04 this year. Comprised of hillclimb, rogaine, Crit, "road race" (although the roads are that rouch an MTB is preferable!), and 2 x MTB lap races. If you are interested email

How's the serenity? Anson Bay. Check out the long switchback descent down to the beach. Awesome fun, and it seems too far for many to bother with so you get a pretty quiet and almost private beach.

This is the Norfolk take on a road bike. With such rough and pot holed roads 29er is the go. Road tyres fitted of course!

Shuttling anyone? With shipping costs to get anything to the island so high, and the total area being quite small, the island is full of these tiny wee flatbed trucks. Awfully handy for bike transport. Check out the custom racks.

Rooty trails anyone? Western Canada has nothing on Norfolk.

Spectacular veiws to be had all over the place. Ok, so Luke and I may have poached a hiking trail to get to this location, but it was early morning. Since most of the tourists are retiree's enjoying more civilised starts to their day; we figured we were pretty safe from trail conflict

The major road hazard... cow's. By some quirk of local law everyone is entitled to road side grazing rights. I guess since its an island they figure it'd be hard to lose their cows. So they just roam free. And somewhat disconcerting in their ambivilence towards humans/vehicles

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