My New Adventure!
A new adventure for me is about to begin! This is a very different adventure as I am not putting on my hiking boots, grabbing my backpack and heading across a country somewhere or out bush. I am however heading out bush but in a different way. I am embarking on the Munda Biddi Trail here in Western Australia!
This is a long distance mountain bike trail that traverses through the bush and forests of the South West of Western Australia for approximately 1030kms. It is the mountain bikers version of the hikers Bibbulmun Track. The trail begins or ends in Mundaring, Perth suburb situated in the hills of the Darling Range, and ends or begins in Albany on the far bottom for WA. I will be, like I did with the Bibbulmun, start in Albany and make my way up to Mundaring. Yes uphill as people keep saying.
Like the Bibbulmun it will weave and wide its way through forests, farmlands, wetlands. You ride through country towns, over granite outcrops and along some spectacular coastline. The trail is mostly off road though there are a few sections on road especially heading into one of the 16 towns along the way. Do know however not are all living towns that I’m aware of. There are shelters scattered along the way, 12 of them in fact. They all have aboriginal names that I am yet to learn to pronounce and learn the meaning behind each of them. The name Munda Biddi I believe is from the Noongar Aboriginal people that are local to the area and it means ‘Path through the forest’.
I am planning around 21 days for this journey though I may be quicker. There is no real scheduling with this trip, I have a start date and a date I must be back by for a tour to guide for Off the Beaten Track. To have that freedom on a journey that isn’t forced or rushed is what I really love. I don’t need to make a town by a set day because I have booked accommodation, I get there when I get there. I am excited to ride this my way at a nice slow pace and explore along the trail. As I always say – Take your time and enjoy the moment you have for the journey as you may never get to take this particular path again.
There has been lots of questions asking me why? Why are you riding instead of maybe walking the Bibbulmun again? Well there are a few reasons why.
- Riding my bike is something I have always enjoyed doing, often when training for a big hiking trip.
- I have considered bike packing with Mark across countries or even mixing it up and ride/hike.
- With only have a 3 week window and this fits the Munda Biddi time frame.
- Most importantly Why Not! I figure life is for living and getting the most experiences one can have while here. Sometimes it is hard to do this and make it work in our hectic lives. I think it is important to make every effort to try.
I would love you all to follow along on my journey as I will try to update on this post as I go. Follow too on Instagram as I will post pictures along the way.
I’m off! Day one and it’s a hot one. Thankfully the terrain isn’t too hard at all it’s just the heat is atrocious.
I left really early to try and get some kms in before the heat got too bad but unfortunately it started early too.
Lots of micro breaks and some longer ones helped me get through to Denmark. I came across a small petrol station at Young’s Siding which was a blessing. I knew the siding was there but had no idea it was a petrol station! I sat for one and half hours, drank two Gatorade’s and a ginger beer before heading off again.
I loved going on the small trails over riding the roads as the heat on the road was just unbearable. Unfortunately on the final 9 kms into town they had a diversion for trail maintenance (since was told it’s actually finished they just haven’t taken the signs away) so instead of riding the lovely rail trail by the water I was slogging it on the hot tarmac. Not nice but at the end there were cold beers to be enjoyed.
Day two is another hot one. It isn’t supposed to be as hot but I don’t agree, it is disgusting.
The ride itself again for the most part is good just more diversions that takes us on the road and that in this heat is simply not pleasant.
Feeling the affects from yesterday’s heat I really slowed it down by stopping more often. I even stopped at one point in the middle of the day for 2hrs and had a nap. When you have this kind of weather it’s best to just not push and take your time.
I stopped at a winery for welcome relief of some cold drinks and another break before doing the final few kms to camp.
I arrived at the shelter mid afternoon and decided that was enough for the day. The shelter is huge and looks like I’m the only one here. Funny thing is I am not going to use it as I will sleep in my tent.
For the ride today having the mix of ocean side and forest was a fantastic combination and looking forward to what I may see tomorrow.
4:30am on the dot, just as the weatherman said, it begins to rain. Luckily for me I was prepared and set my alarm as I was sleeping under the mesh only of my tent.
Today was looking promising as the weather had cooled down considerably compared to the past two days. Having the rain coming down when I took off was just fantastic and I really enjoyed it as I whizzed through the bush getting even more soaked by the branches. I didn’t put my rain jacket on I just wanted to feel the fresh cold water hitting me. So revitalising after what we had.
The day didn’t stay so wonderful sadly as I ended up with not one but two real wheel punctures! So I spent a lot of time mucking around with that and when I changed the second one I could not for the life of me get it pumped up. I think I was just at the point of being so frustrated that it didn’t matter what I did it just wasn’t playing fair.
I have to send a huge thank you to some amazing trail angels that helped me out. Jo and her hubby Andrew have just moved into the area and I happened to be changing my last tyre at their gate. They used their pump and got me back on track. Thanks guys.
Now there was a very long, and boring as bat s#%t road by the name of Break Road. If I never cycle that road again I would be a happy girl. Then to finish the day the final road was sand, sand and yep hills with sand. It was a real relief to get to camp.
Tonight at camp I met two other cyclists head south. It made the day a lot better by having company at camp.
Today I’m heading into Walpole. I’m really excited to be heading through the tall karri trees in the tingle forest. Such a beautiful place to visit though I found the Bibbulmun track trail to be nicer than the bike one.
The ride into Walpole itself just took forever and I could not get accommodation. Was ringing around but all booked, couldn’t even get hold of Tingle all Over. I then went onto booking.com and found the motel (even though I rang and she said no) so the motel it is. She was not impressed when I rocked up with my booking already paid for.
That place is just disgusting and I would never stay there again.
Anyway at least I had a shower, bed and dinner.
After staying at the worst hotel I have ever stayed at, I woke up to find a very dead phone. This meant I could not leave till it was charged enough for the day.
I just wasn’t having a great day to be fair. I felt blaaaah, wasn’t getting thrilled about the endless fire trails and dirt roads and just needed to get into the right frame of mind.
Positive thinking, a quieter day and I little bit of love to yourself when you feel like this.
I did just that, I didn’t ride far just to the next shelter and spent more time taking breaks, admiring the nature around, feeding myself and just not beating myself up when a hill came along and I just didn’t have the energy to tackle it.
I arrived early to the shelter giving me time to just rest and enjoy the moment.
Oh I feel so much better today. I’m revived and ready to just do this! Sometimes you just need to stop in your mind as well as your body and reset. This is what I did and I really enjoyed the trail so much more. There are still lots of fire trails, dirt roads but the relief is hitting those single tracks! I didn’t rush, I stopped when I wanted too and really soaked up nature around.
Had my lunch at Fernhook Falls and enjoyed the use of a table and running water.
The second half of the day I was really starting to have fun. Came to another diversion and decided, as it had said on it 2020, I was going to ignore it. Yep I was right there is no diversion, they just hadn’t taken signs away.
Arrived at another fantastic campsite. Climbed the big granite dome behind it and checked out the views. What did I see? A huge fire into the distance. All good though as it was quite some distance away and the wind was blowing away from me.
Great sleep, rained a little and the animals were playing outside my tent as usual. I do enjoy hearing them. Ready for another day.
Had a wonderful sleep after falling asleep around 7:30pm. Woke a few times but then went straight back to sleep. Must of needed it.
Quite cool today, even put my jacket on to ride which is so unlike me.
The trail was so much better today, still dirt roads but not as bad, except one.
Enjoying it more I think. Heading to Northcliffe so a bit excited. This means shower, bed, beer and a pub meal. The most important thing is too I will be meeting up briefly with one of my crazy coworkers as she delivers me two new tubes and a new pump compliance of another crazy coworker who was having resupply dropped off. He is about to start his Munda Biddi journey and will be going the opposite direction so we will cross paths. Thanks guys.
Made town really early and really happy.
Thank you Northcliffe. I do like stopping here. It’s not a big town, in fact very very small but the people are just lovely and the pub is a great place to stay.
I ate a huge meal and slept amazingly. Back on the trail early and what a beautiful ride out through tall karri’s and bit of farm land.
Met a lady having her morning walk and we chatted for ages, almost forgot I needed to ride.
The ride all day was actually pretty much a good one even when I had to take the switch backs up to the Gloucester Tree!
I made it into Pemberton really early so it was great as I could wash clothes, pick up my resupply box from the General Store and share a beer and pub meal with another rider that was heading to Albany.
Goodbye Pemberton. Great meal and sleep now back on the road/trail moving right along.
I’m actually starting to enjoy this ride a bit more. I was on the fence with it as I am so use to seeing a lot more when hiking. Riding I’m focused on the trail almost all the time. I have to be aware of everything I’m riding over so not to have an accident.
Passed a lot of farm land and very stinky cows, more forest tracks and one very open dirt road that just when up and up and on and on.
Stopped in Quinninup for a burger, cold drink and a little nana nap. Leaving town you go up a huge tarmac hill for what seems forever before heading back into forests.
I went along as far as I felt like then found a isolated area to camp.
Great night camping. I found a quiet place hidden away and set up camp. Well it turned out not so quiet as some cow from a nearby farm just kept on mooing all night, which then set the dogs off. Either way I enjoy the place and got moving early.
Today I believe marks the halfway point. To be honest I’m not even sure where exactly that is. I’m just really enjoying the ride today.
Met Corey and Zoey going the opposite way. They had left the same day as me and probably finish the same day too. The funny thing is Corey recognised me from 2017 when filming the Bibbulmun Journeys Documentary. He was hiking the Bibbulmun Track at the time and met us when we were filming the boys hiking.
I then met some more riders heading the opposite way to me and one recognised me as well! So funny, small world. He follows Walkingtwobytwo and knew my dad. There was meant to be 13 riders from the Busselton over 55’s cycling group and I only met 3 so not sure where the others got too.
Arrived at one of the shelters for lunch and it was just too early to stop and this shelter was on top of a hill open to the sun. Way too hot to stay so onwards I went taking the craziest switchbacks down hill. At one point I underestimated the degree of turn, Sid threw himself on the ground as I jumped to safety.
Went over One Tree Bridge again as the Bibbulmun track goes over this spot as well. Headed onto Greens Pool campsite for the night and met a really lovely lady who was very interested in what I was doing. She came over with a gift of an icy cold Red Creaming Soda! What a great way to celebrate my halfway point.
Another great spot to camp. I really do like camping and especially love my new tent. It is amazing!
What started as a great day turned to something else. More switchbacks down hill only this time I was feeling uneasy, wobbly and unsure of my riding. Couldn’t work it out and thought maybe because Sid threw himself on the ground yesterday coming down switchbacks I was more shaken up than I realised. I had a good talking to myself to build my confidence but wasn’t working. I got off and decided I better walk a minute so not to crash. Well I found out why I was uneasy. I had a rear flat again. So so very tired of changing my tyres and I have no more spares. It looked to be a slow leak so I pumped it up and continued on. For rest of the journey I was pumping the rear every 5 kms or so just to get to Donnelly River and see if they had tires.
Arrived at Donnelly and had a yummy meat pie before even looking at my bike. Got my priorities here. No spares but they did have the number of a guy who was from Nannup who does transportation and rung him. Rob from Time Tours Transport grabbed me new tyres and bought them to me. As it was late and the section from Donnelly River and Nannup was all diversion and on the road. Seriously over road riding. I decided I would grab a ride to Nannup and when there is no diversion I could come back and go through the forest. I’ve hiked through parts of that area and it is just beautiful so will look forward to that.
Bye beautiful Nannup. Another lovely place to visit and will look forward to coming back soon.
Easy riding this morning with most on rail trail. The afternoon however changed as yes I hit more diversions. More tree harvesting and I am diverted along a very corrugated dirt road.
Oh it was horrible and halfway I came across a road worker who had dug a huge trench across the road. He saw me and came over letting me know that the road was closed.
Poor guy as I said “then where the hell are we supposed to go? I was diverted this way and now you say I can’t come through?”
He walked me through a section to a side trail and sent me on my way. Well Karma got me good for being frustrated as the road got a whole lot worse.
I met another rider going the opposite way standing confused at a road close sign (which I didn’t have) not sure where to go. I told him to go through and take the side trail. On I went, the road getting increasingly worse with serious corrosion then bang! Yep another tyre! Unbelievable my rear burst so loud and when I inspected it there was a stick a good inch long in my tyre.
Another change and moved on making it to Donnybrook for the night. Oh I really hope there is no more bursts
I can’t wait to follow your adventure. Lord knows there hasn’t been much adventure of late! ;-). I have also fallen in love with the idea of walking the Bibbulmun (Yes, I am late to the party I know), so I will check out your blog for all you tips and tricks. Have fun, Mel
Can’t wait to follow your journey! Good luck you amazing strong woman!
Wishing you great success on your ride.
Love it that two of my favourites girls will be on the trail even though not the same one. Wish I was there !!!
Thank you Helen.
aww shucks thanks Tracy
Thanks Mel and never too late
Good luck. I’m very jealous. Hope to do it myself later in the year 😊
Thanks Sarah. I do hope you do as well. 👏🏼👏🏼
Good for you Michelle. You just keep on keeping on, well done. I have great admiration for you. Shall follow your ride on here. Wish you well and enjoy.
Thank you Elisabeth. I do hope you have been well 😃
Awesome!!! Keep going .. ill follow your progress