Day 460 | almost to Jarrahdale: still hiding away in the forest

32 km | Heading west total: 16,588 km

I’ve come sufficiently far to make a judgement: the south section of the Munda Biddi was great. Heading north of Dwellingup and it’s lost some of that appeal. The relentless roller coaster through the hills is taking its toll on the body.

There’s three factors that caused my change of mind: pea gravel, trail bikes and the hills.

The motorbikes churn up the track and often leave a furrow, actually a trench on the hills, so that even heading down can only be a joy for a particular breed of thrill seeker. Biking up hill, with the front wheel wandering across the ball bearings, can be hard work although an inch of rain last night, when I was snug in my sleeping bag in the shelter with it belting down on the steel roof and walls, has meant that traction has improved greatly.

Basically the trail bikes have destroyed the biking experience in many places. And those hills have become steeper the further north the track heads.

True confession time once again. I spent more time on the non Munda Biddi tracks today just approximating the route.

Put it this way. The first 400m took 20 minutes and I could barely wrestle the bike and trailer up without panniers. The track at this point is about four feet wide with a three foot deep trench in the middle. That’s a struggle even with the combination of a couple of buckets of filtered real coffee at breakfast and some OK traction afforded by last night’s rain. (Later, ie May 2011: The track has been rerouted to get around this difficult stretch.)

The parallel tracks are better. Steep, pea gravel too, but you can pick a path up or down the hills on the width of a road and while there are no trenches there are the occasional deep pea gravel sections which you don’t want to hit with any degree of speed.

You can at least ride most of it. That’s the test: if you can in any way ride it, it’s OK.

Verdict: It’s a trail for lightly loaded mountain bikes with knobbly 2.5 inch tyres, not the round Australia tourer types.