Dangers on off-road cycle trails

If you intend riding to the Trails on the roads, make sure you are very visible to vehicles coming behind you. Wear bright clothing or a hi vis vest and put on a very bright rear tail light. Ride predictably and stay very aware, especially if you are tired.

Factors you can control

Falling off - take it slow, especially if loaded up. You must wear a helmet in WA and gloves and good footwear are really recommended.

Dehydrating - You will most probably consume a lot more water than you may expect, even in cooler months. In Summer, you could consume enormous amounts (the most I have drunk in a day is 7 litres!). You are more dehydrated than you think you need. Do not plan to get water at any streams on the map, as they are usually dry. Signs pointing to water are usually for fire fighting purposes, so only useable in desperate situations. Water is at huts or towns only (recommended that it is treated at huts).

Sun burn Use a 50+ SPF sunscreen, sun glasses, long sleeve shirts, a neck protector (neckerchief), gloves etc.

Sticks in the eye - wear eye protection like sunglasses.

Getting lost - you have got maps, and you have my route summary sheets or .gpx files as back up? That should minimise the risk. An EPIRB or PLB is a great back up too - The Munda Biddi Trail Foundation hire them out.

Factors you can't control

Riding to or from the Trail on the road- I think this is the biggest danger involved in your ride! Keep left, be visible and ride predictably.

Motor bikes on trail (rarely seen but get off the track as they may not be able to stop or avoid you)

Cars on roads - Keep left, be visible and ride predictably

On coming cyclists - extremely rare, but keep aware on narrow single track. You will want to stop for a chat I am sure.

Fire - Bush fire is seldom seen, but if you get caught up in a fire it could be catastrophic. I have only seen the evidence of recent fires twice. One was on map 8 in Dec 2014 and was a planned burn that closed Jinung hut. The other time was on Map 1 in May 2013. I think that was an unplanned fire as the trail had not be closed and it was still smoking when we rode through the next day after a night of rain! I have not heard of cyclists ever getting caught in a bush fire, but that does not mean it could not happen (there were Ultra marathon runners burnt by bush fire in the Kimberly region in 2011) . For what to do in case of a bush fire, see DPaW info here

This short video mainly talks about safety and the fire risk the Bibbulmun walk trail in WA, but it is all completely relevant to cycling bush trails.
In fact, I think it is essential viewing, especially if you are not from W.A.

Wild life

Snakes - Are usually gone before you see them. However, avoid them as much as possible, and treat all snakes as if they were poisonous. Never try to catch or kill a snake. Lift your legs up and keep riding by. It is better to ride over them than crash on top of them. Be aware a run over snake will often lunge at the second rider more than the first, as a bike will rarely kill them, but it will damage them severely. I see snakes mainly on rail trail. I think this is because the rail trail is a strip of sun lit path in the bush, and snakes will come out of the bush to bask on it. Single track is usually in the shade, so offers no attraction for them and when they are on gravel roads, they are usually quite visible. Carry compression bandages in case of snake bite, and know what to do in case of a bite. See our snake bite kits for sale here

Flies - the small bush flies are annoying, especially in farm areas in Summer. Chances are you will swallow a few on your ride, but they are just extra protein and not harmful. Bring fly repellent if you want, or ride faster - you can out run them pretty easily. But they will find you when you stop! March flies are a bigger, biting fly, but they are not much of a problem most of the time.

Mosquitos - parts of the South West of WA has Ross River virus. It causes flu like symptoms with fever and a rash that can linger for years. It is transmitted by mosquitos, so it is important to avoid their bite. They mainly attack at dawn and dusk, so cover up with long sleeved shirts and trousers, and wear a repellant.

Spiders - Huntsmans are big & hairy but not poisonous. Don't put your hands where you can't see what is there.

Wild pigs - I have seen a few of those and prefer to keep well away as will be aggressive if they feel their young are threatened.

Carry a first aid kit.

This is not a first aid website, so always consult the experts (like St John Ambulance ). The main components of your first aid kit should be :

  1. Major bleed - stop with a big gauze pad and bandage, or a triangular bandage
  2. Carry compression bandages in case of snake bite, and know what to do in case of a bite.
  3. Grazes - band aids, non stick gauzes
  4. Antiseptic - cream, liquid etc
  5. Bumb cream - prevents sores
  6. Tablets - pain killers, anti inflammatory, anti diarrhea etc

See our customised cyclists first aid kits here .


This website is not endorsed or associated with the official Munda Biddi Foundation, or any other organisation. It is aimed at offering you extra information the maps do not contain as well as my personal opinions from riding the trails with the aim of helping you plan your ride better. While your safety is my concern, it is your responsibility. Wear a helmet, ride a properly maintained bike, be Sunsmart, advise someone at home of your itinerary and be prepared. If you have read this far, you are not an idiot and you know the drill.

The information provided is made available in good faith and is believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that riders will be responsible for making their own assessment of the information provided.

This page is the property of Follow My Ride, a website detailing off road cycle tracks near Perth and in Western Australia.