Oct 2010 Midland to Mandurah

We were up at 5.30am and Alistair and I caught the 6.30am train to Midland and rode to Railway Heritage trail up to the MB start in Mundaring (there at 8.30am, 21.30km ave 12.62km/hr, 1hr 41 mins over about 2 hrs). We had breakfast at the bakery on the highway, a couple of hundred metres from the trail head. The downhill into Weir was ok, but heading out of the valley was tougher- loose pea gravel, rock sections and uphill. The touring route was closed due to a fire - it was still smoking. Alistair was carrying too much gear in the Bob trailer, so we dropped some gear off in Pickering Brook with a friend for collection later. To make up time we rode the gravel road from Walnut road then Patterson road to Pickering Brook, then rejoined the trail. We got to Carinyah Hut at 2.35pm, so we decided to push on to Wungong Hut. The track is a lot better now - less gravel and less steep hills. The Southern side of Brookton Hway was good too - very shady, green and pretty. The steep hill down to the Canning River was hairy as we were fatigued. When we hit Kinsella road, we stayed on that to Albany Hway, which is often a bypass when the Trail is closed due to logging, fires etc. We got to Wungong Hut just before dark - too long a day to start a multi day ride, as you really feel it the next day. There were 4 guys already at the hut who had come from Nannup, staying at each hut along the way to Mundaring. They went to bed early, whereas we stayed up late till 8pm! The possums came down to visit. It was a cold and uncomfortable night - I never like the first night on a sleeping mat.

We left just after 7.30am the next day - other 4 guys were still eating. We were at the Balmoral Prisoner of War site just after 9am. It is warming up nicely now - the forecast was for a maximum of 20 degrees after yesterday's 30 degrees. I had a sore bum as sweat & friction were playing havoc - I must get bum cream for the next ride. I love the ride into Jarrahdale - it is rail trail and pretty flat. Suprise, surprise - a Jarrah Burger for lunch and I bought heaps of food to take on the ride.

We rode out of Jarrahdale on Scarp Rd, down to the River then stayed on it as we rode up the other side. The old route along the side of the road is gone. I had ridden down it a couple of times and it was full on, and impossible to ride up. It was so steep going down you had to slide your saddle forward between your legs to stop tipping over, and your arms would start to cramp from braking so much. Then about 20m from the bottom was a sign warning of a steep decent! It was there because right at the end of the last section was a steel pipeline about 1 metre in diameter so you had to pull up at the bottom of the hill in the width of a vehicle track. No wonder the MB is now on Scarp road now - it is so much easier. At the top we met Richard & Tenae, who had started in Jarrahdale and were up the top wondering how much more they could take of this. Luckily I knew they were over the worst of it, so we encouraged them to keep going with us. We took the touring route and stayed on Scarp Rd to avoid the fence line track near Sharp Rd. We stopped at Dandalup Dam, then into the hut about 4.30pm. Two other guys were already there from Dwellingup, and they kept to themselves abit. I had very sore legs - 2~3 hr road bike rides do not prepare you well for 7~8 hr days of riding on trail with panniers.

Next day when the trail was close to Pinjarra Williams Rd we cut along Scarp Rd to join it and rode down the hill to Dwellingup. This took about an hour. Going down the road to Pinjarra is better than coming up - you are sitting on 30~40km/hr in a 90km/hr section, so cars don't crowd you out like they do when you are crawling up the hill at 10km/hr and they fly past. We had a pie at the Pinjarra Bakery then followed the main road to Mandurah - it was footpath or cycleway for about 2/3 of the trip, but 1/3 on the road (about 90km/hr zone). We rode to the train station and jumped on a train to Perth Esplanade station, then followed the cycleway round the river and up the Midland train line to Bayswater. I timed it just right - I got rained on for the first time just as I left Perth.

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