Frequently Asked Munda Biddi Questions:
Are the Munda Biddi maps essential? Yes. Buy them at most bike shops or the DPaW shop (as of 2016, the Munda Biddi Trail Foundation themselves no longer sell them)
Are "Follow My Rides" route sheet summaries essential? No, but they will help you....alot
Do I need to join the Munda Biddi Foundation? No, but as of August 2016, membership is free, so why wouldn't you? See here.
Can I navigate just with a GPS? I strongly recommend against relying just on GPS, unless you are carrying maps & my route sheets as back up.
How do I get the Route Summary Sheet and GPX file? Go to the ride you want, go to the "Route Sheets" tab, and click on the "Download GPX file" and "Download Route Summary Sheet".
I can get GPS files off the Internet - can I use them? I rode the Trail in 2014 exactly as per the MBTF maps and recorded the date and diversions (if any - usually there were none) in place when I rode it. The .gpx files you get off the Net simply record where the rider rode - you don't know if they cut sections out, got lost, rode a diversion or rode a different way for whatever reason.
What are diversions? The Trail is occasionally closed for various reasons and an alternative route provided. Check here to see the up dated diversions. Print the map and take it with you on your ride. See more here.
How many markers are there? Not counting the ones within 100m of the last one (unless it was a change in direction marker) I counted over 2500
How many change of direction markers are there? I counted around 1500. Want to make sure you don't miss one? Then get the route sheet summaries.
What sort of bike do I need? See the discussion here, but basically a good quality mountain bike, with wide knobbly tyres, a rack and panniers is the least expensive, easiest option.
Do I need to "bike pack"? No - most bikes can fit a rack and pannier. If not, you can always use a bike trailer - we now sell and hire them.
What is the Trail like? It is hard to sum up 1000km, but the first two maps have more steep hills and pea gravel, where as the next 7 maps have better quality surfaces for riding on.
How do I get info on what the Trail is like? See my diary for each day of the ride or see the route sheets for detailed info
How long will it take me? See the discussion here
How many people are riding the Trail? I have visited every hut in 2014 and 2015, and the most number of multi day riders who visited a hut was 150 in a year! That figure did not include day riders, but it is remarkably low. It is rare to share a hut, except over Easter, long weekends etc. But numbers are increasing, and my anecdotal evidence is that the 2016 Spring season was the busiest ever.
You are not carrying panniers in your videos - do I need to carry much gear? When I went back to research and record the Trail in detail (and made the videos), I based myself in a town and did day rides with all my cameras, video gear etc. I also had a car to pick me up and drop me to the Trail. You will have to carry your gear.
I don't want to sleep rough in the huts, yet I still want to ride the Trail - what can I do? Munda Biddi Shuttle Service is looking at running a highlights package. It will take approximately 7-8 days to "cover" the whole Trail, but you will ride the most scenic and fun sections, and drive the less exciting bits. Contact them direct at www.mundabiddishuttle.com
I don't think I am seeing all your website info. If you have an old computer you may not be able to see all the features on my website. Under the main photos of each ride is an "Overview" tab, then "Route sheets", "Diary notes", "Statistics", "Profile & Maps" and then "Gallery". There are also a stack of relevant articles on the right hand side of ride page. This allows you to get a good idea of what each ride is like.
Can I take my mobile phone on the ride? Sure, but you will only get signal in most towns, an occasional hut, and rarely on the Trail. For more info click here
Can I look at "Follow My Ride" website on the Trail with my mobile? No. My website is mobile friendly, but I suggest you use my site to help you research & plan your ride. You only need to take hard copies of my route sheet summaries or my .gpx files for your GPS with you.
Do I have to start at Mundaring? No. My route sheet summaries advise you how to join the Trail at Mundaring, Pickering Brook, Brookton and Albany highways, Jarrahdale, Dwellingup and Boyanup via public transport and riding. You can also leave the Trail at those points and ride/train to Perth. If you get dropped/picked up, you can start almost any where.
Can you suggest some Munda Biddi rides that do not mean using a car? Yep. Click here for a few rides that use trains and riding on the roads. These rides cover Maps 1 to nearly all of 4, Mundaring to Boyanup. This means you can do almost half on the Munda Biddi spread over a few days at a time, without needing pick ups or drop offs. How cool is that?
How do I use the route sheet summaries? Click here, but basically you print them out and use them to tell you where the next change of direction marker is, just so you do not miss it, or in case it is unmarked.
What does the abbreviation "KSO" on the route sheets mean? To find out all the abbreviations and how to use the route sheets click here.
I am worried about snakes. Don't. I rarely see them as they are usually gone when they hear/feel you coming. What you need to worry about more is sunburn, dehydration, getting lost etc. Click here. But if you are really worried, we now sell a snake and spider bite kit in our shop.
What are the huts like? See a short video here - the huts are all basically the same. There are a few of my other videos of what the Trail is like as well.
I heard a lot of the Trail was burnt out in 2015? About 70 km was burnt near Northcliffe, and that is already growing back. The Yirra hut was damaged, but an alternative hut is at Fernhook Falls (The hut reopened early in 2016). See Map 7 for more info, but do not miss out on seeing this natural process in the Australian bush.
Can I use your work from your website elsewhere? Feel free to share the Youtube clips, but contact me if you wish to use the photos and words. I usually say yes if I am properly acknowledged (for example the Munda Biddi Trail Foundation use my overview on their website, but links back to my website). These are all my photos and videos, except when I am in it and my wife or friends grabbed the camera.
John Anderson flew over from the Central Coast of NSW and rode solo the 990 km from Albany to Jarrahadale in 3 weeks in April 2015. He said "The FMR Route Sheet Summaries increased the confidence in my ability to navigate the lengthy and at times confusing Munda Biddi Trail. The website was used in my research to build my knowledge prior to the trip. Bill reversed all Route Summaries for me as I was heading in the opposing direction to the ones he had done previously. He also kept in email contact at different stages along the route and was able to answer my queries and keep my spirits up. The FAQs will provide many answers to any prospective Munda Biddi Trail cyclists. My navigation consisted of Bill's Route Summaries (most frequently used), the MBT maps and downloaded GPS files. They all played their part in keeping me from getting seriously lost."
"I was amazed how little use the huts get, even over the Easter break and school holiday period. In total, I encountered just three other cyclists on the MBT and one couple and a group of four in the huts over the three week period."
"Unless you are an accomplished cyclist (I am a 56 y.o.recreational mountain biker and commuter cyclist), be prepared to feel some discomfort during the early days. However, I found that my fitness and ability to ride carrying a load (using panniers) improved greatly as the trip went on. I averaged 50km a day, had a rest day in a town at least every 4 or 5 days and finished up in Jarrahdale to enjoy a few days cycling in and around Perth before returning home."
"I joined up with the Munda Biddi Foundation prior to departing to show my support for the MBT. They also provided good advice. The only real concern is the current closure of the Yirra Kartta hut as it is a long ride between Northcliffe and Fernhook Falls if you are looking for a camp site."
"I can recommend the Munda Biddi Trail as a beaut adventure with plenty of great scenery. I am happy to answer questions about my trip. My email is: JAnderson5938@gmail.com"
From Pete Yeates, End to ender Oct 2015: "Hey Bill you are a living legend. I have completed my end to end of the Munda Biddi and I talked to numerous cyclists struggling along with only paper maps. They all commented on how hard the trail is to follow through some sections, but I had no issues by using your gpx files on my garmin, and only had to use paper maps for the planning of the next day. A trail marker was even pointing the wrong direction up a hill and as there were no trail diversions in that section I followed the line on the gps which was correct. Even through the numerous trail diversions I had piece of mind being able to zoom out on the gps screen and see where the diversion was going to meet the original trail.
Much appreciated, Pete Yeates." 4/11/2015
Munda Biddi Foundation is a site you MUST visit.
Cycle Trails Australia is a huge resource of off road cycling in Australia. GJ Coop's website covers his 20 epic rides, including the Munda Biddi Trail. You will be amazed at some of his rides. He also shares a wealth of experience on what equipment use on your ride.
This is a great story of 2 young blokes from SA who rode the Trail in Oct 2015. Their story has lots of photos and is amusing and interesting. See here.
Thought you were quick on your ride of the Munda Biddi? See Arran's 2015 solo and unsupported ride here ....in 5 and a half days!
Not every weekend can you get out in the bush. If you are looking for interesting local rides, this is the site to go to: Perth Bike Paths
Trails WA is an amazing online resource. With hundreds of trails crossing Western Australia, they have listed an amazing spectrum of trails. From urban walks (the historic 2.5 km trail around Fremantle that visits 17 hotels is a personal favourite), to bush walks, paddling trips, five snorkelling trails, 2WD and 4WD drives, and of course bike trails (urban and bush trails as well), this site has heaps to choose from. Some are a few hundred metres long, others are over 1000 km - what suits you? See Trails WA
Wikipedia and Google - the fountains of all knowledge, correct or otherwise!
Town visitor web sites especially Manjimup Vistors Centre website at www.manjimupwa.com
"Rails through the Bush" by Gunzburg & Austin - a book dedicated to the timber collecting trains, mills and train lines in the SW of WA and the Goldfields. A bible for anorak wearing train lovers (like me!)
Aboriginal history & culture at www.noongarculture.org.au
Railway Heritage Website for great historic train photos: www.railheritagewa.org.au
Pickering Brook Heritage Group www.pickeringbrookheritagegroup.com/home.html
This page is the property of Follow My Ride, a website detailing off road cycle tracks near Perth and in Western Australia.