All about touring, whether you are a local or visiting from overseas.
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I leave in about 6 weeks, and, all going well, I'll be embarking on a 4-5 week tour around Europe whilst over there. I've almost got all my equipment and gear sorted out too. I'd like to do a short tour from Perth somewhere just to test the bike how it fares fully loaded (I use it every day for commuting, but only with one pannier) and all the rest of the gear before I leave - so I know what else I might need, or what to get rid or/replace. I'd like to do a one or two night trip over a weekend somewhere down south a few weeks before leaving. I think I should be good to ride around 60km full loaded each day, I intend to be able to churn out 80km a day once my legs are used to the extra weight. I also want to camp out somewhere so I can test how my new tent, cooking equipment and other gear will fare in cool, wet weather.
Any suggestions? I'm happy to take the train down south (I live near the Mandurah line) in order to extend my reach further away from the metro region.
Hi. May be you could ride to Dwellingup from Mandurah and pick a spot anywhere along the Murray river? There are many camping spots. Ride back the next day?
I tested my set up recently there as I wanted a bit of off road action too; Munda Biddi was close by. But you can stay on the roads if you want. If you can handle a bit of off road action there is a hut not far.
Also, if you can spare the time, aim for two nights out.
Hope this helps.
This was a great ride for us. The Australind and bus got us to Pemberton easily, and it's easy to get a bus back from Albany. It'll be cold though I imagine, but possibly beautiful. And it might be too long for you.
Riding up to Lake Leschenaultia near Chidlow might be good; that's my old stomping ground. You could get there via Mundaring Wier road for a good workout and try your bike out on the gravel rail trails around there.
That Dwellingup suggestion is a good one with plenty of camping options. Some of the Audax WA routes might offer up some ideas too...
Thanks for the tips fellas. I'm definitely down for one night, but I agree that two nights will probably be more effective at finding faults with my set up. I work in state government, so I might be able to take a flexi day off on a Friday or Monday and do a long weekend trip down south. Taking the train down to Mandurah and then heading south from there sounds like a good plan. I've got all sorts of gear to suit various weather conditions, so not bothered if it's cold and wet, as long as there's no tornados or super gusty winds blowing horizontal rain then I'm a happy camper.
I don't have rain pants yet, been trying to decide whether I'll really need them or if I can get away with my water resistant Castelli Nanoflex knee warmers + quick dry MTB shorts. This short tour is really to find out these things as a 10km unladen commute isn't a real way to find out how well things work. I need to do more KM and camp out.
My VWR doesn't mind a little bit of offroad, as long as it's fairly smooth and compact. It has 700x35 wheels/tyres, so even at 60PSI it'll struggle in anything boggy or particularly loose.
I fly out on the 22 of July, I'm also packing and cleaning the house and moving out before this so that last week will be super hectic. I think I might do this shakedown tour next weekend (Fri 22 to Sun 24 June) which will give me a month to order in alternative/additional gear as/if required depending on how everything goes.
I've also got a Tardis bag that I have to do a test run with my VWR which I think might be quite stressful the first time I do it. Hence why i want to practice early rather than the day before I am set to fly out! I'll have a few weeks for short tours while I am in Germany before embarking on my longer solo trip, but it'll be much harder to swap out items or order stuff in from there. I'd prefer to have all my gear sorted out as much as possible before I leave.
Plenty of shops in Germany man, don't stress.
If you invest in some good riding pants/trousers you can wear them off the bike too. I just ordered some Rapha softshell trousers. They have a 15% off code at the moment.
If you're going to skip the pants, try to find some good shoe covers.
I am just back from 4 weeks touring in Scotland and am grateful that I had bought Altura waterproof overpants. It was wet and cold a lot of the time and I am glad that I had them. Got them from Evans Cycles.
However I have also been in Spain in spring when it was occassionally wet but only cool. I think that the Alturas would have been too much in that climate.
I'm not stressed [ED: to be honest I am, a little] and I know there's plenty of stores and gear in Germany. However I have a 30kg weight limit, including my bike and amonths worth of regular gear to take, so I really want to only take gear that I will 100% need over with me rather than having to muck around trying to find stuff while I am over there. Bike gear is also a lot more expensive in Germany than it is for me to buy online.
I've got a pair of Rapha cycling trousers (in black). I haven't worn them for longe rides though, only for the occasional 10km commute to work. I generally find them too warm though unless it is 8 degrees C or colder. I'll be in western Europe during late summer / early autumn, weather should be fairly mild. So not sure if I'll take them as they are fairly bulky.
After getting saturated socks the other week on my ride home in the rain this is definitely on my list. Bit of a pity though as I bought MTB shoes with a waterproof Gore-Tex liner.. does nothing to stop rain coming in from the top though! Might also get some rain pants, probably the 3/4 ones from Ground Effect. They make nice gear.
Thanks. I've still got 6 weeks to go but the nerves are already kicking in. I've spend the past few weeks online douing research every night and the more I read the more I question how prepared I am - especially when it comes to tools and maintenenace skills. There's really only one way to find out - hands on experience!
Shoe covers will help keep your socks dry but a bit of water can still get in from the top, depending on how well they seal. I agree that those Ground Effect 3/4 pants look good, but full length ones would help more to stop wet socks.
I find regular trousers too warm and stuffy already, full length waterproof pants will be uncomfortable unless it is reasonably cold weather (less than 8 degrees).
I like this idea. I just had a look on the DEC website and there's a number of really nice looking camp spots just south of Dwellingup. I could try stealth camping, but it's only $7 for entry into the proper allocated camping areas which has a few basic amenities - plus they are well located and just off the main road.
From Mandurah to Lane pool Reserve - Baden Powell campspot is around 52km. That's a reasonable distance which should be easy enough, but if there's a few hills or it's more of an effort than I planned it will still be doable over a day. Ideally i should be able to average a speed of around 12-15km/ph fully loaded, I'm not really sure though as I haven't measured my speed fully loaded before.
I should be able to leave home in the morning at first light (around 7am), get to Mandurah station by 8am and then get to the camp grounds by 2pm (including a 30 minute half way snack break on the way). This will give me enough time to set up camp, go for a swim (if the waters clean), relax and check out the surrounding area before it gets dark at arond 5:30pm. The next day I'll just reverse the trip back and be home for dinner!
Can anyone comment if I should take the Old Mandurah Road and bypass Ravenswood and Pinjarra? Pinjarra Road looks pretty busy and high speed - not the place I want to be as a cyclist (especially with those crazy Mandurah drivers around). It's only an extra 2km out of my way. The Pinjarra Road however is more direct and has a sealed shoulder for most of it, the Old Mandurah Road does not. I don't enjoy being buzzed by trucks and other vehicles travelling at high speeds, so I'm happy to go a few extra km out of my way for a more scenic and quiet route.
Aushiker will know because I forget the name, but there is a munda biddi hut about 20km south of dwellingup if you do not want to stay at any of the powell sites. You might run in to a fellow tourer you can chew their ear off.
When I camped at one of the sites I didnt see a ranger.
There's no need to be fully loaded, you're only going one night.
Have you mentioned where you're touring Europe? Do you have a blog?
That would be awesome. Btw if anyone wants to join me let me know. I don't mind flying solo, but having someone else to be a diversion for the trucks is also good.
I'm gonna be loaded up with as much as I can so I can get a feel for how the bike performs loaded and what my average speed will be, so I can use that knowledge when planning my trip in Europe.
I'll only be taking one set of cycle kit, but other than that I'll have all my camping gear, a couple of litres of water etc which will all add up.
Yep. Although I haven't really written any specific articles about my tour, more about the bike and other gear I am taking. See my signature below for the link.
Bidjar Ngoulin. Very nice campsite with a nice "bath". Probably too cold at this time of the year but for enjoying that aspect .
If i was riding to Dwellingup and beyond I would take Del Park Road to get to Dwellingup from the bottom of the scarp as it is not too bad a climb/road. If you look at this route you can see how I got from the Kwinanana PSP across to Del Park Road.
Another option is to go ex Fremantle or a train station further south up to Dandalup campsite on the Munda Biddi if you just want an overnighter. You could then come back via Jarrahdale or better still reverse my route and reduce the pain of the climb up Whittakers Road (that is one mean climb up a dirt road). If you take a look at my "Wandering around the Darling Range" post you can get an idea of the route etc.
Now read the opening post. Another possibility for an overnighter from Perth is to ride out to Wungong campsite on the Munda Biddi. The campsite is east of Jarrahadale and the Munda Biddi section is easy riding for the most part (you can take to the road to avoid the worst of the pea gravel between the old prison camp and the campsite) on a road based touring bike. The climb isn't too bad either.
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