All about touring, whether you are a local or visiting from overseas.
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recently I cycled most of the Mawson Trail, in particular north of Quorn but also sections between Melrose and Clare.
I found that the trail was well signed and easy to follow on the map. However, I found some of the trail surface and gradient was unsuitable for cycle touring. It also took some silly detours zig zagging which got frustrating after a few days.
I'm looking at cycling the Munda Biddi trail next Autumn and am wondering how it compares to the Mawson trail?
from what I have seen on the http://www.mundabiddi.org.au/ website it appears it is more set up for touring cyclist with campsites set up for you and the trail is on a dedicated cycle path rather than just connecting dirt roads like the Mawson did. is this correct?
The Munda Biddi isn't a bike touring track.
It's a super fun roller coaster of a ride, mountain bike territory, lot of sensational single track, in the north part on laterite tracks, that's pea gravel.
Big time effort, big time reward.
Better to add to an existing thread than start a new one
From the pictures I can find the Munda Biddi trail looks like well groomed gravel path. Do you really need a mountain bike to ride it or would a CX bike be OK?
I don't recall to much well groomed gravel path ... the problem is too much fun is being had on the single track to take photos
I have ridden a little bit on Surly Long Haul Trucker and I don't consider it my first choice of bike for the Munda Biddi but it could be done on a touring bike and has been done. There are nice sections of fast single-track, there are touring routes and there are gravel roads/tracks/railway forms. It is a mix reflective of the Darling Ranges.
and a 12 sec grab of some single track ...
and some more south of Nannup by the looks
Sad you didn't enjoy the wiggly woggly path of the Mawson, that's really the whole charm of the Trail getting those views and getting out remote. The Mawson isn't an A to B trail. Generally the surface is quite rideable for a 1.75" tyre.
The Munda Biddi is quite different from the Mawson. It's much more of an effort, particularly in the north, much steeper, and the surface is perilous at times.
On the MB there are some short sections on unsealed roads but much of it is fire trail style riding and those occasional few fun ks of single track. The gravel is pea gravel ie, really slippery to ride on, you need to have wide knobbly tires, 2" would be a minimum recommended. The "touring route" alternative is hard enough work, the other track is really for full suspension bikes with 2.5" tyres without any load unless you are a real thrill seeker. It's steep and the track is really slippery.
I was under the impression that the Munda Biddi trail was using former railway lines for a lot of its lenght, therefore presumably following a gradient that a train would have taken.
The best day I had on the Mawson trail was the Riesling rail trail between Clare and Riverton. I found that gradient was much more suitable for cycling compared to other section which went straight over the top of hills, some nice views but hard work climbing on steep, rocky surfaces.
I just found in some places the Mawson trail was unrideable for people carrying luggage.
I enjoyed the section north of Wilpena along the fire trail, one of the most scenic days I had cycling.
the worse place was north of Hawker, where I pushed my loaded bicycle up a hill on a stone surface. would be dangerous coming down the same section.
this is what I experienced, others have different experiences and expectations.
My ideal day is cycling on rail trails with no traffic to worry about and a comforable gradient for climbing.
Best day's riding I had on the Mawson Trail was the Wilpena to Middlesight Water Hut ride. Other excellent days were Mt Bryan East school to Spalding, Burra to Newickie Creek, and Crawford Forest to Tanunda.
We didn't ride all of the Mawson Trail - several days we stuck to parallel sealed roads due to wet conditions. Some of the dirt road surfaces can become seriously impassable in the wet and are best avoided then. The section north of Hawker nearly brought us unstuck completely due to horrible sticky mud.
Mandatory helmet law?
"An unjustified and unethical imposition on a healthy activity."
I don't where you could have got such an impression. As far as I know the only rail trail section, at least between Mundaring and Nannup is where it becomes the Siding Trail heading into Nannup. Coming out of Mundaring for example is no rail trail that is for sure.
Sure they use some "forms" in that area but hardly enough to call it a rail trail I would have thought. There is a lot of climbing and single track to be had either side.
From the rail trails page, it has the MB trail on it,
It does mention steep sections between rail trails.
I stand corrected
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