Cycling the Carinyah Trail
I did something a outside of the normal routine on the weekend, completing a 15km off road cycle along the Carinyah Trail outside of Perth. I’ve only ever cycled on the road which is hard reliable concrete and today was a taste of cross country mountain biking, an exciting experience.
During the week whilst researching some trails I stumbled on the bike riding website, follow my ride. With plenty of trails to choose from, there was an entire section on the Carinyah Trail Circuit making it helpful to plan the ride.
Carinyah Trail is a 15km trail loop that joins the epic and adventurous Munda Biddi trail. The Carinyah Trail is considered best suited for beginners and it’s quite short compared to others in Perth. The trail is surrounded by dense green forest and I think that is the number 1 reason to cycle in winter, for the beautiful green scenery! It would be worthwhile returning in spring when the wildflowers have bloomed. The terrain is mostly flat and has a fantastic downhill along with some uphill sections.
As a beginner I faced a couple of challenges like sliding pea gravel and falling off the bike as a result of applying the right hand front brake a bit too hard on the soft sections. We did get lost and this was due to simply not paying attention, we took a wrong turn along another track for 60 minutes before finding our way back to the trail. We did bring along the Munda Biddi map 1, however it wasn’t a great deal of help when we lost our way. Afterwards, we thought a GPS might have directed us back on the right track a bit quicker. I learnt a few mountain biking skills, like riding around puddles of water and through mud, encountering obstacles, cycling on a rocky surface. It does take longer to cover distance when off road compared to road cycling, and its fairly obvious why. Road cycling doesn’t entail all of the fun obstacles that off road brings. Even with the challenges it was a whole load of fun.
We encountered a few reminders of being close to civilization as we passed broken TVs and a mattress which was a bit of a shame. We could hear the sharp noises of trail bike riders, even bumping into a couple on the trail. There are quite a few wide trails nearby. All was okay though, they were out having fun too.
We took a food break at Carinyah Hut which serves as an overnight camping spot on the Munda Biddi trail. In 2005 a fire ripped through but the area has recovered and it’s a beautiful spot. Its pretty clear a lot of thought has gone into the hut and making it a comfortable outback camp. The hut offers a basic unenclosed shelter, toilet, bike racks and an untreated water tank. We enjoyed the hut to ourselves as we chowed into some snacks sitting on the picnic tables and basking in the afternoon sun – beautiful!
On the way back and very randomly, we bumped into a guy on the track, we chatted to Bill for a while before realising he’s behind the Follow My Ride website!!!! Talk about a small world! As it so happens, I had emailed Bill for his trail notes a couple of days prior, and they proved very handy today. We certainly wouldn’t have been on the track had I not seen his website. Thank you Bill!
Cycling is a great activity for experiencing the outdoors and escaping life’s commitments. Having no reception on the trail was perfect and we are really enjoying our little weekend micro adventures around Perth. By the time we return home, we might be sore but there is a feeling of accomplishment and absolute relaxation. The thing I look forward to the most after a ride, is the dinner feast that evening! Tonight we’re having Elmar’s bratwurst sausages, crispy potatoes with mushrooms and onion, oh yeah! And, a nice glass of red wine by the heater.
Gear – I wore Lorna Jane 3/4 pants (I do need some lightweight hiking pants), thermal top from Macpac, fleece jumper from Mountain Designs and a windproof jacket from Mountain Designs. I’m always cold so the thermals worked a treat. I read on a couple of hiking blogs that cotton is not the best as it keeps moisture in. The geothermal top kept me warm and dry. The air is chilly in winter and the windproof jacket was brilliant!
Food – we packed celery sticks, bananas, coconut covered dates, chocolate bar and Australian biltong. We took 3 litres of water which may have been an overkill in winter.
Bicycles – we used mountain bikes.
We set off at 10am and by the afternoon we greeted a few other cyclists on the trail. We spent about 4 hours on the trail and that includes our deviation.
We think investing in a GPS will prove handy and we definitely need to pay attention to the map! It’s a game changer on the trail.