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World's longest mountain bike trail on track to open in February

Alia Parker's picture
Riding the Munda Biddi Trail. Source: Munda Biddi Trail Foundation, Cycle Traveller

Western Australia's 1,000km Munda Biddi Trail is set for completion early next year, when it will become the longest mountain bike trail "of its kind" in the world.

Allan Birrell, executive officer of the Munda Biddi Trail Foundation, told Cycle Traveller there is about 100km of work left to complete on the Munda Biddi, but progress was on track for it to be ready to ride end-to-end in February 2013.

The trail starts in Mundaring in the Perth Hills and runs south to the picturesque seaside town of Albany, taking in the vineyards of the Fergus Valley, skirting the Stirling Ranges and travelling amidst the majestic trees in Walpole's Valley of the Giants. Much of the trail is already open, with cyclist able to ride the 600km stretch from Mundaring to Manjimup and the 75km between Denmark and Albany.

The Munda Biddi claims to be the longest mountain bike trail "of its kind" in the world. The "of its kind" is an important differential separating it from 4,432km Great Divide mountain bike route in the United States. Both trails utilise existing infrastructure, such as fire trails and disused railway lines, however, large sections of the Great Divide are now on paved road and there is no purpose-built infrastructure along the way. The Munda Biddi has long tracts of custom built off-road bike trail and purpose built shared cabins and campsites spaced out every 30-45km along the route.

Birrell says there is no other long-distance mountain bike trail in the world designed like that.

The ride itself can be challenging, with sections ranging from hard to easy, but the trail is not a technical ride. For those looking for a technical thrill, there are many mountain biking offshoots along the way.

While completion is set for February, Birrell says the Munda Biddi will be officially opened in April when fire danger is low. To celebrate the opening, the Foundation will hold "The Epic", an end-to-end ride limited to 24 riders, with first preference given to the many volunteers who have helped make the trail a reality since its inception back in 2002.

But anyone can ride the trail at any time of year. Those who would like to can also register beforehand with the Munda Biddi Trail Foundation and be appointed "Trail Master" upon completion, receiving a numbered jersey in recognition.

Details and maps for the Munda Biddi Trail can be found on the Foundation's website.

UPDATE: An official opening date for the trail has now been set. Please read Munda Biddi Trail set to open in April for more details about the opening and the inaugural ride, The Epic 1000.

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