Munda Biddi Trail: Suggestions to DPAW / maintenance team

We have been riding parts or all of the Munda Biddi for four times over a period of twelve years, spending a total of 40 days on the trail. Besides some general observations about the trail, we have a small number of suggestions to the great folks at the WA Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (which results in the utterly intuitive acronym DPAW).

  1. Please stop the hoons!

    This is obviously much easier said than done, but those assholes on trail bikes, who have no place in national parks, are destroying the Munda Biddi! They have already pretty much destroyed the section between Oakley Dam and Jarrahdale, turning one of the nicest (and reasonably easy) sections into a cyclist's hell (at least for those of us doing the whole gamut, and therefore are riding with a heavy load).

    There's no reason to believe they'll stop there. Something needs to be done or the Munda Biddi will deteriorate into a mixture of boring roads and proving grounds for masochists.

  2. Please bring back the diversion signs!

    There used to be a sign, showing a map of the original and diverted trail, at every temporary or permanent realignment end point. These are no longer being used: we saw a number of empty signage boards, and many realignments with no sign whatsoever. Only in the southern part were a few signs (for temporary diversions along Beardmore road).

    This is a true regression. These signs are valuable. Without them you suddenly notice that the map and the signs disagree. Of course, you follow the signs, but it is easy to miss a sign, and then you have no idea where the trail might be, and even backtracking may be non-trivial.

    It was particularly bad between Lake Brockman and Bidjar Ngoulin, where the paper map, the GPS track we've downloaded 2 months before the ride, and the signs all show a different route! This is not only confusing, it's outright dangerous. Riders must be able to rely on their navigation aids!

  3. Please advertise diversions consistently!

    Diversion maps often lie out at the huts, but not always. In particular, DPAW seems to assume that everyone is riding N->S, and puts the maps into the huts to the N of a diversion. As we pointed out, riding S->N makes much more sense anyway, so this isn't helpful. Specifically, we found no maps warning of upcoming diversions at Yarri nor at Dandalup huts, both of which had significant diversions to their North.

    In other cases there were diversion maps that were likely outdated, showing temporary diversions that had long been removed. (We removed the one we knew about, but in some cases the no-longer active diversions were ahead of us.) Please remove these maps when they are no longer valid!

  4. Some extra water tanks would be nice

    We realise that this is a much bigger ask, but it doesn't harm asking... Some sections are uncomfortably long when riding in summer (for which there are quite a few good reasons!) These sections could be made safer with some reliable interim water supply points. Examples are Dandalup to Jarrahdale (now that this section is so hard, thanks to the tail-bike hoons), Karta Burnu to Nannup, and Jinung Beigabup to Booner Mundak.

Having said that, we'd like to repeat our thanks and appreciation to the DPAW folks and their volunteer helpers for creating and maintaining this incredible, wonderful trail!

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© Gernot Heiser 2019.