Why we ride the Munda Biddi in Summer

Some people think it's crazy, but there are very good reasons to do the ride in the hight of summer.

  1. It's Warm (obviously)

    This means no need for cold weather gear, and on a bike you need lots of that when it's cold. We never managed to cycle in below 10°C without fingers and toes being somewhere between completely numb and extremely painful. No risk of that in summer, even in the South. Saves a lot of weight and pain.

  2. It's Dry

    Perth and the WA South West have very Mediterranean climate: dry summers, wet winters. During the summer months you're almost guaranteed to remain dry; at any other time you have to expect rain; in the winter you'll get it most days.

    In our four times on the Munda Biddi, totalling 40 days of riding, all in late December to early January, we got rained on once (in the South, of course), and even then the rain was very light, our ultra-light spray jackets were totally adequate. Again, no rain reduces weight and pain.

  3. It's Quiet

    For some reason this time is really unpopular, going by how few other trail riders we met, and also judging by the trail books at all the huts. In fact, in all of our Munda Biddi experience we never shared a camp site! Having the whole place to yourself is great.

  4. There's Plenty of Time

    In late December you have 15 hours of daylight. This vastly increases flexibility. With a 6am start you have 5 hours of relative cool, and another 2 hours until the really hot part of the day hits. This is often enough to reach camp, else you can do a long lunch break and ride another 2–3 hours and still get to camp in plenty of time before sunset.

In short, we wouldn't do it any other way.

The obvious drawback is the heat and the need to carry more water. We generally find it easier to cope with heat than cold when riding (see above). Unless you're on a long uphill stretch there's always draft from riding (a significant advantage over walking!)

Water is a real issue. But, unlike cold/wet weather gear, you can adjust the amount of water you carry to weather and availability, and hydrating well when you're at a camp or other supply point.

We found that most of the time we were ok with just our two 0.75l bidons each (making the most of the cool period and planning where to pick up water on the way). Other times we carried an extra 2l between the two of us. Only once we carried 1.5l beyond that in case we had to camp in the wild, but ended up pushing on to Nannup and dumping the extra water an hour before getting there.

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© Gernot Heiser 2019.