The start of 2018 was great, however things slowly turned south after finding out on my birthday that I had glandular fever.
After several attempts of rushing recovery from this illness I found myself in even worse condition than when I started. I missed lots of racing and opportunities overseas with the team. Whilst this was all happening it became clear that my tonsils needed to be removed due to severe tonsillitis. With lots of time on the side line I had a long time to think and plan out how I would approach my racing for the second half of the year.
Motivation was a little bleak to be honest. Starting from square one is never easy so I purchased a gravel/Mountain Bike with the aim to start my base training off road. Riding tracks around my local area really sparked the need for something epic.
One day at work I was speaking to my mate Chaice, who last year rode the whole Munda Biddi Trail solo as a 17yr old, taking nine days to do so. After hearing Chaice’s story I jokingly bet that we could do it in six days. I forgot to take into account that the trail was 1050km long, so this meant averaging 150km – 180km a day. On a mountain bike this corresponds to 8hrs – 9hrs a day on the bike with all personal gear attached.
The Munda Biddi Trail runs from Mundaring to Albany on various terrains such as dreaded pea gravel to flowy MTB single tracks. It also explores WA’s incredible south west countryside.
This ride was not only physically challenging but also more of a mental battle. With the occasional broken spoke, and new wildlife buddies to contend with (namely Emus and Kangaroos) we managed to knock off the trail in six days. Here is a snapshot of the days:
Day 1: Mundaring – Dwellingup = 9:30hrs
Day 2: Dwellingup – Collie = 7:45hrs
Day 3: Collie – Nannup = 8:05hrs
Day 4: Nannup – Pemberton = 8:20hrs
Day 5: Pemberton – Walpole = 8:32hrs
Day 6: Walpole – Albany = 7:48hrs
Total Distance: 1015km
Total Time: 48.8hrs
Highlight: Meeting a lovely old lady named Wonder who did our washing at a B&B in Collie. Shout-out to Wonder! Also, finding a Turkish delight in my bag.
Lowlight: Breaking a spoke on day 2 with 800km of trail left.
That’s the funny thing about riding; it’s a torturous meditation. As a cyclist, I would highly recommend mixing things up and riding with your mates in the middle of nowhere, as you never know where you will find things about this sport that you love.
Check out my Instagram page for more behind the scenes shots of my adventure: https://www.instagram.com/theo_yates/