There is a wide variety of mountain biking options in parks and reserves that include easy riding on wide vehicle tracks with gentle gradients through to adventurous and narrow ‘single track’ trails with very steep gradients, rough and slippery surfaces and unavoidable technical obstacles. Different styles of riding are catered for, including cross country (XC), downhill (DH) and long-distance touring.
In WA, mountain bike trails are classified based on the technical difficulty of the trail, using the system described in the WA Mountain Bike Management Guidelines. The system is broadly consistent with the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) system. Ensure the trails you are planning to ride are suitable to you and your group’s skill and experience level.
Follow the WA Mountain Bikers Code:
- Be prepared – check trail conditions, take water, food, spares, tools, clothes and first aid. Tell a trusted and responsible person of your plans, including return details and for longer trips, schedule your progress reports. Provide sufficient detail so that someone has the information needed to get help if required.
- Know yourself, your bike and your trail – ride within your skills and abilities, check your bike, helmet and gear, read the trailhead information and choose your trail.
- Respect your trail and the environment – follow signage, stay on-trail and don’t take shortcuts, protect wildlife and plants and take rubbish home. Prevent the spread of Phytophthora Dieback – keep your bike and gear clean.
- Make it a good experience – share the trail, pass safely and courteously, help others out.
For your safety and comfort:
- Always wear a helmet.
- Ensure your bike is in good working order and suitable for the style and grading of the trail.
- Lots of extra protective equipment is available. Wear gloves and glasses at the least, and for the more difficult trails, consider a full-face helmet and body armour.
- Plan your ride for the most suitable season and/or daily weather condition.
- If you are riding on lesser used or remote trails, consider carrying a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) or a satellite phone with you and know how to use them in the event of an emergency.
- For longer rides always take extra food and water.
Check out the Outdoor Council of Australia’s Guidance for learning to cycle, cycling, cycle touring and mountain biking.