A public holiday (Monday) added to my ‘day-off’ on Fridays. Space for a plan – we’re both aware that there’s an opportunity, but the actual process gets put off. Hope is bolstered by a sunny (but chilly) weather forecast…
In contrast to Cass and Nancy who’ve got it all mapped out, our route only takes final shape hours before we start. The process starts with the approaching weekend; continues with Bryn’s and my introductory first overnight foray onto the Bibbulman Track (this a 1000km walk from Albany to Perth that Sarah did solo in 7 weeks a few years ago); then searches for the ‘shuffle’ to close the loop. The night before we leave I add the final touch. I spot the chance to fill-in a bit of Munda Biddi (the mountain bike version of the Bibbulmun) that we’ve not done – Sarah’s eyes light up and we’re hooked. Minor details slot into place: how will we carry the back-packs? (I’ll ride the Big Dummy, not the Twenty2 Fat-bike as I’d thought) and what will Sarah ride? (is this a good time to get back onto a normal bike, rather than the Greenspeed Trike? – try the mtb and see!).
Drop the bikes (my Surly Big Dummy and Sarah’s Rocky Mountain ETSX) plus the Chariot CX1 at the Brookton Highway junction of the Bibbulmun Trail. Drive round (via Kinsella Road – dirt) to the Sullivan’s Rock carpark at the Albany Highway junction with the Bibbulum. Walk north and connect with the bikes after 2 nights on the Bibb-track; then do a highway section before turning south on the Munda Biddi and a further highway section to finish. The back-ups: there are huts on the Bibbulmun if we get to them at the right time (or at least for water pick-ups), and if it comes down to it (and a normal bike isn’t going to work for Sarah) I can take the direct-cut to pick the car up while she and Bryn enjoy the view somewhere on the return leg….
As an afterthought we pack food (some home-dried) and clothes/nappies.
The huts on both trails (Bibb and MB) are vital – as water points more than as places to sleep. There’s not often much in the way of ground-water even in winter, so the rain-tanks make following the trails possible.
We reached the car just as dusk turned to dark having taken a dirt-road shortcut prior to a somewhat unanticipated 12km on pavement to finish.
The verdict: a success in all aspects