Western Australia’s Growing Offroad Handcyclists
Over the last two months, with the support of Wheelchair Sports Association WA an the Munda Biddi Trail Foundation, we have been able to share the experience of off-road handcycling to a growing number of people with disabilities and varying abilities.
Demo Day 1: First Ever “Come & Try Day”
This ANZAC weekend saw ten Wheelchair Sports WA members headed out to Sculpture Park in Mundaring to have a go on our Off-Road Handcycle equipment for the first time!
Alongside our participating members, we also had a large number of family and friends down, many of which also got involved, as well as some other supporters who came along to help out.
Read the full report here.
Photos Courtesy of Nick Cambridge Photography
Demo Day 2: Try the Trail Day
One of the most enjoyable things about cycling off road is that you don’t know what the exact conditions are going to be like on the day. On Sunday 21st June, this was no exception.
Following on from the ‘Come and Try’ day, it was time to up the ante and give new participants to the sport of Off-road handcyling a taste of what mountain biking has to offer over a 9km stretch of the Munda Biddi Trail.
With an early start to the day and weather forecasts looking grim at best due to the heavy grey clouds shrouding the Perth Hills, a group of 10 riders and support crew decided to push ahead with the day.
The first group gathered at Mundaring’s Sculpture Park and took off in what started as a light shower. It wasn’t long before the riders were picking up some speed and grinding away at the dirt. The rain picked up, but by then riders had forgotten about getting wet and were simply enjoying the experience of dirt, mud, puddles, tight turns, narrow trails, fast stretches of compact pea-gravel, and uneven hill drops.
The group finished at the bottom of Mundaring Weir where they were welcomed by a large group of friendly kangaroo locals and a pickup vehicle. The weather had undergone a dramatic shift, with barely a cloud appearing in the sky. The nice warm sun welcomed by all.
The second group took off under the blue sky and warm sun but it was about half way down the trail when Mother Nature decided to withdraw her kindness, with a few minutes of heavy rain, drenching the unsuspected riders. Again, the riders finished at Mundaring Weir and were shuttled back to the starting point, where the 3rd and final group was eager to head off.
The weather went from bad to worse and was nothing short of a wild adventure in heavy, cold rain. This was only motivation for the riders to pick up some speed and get through the trail as quick as possible and into a warm vehicle.
Some highlights of the day included:
•Dan Baines rocking out with a pair of fashionable jeans – not your usual riding apparel!
•Heidi Thomas being the first woman in WA (and possibly Australia) to handcycle off road
•Neil C. managing to get through the trails on a single gear, and
•Shaun Norris making some high pitched squeals while going down some hills (sorry mate).
Special thanks to the Munda Biddi Trail Foundation for organising two support guides, Mike and Terry. Their ongoing support and commitment is appreciated by staff and all riders. For more information on the world’s longest stretch of cycle touring trail, visit http://mundabiddi.org.au/.