Fairy Orchid on the Munda Biddi
Forest near Collie on the Munda Biddi

Yarri to Collie Junction

Munda Biddi Trail

Start

Yarri Hut

Time

2-3 Hours

Finish

Collie Junction

Date Ridden

26th August 2021

Length

26.7km

Elevation

296m

Traditional Custodians

Kaniyang People

The Ride - After a few days of sunny weather riding from Carinyah to Yarri Campsite, we finally got some rain worth writing home about as the afternoon set in. I love being in camp when it's raining, relaxing under the tin roof and listening to the sound of the pitter patter. Spending the night playing Yahtzee and then having a very long snozzle, it wouldn't be long until we were on the middle stretch of the track where you ride from town to town enjoying creature comforts every night. Waking up to a drizzly morning, I laid in my toasty sleeping bag like a burrito and enjoyed the last of the warmth before getting up and getting ready for the day. 

Up and about around camp, this would just be one of those mornings where it seemed the bikepacking world was against me. I had started to develop some saddle sores thanks to some warmer days and not using the right protection (apply your butt cream!!!) so that was playing on my mind. While packing up my bike, I was tightening the strap on my saddle bag and a plastic clip flew off and hit me in the face. Not remembering how it attached to the bag or seeing a way I could reconnect it, in the end I just manually tied it off and that technique I would have to use for the rest of the trip. With the light rain continuing to fall as we were set to depart, I didn't really want to expose my camera to the wet given it was about 12 months since I lost my D7500 to that fate on the Tagon Coastal Trail. With walking, it is fine in light rain as you can protect it a little but with riding you are effectively headbutting the rain as it falls and things get wetter much quicker. For that reason I buried the camera in my backpack and whipped out my waterproof Olympus TG6 I had brought along for this exact scenario. The TG6 allows you to shoot RAW images (larger file type), one of the reasons I got it for basic underwater photography but unfortunately it became clear early on that the images coming off it for landscapes were not very good.  

The scenery in the first part of the day wasn't overly photogenic with lots of overgrown bushes and burnt forest so by the time the rain eased off enough to bring out the main camera, I hadn't missed much. The setup I have for carrying the camera when I'm riding is to have it clip to my backpack strap at the front pointing down and I found this to be a great way of keeping the lens dry, along with being super accessible. To help protect it a little more I wrapped a buff around it so the body didn't get too wet and this seemed to work alright. Passing under the powerlines for the first time of many times this day, it's a mix of rail form and recently burnt forest through to a section of farmland. Here the rain eased off to the lightest of drizzles and this was perfect as we entered a section of forest that was the best we'd see all morning. Given the comments in the log book at Yarri from 10-15 years ago suggested the ride from Lake Brockman to Yarri was high quality, I imagine this is what that section used to look like before the FPC logged the bejesus out of it. Making this stretch even better was that it was part of a 9km downhill run that made for some thoroughly enjoyable riding. The thick boi trees were everywhere, a rarity in most State Forests and I tried to keep the lens free of moisture but was fighting an uphill battle.