Jarrahdale to Dandalup
Munda Biddi Trail
23rd August 2021
The Ride - Day Three on the Munda Biddi and this would be another big day to try and hold pace so we had the chance of catching up to the planned itinerary before Nannup. Our stay at our last minute BnB in Jarrahdale had been very pleasant and thanks to a continental breakfast being provided, we could sleep in a little and enjoy a bite to eat while we readied our gear. The plan for today was to make it to Dwellingup where we had accommodation booked and hopefully the pub kitchen would be open, unlike the previous nights debacle. It had been recommended to us that it would be a good idea to grab a takeaway roll from the Jarrahdale General Store before departing town so that meant a later than anticipated start of 8am as we had to wait for it to open.
Saying goodbye to the noisy but pretty roosters that lived at our BnB, we headed in the wrong direction for the end goal of the day to visit the General Store. It was a very brisk morning as we parked up and waited to be let in. After ordering our rolls we departed and found our way out of town via George St and then Curo St as it turns into Serpentine National Park. Unfortunately it was quite obvious as soon as we entered the national park that this area is ground zero for illegal dirt bike riding as the trail was heavily chewed up. This section leading all the way down to the Serpentine River would be the worst of the pea gravel thanks to the heathen on their dyrt boiks and the steep gradients being easily eroded after the rains. Ignoring the slow going in the pea gravel and focussing on enjoying the riding, it would at least be downhill after the first small hill of the day. I was impressed early on by the thick trees and ground cover wattle that was looking extra nice in the morning sunshine streaming through the canopy. Being so close to a town you can't expect the national park to go on forever and the trail does take you next to a cleared field that has views down towards Millbrook Winery.
Around here I spotted my first Black Cockatoo for the day, keeping my streak alive at three days for seeing one of these magnificent birds. Reaching the descent, this wouldn't be as easy a task as I thought it would be as the vehicle tracks through here are some of the most eroded on the entire track and it takes a great deal of concentration and picking the right line to stay attached to the bike. With everything rattling and shaking around, it was a good test of the bags to see how they fared with what would be the most punishment they would cop over the whole trip. Successfully negotiating the downhill section at a much slower speed than expected, we reached the Serpentine River crossing and a sense of dread came over me. What goes down must go up on long distance cycling and river valleys, while pretty sometimes, often mean an immediate uphill climb. This big puppa was 150m of vert with some sharp gradients along the way, although at the time of writing the Munda Biddi Foundation is building a realignment that will make the whole experience much better. I let Aron go on ahead while I took off my jacket and winter gloves, psyching myself up for the biggest ascent of the day.