Quinninup to Pemberton
Munda Biddi Trail
2nd September 2021
The Ride - Another day and another town to town ride on the Munda Biddi to look forward to. Having split this section into two 40km rides with a stop in Quinninup, we would have another leisurely pedal into one of my favourite towns in the South West. With no café to enjoy a bite of breakfast at, we had a bit of a sleep in and then packed up our gear ready for the journey ahead. It's probably a good thing we didn't take a rest day in Pemberton today as the forecast was for cold and wet weather after a night of decent rain. With a maximum temperature of 12C, it was one of those cold snaps in the South West where it snowed on Bluff Knoll.
Rugged up and ready to go, we said good morning to the local kangaroos at the Eco Tourist Park main lawn and rode up to the Quinninup Tavern. I didn't really feel like riding back up to the official start so I fired up the Strava at the tavern and we headed off along Wheatley Coast Road. Riding down towards the idyllic farmland scenes, this was a familiar spot for me as I'd walked this route getting to the King Karri Trail in 2015. An iconic feature of Quinninup and one I really love is the wooden sculpture as you enter town, the Quinninup Eagle. At the bottom of the hill you will see a wooden sign pointing you to a walk trail along with more colourful Munda Biddi markers. Since my visit in 2015 they have installed a large metal sign at the entrance to the King Karri Trail, which is fantastic to see as the trails in Quinninup used to be hard to find unless you happened to grab a pamphlet at the community centre. This was my first interaction with the Munda Biddi outside of the Perth Hills area and at the time it was slightly inconceivable how someone would ride for day after day with all their gear but now I know it's not as daunting as I thought it would be (actually quite relaxing).
With mostly sunny conditions to start our ride, I knew it wouldn't last so I focused on enjoying the clear weather while it lasted. The overnight rains and wind had made a bit of a mess of the trail with branches and fallen trees blocking the way in parts. It was only a minor inconvenience in what was a lovely area leading towards the crossing of South Western Highway. With the beautiful Karri forest of Greater Dordagup National Park providing a great backdrop, the riding was super enjoyable as we rolled over the highway and started climbing. The ominous dark clouds had joined us and the heavens started to open up right after we entered the forest again. With a light sprinkle falling, it started to get heavier so I searched for a thick boi Karri to take shelter under. With the forecast for rolling showers, it would be over soon so I huddled under my raincoat while admiring my bikepacking setup that had taken me this far. While it was cold and wet, standing under that tree was one of those moments where you take stock of where you are and how good life can be.