Have you ever wanted to give mountain biking a try but don’t know where to begin? The Kalamunda trails in Perth Hills may be what you’re looking for. With great facilities — plus places to secure group rides and skills sessions — it’s a popular hub for West Australian mountain bikers for a reason.

Why Kalamunda?

“There’s around 48km of machine-built single track out here, ” says Mark Wardle, co-owner at Rock ‘N’ Roll Mountain Biking.

“It caters for all levels — there’s a range of trails from green (easiest) to blue (intermediate) all the way up to black (advanced).”

The Kalamunda Mountain Bike Collective keeps the trails in tip-top shape and provides a central point for anyone looking to get into the sport.

“We saw the chance to look after the circuit and promote mountain biking in the Kalamunda area — we’ve already got about 1300 members, ” president Shane Williams says.

Mr Williams attributes the group’s quick growth partly to the huge mental release and social aspects that mountain biking offers.

“When you jump on a bike, you forget about your day — all you’re doing is concentrating on the track, ” he says.

Kalamunda rider Bryan Stevenson recently returned to mountain biking and says the upgrades on trails since he last rode are fantastic.

“I got back into mountain biking about four years ago — 20-odd years ago I used to ride in Kalamunda and we’d basically be riding down fire trails you shouldn’t have been, ” he says.

“It’s got a really good loop now — very well sign-posted, quite technical and good fun.”

What are the major benefits?

Mr Wardle credits the popularity of mountain biking to three major factors — the challenges, excitement and fitness. “It’s more than being on a road bike — you’ve got the terrain to think about, ” he says. “When you do something for the first time — regardless of your skill level — you’ll get that excitement and buzz out of the sport.”

While some forms of riding may just strengthen your legs, movements like lifting the front wheel and pushing the bike from side to side ensure your whole body is challenged while mountain biking.

Where do I start?

Find a group ride or skill clinic:

When getting started, it’s a good idea to hit the trails in a group to gain confidence. Try kalamundacollective.com.au or rockandrollmountainbiking.com.au to find a session to suit you.

Stick with your level:

“Choose trails that are appropriate for your skill level — when people just jump on the most difficult trails there are, that will always cause them problems, ” Mr Wardle says.

Pack smart:

Bring water, food, medical and bike-repair kits, maps and let people know where you’re going.


© The West Australian