This article was written by Travis Deane; author of the Western Australian Mountain Bike Guide Book. This book covers over 50 riding locations around the State and is now up to its 3rd edition.
The Coral Coast is also named the Windy Coast, which is a challenge for road cyclists. But for Mountain Biking it is a different story. Out in the lovely bush, often protected by trees the wind has little bearing on the enjoyment of the ride. Wind intensity and direction isn’t much of an issue Mountain Biking so you can sleep in and get a great ride in when you’re ready. With that in mind there are several great places to ride with a range of different experiences.
Greenough Loop, Greenough
Navigation is pretty easy in this 17 kilometre adventure. The track is wide and shared use with walkers and on the beach side the odd vehicle accessing their favourite fishing spot. This is similar to a bush walking experience for walkers rather than a high adrenaline technical ride. You will pass through a variety of environments, riverside with its tight shady trees, dirt roads, farming land, sand dunes and even a ride on the beach. In fact, you ride over the river mouth so it is worth while checking that the river mouth isn’t open and flowing and that you can cross it safely before embarking on your expedition (drive down to the beach access area to view the river mouth). Although not technically challenging the occasional patch of soft sand can throw up the odd surprise so wide aggressive MTB tyres running at a lower pressure (to better float on the sand) is a good choice. With no refuelling areas on this loop making sure your bike is in good condition and you have sufficient water.
Chapman River, Geraldton
More than any other place on the coast this is the home to single track Mountain Biking. If your chasing IMBA Blue trails that give that buzz then a blast around the Chapman Rivers 12 kilometre loop is the place to ride. It is up there with some of the states best trails for maintaining a fast and flowy trail experience. You can access the trails within minutes from the centre of Geraldton town. Or even better ride along the newly complete shared used sealed path off the road and along the beachfront from the CBD as you head north to Spalding Park. The car park at Spalding Park now offers a variety of experiences. The sealed pump track is a buzz for all levels of riders and a three line dirt jump park next to it with concrete kickers offers those who want to get airborne a variety of choices to suit their skill/bravery. At the other side of the Spalding Park car park a terrain park which introduces riders to a variety of features that they may experience out on the trail so they can practice their skills before heading out. The trail loops from the car park and most riders ride the northern side before crossing the river at some point and coming back on the south side. It is a dual directional shared use trail but you are likely to see fellow mountain bikers out there enjoying these trails.
This is the frontier for Mountain Biking in WA. Do you like your ride with a sense of adventure over rough terrain away from civilization? The local Mountain Biking community has been opening up some challenging trails and working with land owners to formalise and promote them. There is very little in the way of formal trails at the moment but if you visit Exmouth make the effort to get in contact with the local Mountain Bike club to experience some exciting rides. The landscape is rocky with low scrub bushes giving riders stunning views of the ocean. The locals recommend very tough sidewall protected tyres running tubeless sealant as the combination of rocks and vegetation conspire to destroy your tyres as quickly as possible. A true adventure on some trails you’re unlikely to forget for a long time.
This article was written by Travis Deane, who experienced these biking adventures independent of Australia’s Coral Coast tourism. Australia’s Coral Coast did not review or approve this story.