Ride WA was inspired by COVID-19. We had been scheduled to participate in the Pan Celtic Race (ultra-endurance cycling event) in the UK in July 2020 – this did not go ahead. We were keen to do a long distance cycling adventure in 2021. The restriction of travel outside Australia and even Western Australia seemed like the perfect opportunity to see more of our own state.
The route was designed to showcase some of the most iconic parts of WA as well as places that we personally wanted to visit. We planned with cycling safety as a priority, although in many areas the highway is the only sealed road. Our intention is that our ride will inspire others to see more of our state.
The route is 4,700 km from Broome to Esperance. At a ‘fast touring pace’ averaging 200 km/day, we expect it will take us about 3.5 weeks to complete.
The climate differences between the north and south of WA mean that the route is best ridden in the shoulder season. The ideal windows to do the route are late-April to late-May heading south to north, or mid-August to mid-September heading north to south. With work commitments scheduled for May, we are aiming to start on 16 August 2021.
The route will present many challenges, such as:
- Long distances between food, water, accommodation and mechanical support, particularly for the northern section from Broome to Coral Bay.
- Large differences in climate from north to south, with probable >35 degree days in the north and consecutive cold wet days in the south.
- Extensive sections on major highways, with long road trains (up to 53 m) travelling at high speed in the north, and significant sections with no shoulder.
Why are we doing this? We want to experience the singlemindedness of an extended cycling tour, where the focus is on travelling, efficient use of time, immersion in the landscape, and looking after ourselves.
We are a pair of cyclists from Perth, Western Australia who met on a single day group mountain bike ride. After discovering our mutual interest in exploring and planning routes, we have undertaken many journeys together. We get away for at least an overnight trip once a month. Our longest cycling touring adventure to date has been a week in Victoria touring around alpine peaks – which was epic, and required a lot of adjustment on the fly when our route was interrupted by bushfires (summer 2019-2020).