Kep Track

Jan 2018

26" hard tail, no luggage

I wanted to ride from Clackline to Midland Train station on the Kep Track and the Railway Reserves Heritage Trail. Starting at Clackline avoids the steep, rough up hill section from Northam, and also the sealed section. And by joining the trail at Clackline, you only ride on rail trail.
The weather forecast for Perth on Australia Day was 30 degrees, so I planned the ride. But the night before I saw the forecast for Northam (close to my start point) was 38 degrees, so it was going to be warmer than I expected. So an early start was called for, and I was actually on the Trail at 8am, heading back to Perth.
By 9am the temperature wass 28degrees, and 30 degrees by 10am. It stayed around that number for the rest of the ride. For this office based worker, it was a bit warm, but I kept my fluids up and didn't over do it.
Generally the Trail is a good gravel track with gentle slopes. As you would expect in January, the gravel was often loose in parts, but that just slowed you down in parts a little. A couple of kilometres from Wooroloo the Trail had obviously been used by horses a lot, and the surface was very diveted, and harder to ride. But it only lasted a kilo click or two.
I had a quick drink at the Wooroloo general store, which was open on the public holiday.
I said the slopes were gentle, but the long slope up into Chidlow had me needing a break half way up it. And I had another short break in Chidlow too. I only saw 3 riders on the Kep between Clackline and Mt Helena.
The switchback over the pipeline on Johnson St and Sawyers Rd in Mt Helena was well marked. Just after that, the Kep track joins the Railway Reserve Heritage Trail. The Kep follows the Southern section to Mundaring, but I continued straight on the Northern section. You soon enter John Forrest National Park, and there were a lot more walkers and riders about. But it was good fun barrelling off the Scarp, and soon I was at the end of the Railway Reserves HT in Bellvue. From there, it is 3.8km to Midland Train station, and a short train ride home - I was too hot and tired to cycle it!