You don't need mountains for mountain biking but you do need off-road trails. That can include easy riding on wide trails with gentle gradients through to extreme adventure trails with very steep gradients, rough and slippery surfaces and big, unavoidable obstacles.
We use the IMBA (International Mountain Biking Association) Trail Difficulty Rating System that includes an indication of the level of skills and fitness required to ride the trail, and the type of bike that you’ll need.
Mountain bikers identify a number of different disciplines of the sport. Of those, most opportunities in parks are for XC (cross-country) riding: point-to-point or loop trails with ascents and descents on existing forestry tracks, former railway corridors (‘rail trails’) or purpose-built ‘single track’ (trails wide enough for just one bike). There are a number of DH (downhill) trails, which are generally at the more extreme end of the spectrum and too steep and difficult to ride up, freeride skills parks and a 4X (four-cross) track where four riders can all race together.
The Munda Biddi Trail is a long distance cycle touring trail that traverses a number of parks on its route between Perth and Albany. Over 1000km in length, it includes a variety of XC trail types and also a number of sections of sealed and unsealed roads in between parks.
You can also find more detailed information on mountain bike trails, including those managed by Parks and Wildlife, at the TrailsWA website.
Whatever trail you ride you must wear a helmet. Your bike must be in good working order and suitable for the difficulty rating of the trail. You should carry a first aid kit, toolkit and spares and know how to fix your bike out on the trail. Lots of extra protective equipment is available – we recommend gloves and glasses at the least, and for the more difficult trails you should consider a full-face helmet and body armour.
Many riders prefer to ride in the cooler hours of twilight or darkness, often to escape the heat of summer days. This requires extra skill and extra equipment – you must have high power lights for both your bike and your helmet.
Mountain bike clubs throughout the state run social and competitive rides, maintain existing trails and develop new ones. Details are available from the Western Australian Mountain Biking Association (WAMBA).
The Orienteering Association of Western Australia, not affiliated with WAMBA, runs an annual series of mountain bike orienteering (MTBO) events.