Learning to ride a bicycle is an important developmental milestone for children, the physical benefits for fitness and core strength are well known but what is often overlooked is the role of bicycles in developing risk reward strategies and behaviour.
Mastering the basics of cycling demands a balancing of the risk of falling off and hurting yourself against the benefit of fun, freedom and independence.
WA is home to some outstanding cycling opportunities covering the full gamut from protected cycle paths to extreme mountain biking.
The peak body for cycling in Western Australia, Westcycle, provides an excellent resource to identify places to ride as well as a series of bike skills courses and workshops for all ages.
Western Australia is home to some fantastic mountain biking trails, many of which are well-suited to families.
Trails WA has a comprehensive listing of some great trails across the State. As a starting point, try any of the trails listed as ‘easy’. These are typically on old railway lines or wide, well-maintained paths with little elevation change or technical elements – basically a great way to take a leisurely spin in the bush.
However, don’t be scared off trying some of the ‘moderate’ trails. These tend to include narrow ‘singletrack’ trails that wind, dip and climb through beautiful bush. They will give you a taster of the ‘woo hoo!’ of mountain biking.
Many of these are very achievable for beginners, but you need to be a bit more selective. These trails are usually divided into ‘green’ beginner trails, ‘blue’ intermediate trails and ‘black’ advanced trails. When selecting a trail, considering choosing ‘green’ trails to start, then graduate to ‘blue’ as your family’s confidence grows.
In the section below, we have listed a few of these ‘moderate’ trails that are well in the ability of most beginner riders.
Before hitting the trails, make sure at a minimum you have:
- Suitable helmet
- Eye protection
- Suitable hydration
- Spare tube, pump and tire leavers (optional, but potentially handy!)
Also be aware that many trails are meant to be ridden in one direction only. They will be signposted as such - please obey these signs and give way to faster riders.
Around the Perth metro area there are great bike paths along the Swan River to Fremantle and from Fremantle up and down the coast. It is a great way to get the family out of the house and active.
The Department of Transport has published a number of maps and guides for recreational cycling around the Perth metropolitan area, including Kings Park, Yellagonga Regional Park, Swan Valley, and the Perth Hills:
- Perth and Kings Park Cycling Guide
- Ride through the Hills - Midland / Mundaring Weir Loop
- Canning and Armadale
- Cockburn and Rockingham
- Joondalup and Stirling
- Mandurah - scenic rides Mandurah and surrounds
- Swan and Canning Rivers - ride around the rivers
- Ride to Swan River and the Sea
- Rockingham - scenic rides Rockingham and surrounds
- Ride Along the Sunset Coast - North
- Ride Along the Sunset Coast - South
- Swan Valley - Cycle Around the Valley
- Guildford Station to Whiteman Park
- Yellagonga Regional Park
Outside of Perth, there are many great regional locations for cycling enthusiasts, including Mandurah, Margaret River, Albany, Kalgoorlie and Kalbarri. Two of our favourites are:
Need bikes for the family, or help learning to ride?
Your Move has some great information about buying the right bike for your needs, for both adults and children.