Southern Forests bike tour to come through Southern Forest area

Daniel HockingManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Cyclists on the On Your Bikes Tour 2021.
Camera IconCyclists on the On Your Bikes Tour 2021. Credit: Supplied by the Cycle Touring Association of WA

More than 100 cyclists will soon be pedalling through the southern forests, making the most of the wildflowers and sunny weather the South West has to offer on a nine-day trek through some of the region’s best-kept secrets.

The On Your Bike Southern Forests Tour, running from October 15 to 23, will take the 125 participants from the starting point in Balingup through to Donnybrook, Boyup Brook, Bridgetown, Manjimup and Northcliffe to finish up in Pemberton.

One of the tour’s leaders Brian McAuliffe said the unique countryside and the regional town visits are the most appealing to cyclists on the tour.

“There’s quite a few people who like taking photographs of wildflowers, especially in this time of year,” Mr McAuliffe said.

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“People wanting to enjoy themselves with likeminded people in a country setting, while supporting country towns and sporting clubs in those towns, and also supporting small businesses as well.”

Mr McAuliffe said the tour would be capped at 130 participants, so as to not overload local facilities and businesses in the towns they visit.

“We like to get down to the country areas and show the city people what’s going on in the country and also support the local businesses where we can,” he said.

“People buy lunches and coffee, and the bakeries and outlets should do well and the football clubs as well.”

He said he believed the difference between the Southern Forests tour this year, compared with other tours, was the natural landscape that forms the backdrop of the tour.

“We’ve got the forests and the beautiful tall trees and that sort of thing, and out in the Wheatbelt, it’s totally different,” Mr McAuliffe said.

“At this time of year, you’ve got canola crops and that sort of thing.

“It’s just a different sort of experience.”

Cyclists on the tour will be stopping in Manjimup, where they will rest and be able to explore the town.

While the warmer weather will be welcomed by the cyclists, the terrain and distances needing to be covered were not taken lightly.

“It is fairly challenging because of the hills.” Mr McAuliffe says.

“Certainly Nannup and Bridgetown will be a challenge and the distances as well, there’s a couple of distances with a couple of kilometres.”

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