Ride Report

WA: 40th Anniversary BRM 600 – Perth to Bridgetown

Audax Theme
600km route

At 6am 18 September, a wet and cold Saturday, four riders (Nick, Perry, Gary and Wayne) rode off to follow a 600km route to the south of Perth that was first ridden as an Audax ride on an also cold and wet day in October 1985 (for ride report).  The ride celebrated 40 years of Audax riding in WA and was also to help riders prepare for upcoming longer distance rides on WA’s calendar. Three riders successfully completed the 600 kms within the 40 hour time limit.

Also Tim finished the BA 100km route (around the Swan River) on the day and Hitesh completed the original 300km BRM to Harvey and back.

Thank you to Nick Mandoki for RO’ing, and Nick and Gary for the photos.

Here’s some feedback from the 600km riders …

Nick’s feedback

Weather gods did NOT smile on us. Very wet and very cold on Saturday (Sunday was fine – but the damage had already been done by then).

The back roads between Harvey and Burekup are a nice way to avoid the SW highway, but the road surface leaves a lot to be desired in places (ask Gary how many punctures he had). Add rain water, mud, and cow poo to the mix and it becomes altogether very messy.

Wayne decided to take the clean, dry, and warm option by heading to his sister in law’s place in Bunbury. Gary, Perry, and myself battled on and by the end of Sunday we had earned our brevets.

Hitesh finished his 300km in good time. He’s a strong rider, and always has a smile on his face. He wasn’t fazed by the weather – in fact he told me he enjoys riding in the rain!

Tim finished his 100km. It took him a bit longer than expected as some of the paths on his route have a lot of pedestrians/dog walkers/kids. On the plus side he was impressed with the scenery, and went back the next day for a hike with his partner.

Ryan was a non-starter (forgotten helmet). But he went and did a perm over the weekend – good on him!

Route elevation about 3900m

Perry’s experience

It was a memorable ride with great company.

The 170 kms from Burekup to Kirup (2nd time) was very hilly with many short, steep climbs. Time taken 10h 30m with about 1h 15m of stops. There was 3900m of elevation enroute, of which about 3000m would be within the section between 3km past Burekup and 6km short of Donnybrook, so about 180km.

From Greenbushes to Bridgetown to Balingup to Kirup was frequently a ‘pea soup’ sometimes of both smoke and fog. Visibility range between Bridgetown and Kirup was as low as 5 metres! In Balingup it was difficult to see nearby buildings.

I had a very deep 3hr sleep at Kirup in/on my nice warm Bivvy Bag/Sleeping Bag/Thermal Mat. Then it was a quick 20km into Donnybrook for a great brekky at the Bakery at 8:20AM

Gary and myself spent about 1.5hrs fixing punctures. We used 4 of our 6 spare tubes. (no puncture repair kits were used)

We stopped at shops in Pinjarra, Harvey, Burekup, Donnybrook and Pinjarra again for fresh food and drinks.

Stops also at Ferguson Valley hall (just before sunset), Bridgetown (just before midnight) and Kirup for about 5hrs (2:30-7:30AM) then Yarloop (we ate food bought at the DB Bakery).

Gary’s perspective

So Nick and Perry have given you most of the stats from our ride.

It was very frustrating getting all my punctures … 2 front 2 back … had a bit of drama with the deep front rim. It was quite difficult to get the tyre back on and I had to use a tyre leaver. Unfortunately it pinched a tube first time round 🤪so my first flat I did twice! On the plus side we where at the Yarloop toilets and had shelter from the rain during the repair.

On one of the tiny rough back roads before Burekup a local farmer coming the other way was frantically flash his headlights, he thought I was a motorcycle with my high beam on. He was very impressed with my dyno light ! ( this was during the day too)

The hilly section was very challenging with the extra weight on the back😵‍💫, but the views were stunning.

I also really enjoyed the ride into Bridgetown with the fog, it’s was very eerie with the lights cutting through however the smoke was not so good for the throat! 

The stop for a few hours of kip in Kirup … made good use of the facility’s to keep out of the wind. Cranked up the gas BBQ in the morning to toast my sandwich, also doubling up as a hand warmer 🥶

Coffee at the Donnybrook bakery was awesome and very welcoming after a long night.

All up I really enjoyed the ride and the great company … thanks Perry.