01MayAll Day05Pipeline ChallengeAn epic ride along the historic route of the goldfield's pipelineKalgoorlieState:WADiscipline:Gravel,MTBTerrain:Mixed,UndulatingDistance:121-160 km,160+ km,81-120 kmType Ride:Charity,Multi-day,Recreational
The Pipeline Challenge is an epic adventure along the pipeline that connects Kalgoorlie to Perth The Pipeline Challenge is an epic 5 day, 600km ride
The Pipeline Challenge is an epic adventure along the pipeline that connects Kalgoorlie to Perth
The Pipeline Challenge is an epic 5 day, 600km ride along the historic Goldfields Pipeline that starts in Kalgoorlie and finishes in Perth.
The route is unique in that it travels along the historic water pipeline, which has been transporting fresh water from Mundaring Weir through to the goldfields town of Kalgoorlie, for over a century. The Pipeline Challenge has been granted tenure to ride the complete length of the pipeline, through privately owned farms near Northam. This is the only sanctioned opportunity that you’ll ever have to ride this ‘out of bounds’ route as you cannot ride it independently.
Day 1, the ride starts in Kalgoorlie and then travels along the pipeline to Coolgardie, which is a simple 55km ride away.
Day 2 is when it starts to get tough as you ride from Coolgardie through to Southern Cross. This is 185 km through the large undulations on a reasonable hard packed sand track. Falling asleep that night will be quite easy at your campsite!
Day 3 is from Southern Cross through to Merriden. 116 km again over quite hard packed sand with a hint of gravel.
Day 4 is another long day as you ride from Merridan to Northam. This is 172 km with a bit more elevation gain as you ride into Northam.
Day 5, the last day, is a 67 km ride from Northern through to Mundaring. What it doesn’t have in distance is made up for in elevation gain, with mountain bike technical skills required.
This will be a true test of your stamina, as well as your mind.
The weather along the trip is in early May which is toward the end of autumn heading into winter. This means that the weather should be quite pleasant, being mild in the morning, say 5 degrees, to warmer during the day (about 20 degrees). There is a slight chance of light rain if a cold front comes through.
The event organisers encourage riders to participate as part of a relay-style team, which means it’s a lot more fun that way (not to mention easier). Each team will ride as a self sufficient unit with their own support vehicle, preferably with a trailer, bike rack, camping gear and bike spares. The riders can either ride for any length they wish to. Each team can have more than one rider cycling at any one time, as long as someone is riding.
There are a number of spaces available for soloists. If you’re up for riding the whole distance by yourself then you’ll need to get in touch with the organisers before registering as a soloist.
Remember this is a ride, not a race. The Pipeline Challenge is about personal enjoyment and overcoming your mental and physical anguish to complete the Pipeline challenge.
The ride, while challenging, isn’t overly technical and can be completed by anyone with a reasonable level of fitness and a mountain bike. You can expect rocky outcrops, sand, and lots of corrugations with many ups and downs.
The Pipeline Challenge is more than just a mountain bike ride, as it raises funds for WA charity Youth Futures and their work with homeless youth.
Getting to Kalgoorlie from Perth is a 600km drive, or a 7 hour train trip, or a one hour plane trip from from Perth. As most teams will have a support vehicle they may choose to travel with their support team.
You’ll find other cycling events, like the Pipeline Challenge, in our online Cycling Event Calendar.