Before you go
While the trails around Alice Springs are well-marked and there’s little chance you will get lost, Jennifer still recommends riders are well-stocked with water.
“It’s a bit deceiving on the trails, especially when it’s a bit cooler during winter. By the time you get thirsty you’re probably already dehydrated. We encourage riders to carry lots of water and to drink about a litre per hour,” advises Jennifer.
Jennifer also recommends a repair kit (spare tube, levers, multi-tool, pump), a map and a cellphone. “I haven’t heard of anyone getting into trouble out there, but it is always good to be prepared,” says Jennifer.
Choose your path
The big surprise for mountain bikers hitting the trails around Alice Springs for the first time is how varied they are and how well they’ve been organised into a series of circuits suitable for riders of varying skill, experience and fitness levels.
The 200 kilometres or more of trails (nobody is quite sure the total length) range from old dirt roads and access trails to handmade singletracks that weave through outcrops and fast tracks that take riders through tall bush grass, many of them following the natural lines taken by wildlife.
“The variety is incredible,” says Jennifer. “In an easily manageable area you could find yourself on a sharply twisting climb as you scale a ridge, rolling down a rock face into a gully or powering through a sandy singletrack surrounded on all sides by eye-level high vegetation.
“All the trails are colour-coded so riders can choose their level of difficulty. There are beginner’s trails with small obstacles and shallow climbs, intermediate trails where the ground is a little lose and the gradients steeper and trails that offer real challenges for more advanced riders.”