Safety and Getting Lost
Q: What are the basic safety considerations of cycling in groups?
Keep your group size manageable; up to 6 people is preferred. Keeping a cycling group together in the bush can sometimes be more difficult than bushwalking, because cycling is a faster activity and people ride at different rates. The most experienced rider in your group should go first, but the leader needs to be aware that he or she will be expected to cycle more slowly and stop more often than they may be used to. The leader will watch for markers and warn about upcoming obstacles for following riders. Another experienced rider (‘cleanup’) must go last ensuring that no one is left behind. The leader should wait for the cleanup or "Tail-End Charlie" to catch up at each major junction. The whole group must ride at the pace of the slowest rider, and if anyone shows signs of tiredness, heat exhaustion or dehydration, rest and drink. This is probably the best excuse to park the bike, get the snacks out and enjoy the bush and the company of the other riders. Keep in sight or vocal contact with the cyclists in front and behind you. If you lose contact, stop and stay where you are until others from the group join you.
If it becomes necessary along the way, you might want to break up into two groups depending on ability and desire for speed. This must be a conscious decision and everyone must be aware of the change. Always notify the ride leader or cleanup if you have to leave the group for any reason.
If you are planning a ride with a group of 8 or more people you will need to first fill out a Notification of Intent form for the Parks and Wildlife Service.
Q: What if I get lost, sick or injured?
A lone cyclist who is ill or injured should STAY ON THE TRAIL even if it means spending an unplanned night in the forest. Camp close to the Trail so that you can be easily found. You should leave details of your planned itinerary with a reliable contact at home who will alert the police if you fail to make contact or turn up at an agreed time and they are concerned for your safety.
The Police are the agency responsible for search and rescue in WA and can be contacted by ringing 000. They will usually involve the Department of Parks and Wildlife in searches on the Trail.