The Compartment 10 trails located in the magnificent South West of Western Australia were opened last October after roughly four years of hard work and planning. And AMB enjoyed a guided visit with trail builder boss David Willcox from Common Ground Trails.
Words and Photos: Tim Bardsley-Smith
With a serious amount of flow, the new trails are sure to bring a grin from ear to ear. A combination of whoops, berms, double rollers and tabletops await. The Compartment 10 trails are built entirely in a small section of native bushland and make the most of the space with links to trails in neighbouring networks. Whilst it is a small area, it does amazingly well in the ever-important “bang for buck” stakes. With a small amount of elevation the climbs are relatively easy, and the descents make the most of the hill, using its fall well to help riders generate speed and good times. There is not a lot of rock, with most being pretty hard pack groomed trail, with the exception of a few well placed rocky sections.
Given one of the southern hemisphere’s largest mountain bike events, the Cape to Cape, has helped put Margaret River on the mountain biking map, we can be pretty sure that the trails in Compartment 10 will feature in the new format of the race this October.
The Compartment 10 trails are located in a native forest section adjacent to the original ‘The Pines’ trails. A speedy three hour drive down the freeway south of Perth and then the trails are right next to the main highway before you enter Margaret River itself. Park at the Rotary Park adjacent to Carters Road. The trails are just north of Carters Road.
The new trails at Compartment 10 are machine and hand-built flow trails. There is one technical climb that will test most, but the majority of trails are not very technical in nature. There are heaps of jumps and berms that are quite tricky if hit at speed. However, if you bring the pace down a little it’s all completely rollable and quite fun.
Apart from a good attitude, you would think a bike would be a really good start. However it’s not entirely necessary as you can hire everything you need from the Hairy Marron Café with their wide range of bikes and gear. They are just across the river from the Rotarary Park and also a popular meeting place to begin most rides. Do take water on your ride though.
The new section of trail comprises about 10km of trail - with a further 15km just over the boundary in ‘The Pines’.
Along with the meals at the Hairy Marron Café, the bakery just up the road provides the best pre or post ride fuelling you could want.
BEST TIME OF YEAR
Western Australia always has the prospect of getting super warm in the height of summer and reasonably cold in the middle of winter. So shoulder periods are possibly the better option, although any time will work if you’re prepared.
WHILE IN THE AREA
Margaret River has an abundance of world-renowned wineries and beaches, easily up there with the best in Australia. Make the time to see some of them.
LOCAL BIKE SHOPS
The Hairy Marron and Life Cycle Bikes - located up the other end of town - should be able to service all your emergency spare part needs.
Cape to Cape is easily the biggest mountain bike event in all of Western Australia, and one of the biggest in the country. In 2017, Margaret River is at the heart of its 220km route. The race takes in some of ‘The Pines’ singletrack and could also feature the new trail this year.
Cross Country 3/5
Toilets: Yes, at the Rotary Park
Drinking Water: Yes, at the Rotary Park
Parking: Yes, at the Rotary Park
Trails Signposted: Yes
Mobile Reception: Telstra – Yes; Optus - Yes
Shelter: Yes, at the Rotary Park
BBQ Facilities: Yes, at the Rotary Park
Accommodation: Yes, a multitude of options at many various price points.