The Flinders Ranges by Bike (FRBB) is a fantastic five-day mountain bike ride in the Australian Outback.
You can of course bike the FRBB in four days or less depending on your fitness and speed or blitz the 210 k route non-stop as part of an annual race.
We wanted to take our time, take photos, draw and really immerse ourselves in this 540 million-year-old, awe-inspiring landscape. To try and define what the allure of the outback meant for us and why we kept returning.
The Flinders Ranges is the largest mountain chain in Australia and the FRBB track would take us though a very tiny loop, but one that promised jagged escarpments, ancient gorges, gum lined river beds, rich red dirt and wildlife. It also promised outback remoteness and the challenges that come with that.
The Flinders Rangers By Bike, trail we were told is in part – bitumen road, dirt road, station 4wd and some lovely single track; it also follows part of Australia’s most famous cycle trail – The Mawson. But how rideable is it – easy, technical, demanding ?
Rawnsley Park – our start and end camp for the FRBB.
We did a final sort of our gear and wondered if we had prepared for all eventualities – bike breakdowns, sunstroke, no water en-route, thorns that would pierce an armoured tank, no cell reception, unpredictable kangaroos and emu’s plus of course Aussies famous venomous snakes, spiders and things that bite, sting and suck.
We went to sleep under a vast starry nightscape. It was clear and cold and boded well for bike riding the next day. It was also deeply quiet, our ears strained to hear beyond our breathing.