Mawson Trail

I think it was not long after New Years that I stumbled across whilst trawling the internet for bicycle touring information/stories. I had recently read The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles and decided that touring bikes were totally badass. I looked around for a few months and after nearly pulling the trigger on a Surly LHT I won my 2nd hand Rivendell Atlantis frame on Ebay. It wasn’t a bargain and shipping wasn’t cheap from Tennessee but I really wanted lugged steel! Upon it’s arrival in Adelaide it was slowly built up with largely Grant Petersen approved gear.

Rewind to the start of this year and I was searching for journals of trips beginning, ending in and heading through South Australia. Basically I was looking for ideas to plan my own trip. Of the many I read, (including user Prawi’s seriously cool tripTurning Twenteen Across Australia) two stood out:

Il Padrone’s (he’s on BNA) Red Centre Expedition

and GJ Coop’s insane travels across Australia in Adelaide to Darwin and Beyond. He’s currently in Alice Springs on his continuing adventures in Zig Zag Across Australia

In between his two tours he set up the website CycleTrailsAustralia which provides information on 16 epic bike touring adventures throughout Australia.

Whilst reading his first journal I discovered The Mawson Trail - An off road cycle trail in my very own backyard! I’d walked some of the Heysen Trail (a seriously long hiking trail) in the past and until reading that journal was completely unaware of the Mawson! Immediately I decided I had to ride it. I started to replace my heavy car camping gear with lighter hiking gear, swapped my pretty leather and canvas bags for Ortliebs and grew 33c slicks into 50c knobbly tyres.

Anyway, after a few months of preparation and planning, uni finished and 3 weeks off from work, I’m just about ready to go! On Monday I should be heading off. Obviously the basic plan is to ride the Mawson Trail but since I have 3 weeks I think I might be heading further north depending on how I feel/the weather/my girlfriend. I’d love to ride some of the Oodnadatta Track and certainly would like to see Lake Eyre before it empties. I still need to decide whether to take the Mawson Trail slowly and really enjoy it or try to cover serious ground each day to give me enough time further north. Whatever I choose to do I plan to take a bus home when I run out of time/money/cojones.

Sorry this post is text heavy but I assure you that I’ll be taking a huge photo/video dump when I get back.

For anyone who’s interested here’s my SPOT tracker page which if it works, should plot my location each time I ‘check in’.


Cool, hope all goes well and the weather holds for you.
Enjoy your adventure.

You’ll have a great ride. Mate of my dad’s did it as part of on organized trip about 10 years ago. Said it’s one of the best trips he’s done.

Oh this rules. All the best and safe travels.

Yep, this is awesome. Might be enough to convince me to do something similar sometime in the future.

Wow, we’re all envious. Pack smart (not lots). Try to do a test ride with the current set up before you leave.

Lotsa pics for us plebians stuck on this forum.

Travel safe and well.
Sounds like an amazing ride.
Ending at at Lake Eyre would be something

Happy trails JK. I remember signposting the Mawson…I feel old.

did you invite prolly?

Dear Polly,
I’m cutting back on my luxury items including weed and Oregon beer. I understand if you’re unable to make it.

Thanks for the well wishes everyone!

Boyracer, I wish I had a prolly sticker to slap on one of the signposts! I’m not sure if JLN is back from KI yet. (He’s starring in a new SA Tourism commercial being filmed there.)

Meet for a quick beer/caffiene/blunt tonight?..i got a couple.

Sorry can’t do tonight! Sunday night?

What are you hungover or something?! It’s Monday!

Didn’t leave til Wed due to getting pissed with Boyracer.

Currently at Melrose, unloaded the riv and did some singletrack up Mt Remarkable. Rest day today.

Now stuck in Quorn an extra day due to constant rain overnight and today. Good thing there are 4 pubs in the main street!


If there were that many naked chicks in Quorn I’d be staying a while longer…

pffft, they’d all have fake breasts anyway…

ba doom tish

At Wilpena pound. One days ride to the end of the trail at Blinman.

Get me a puppy from the pound will ya?