5. Year Round Riding
The upside of a desert climate is that cool Winters are still prevalent. The ideal months to ride in Alice Springs are April to September. Mornings and evenings are brisk with temperatures often falling to 0°C. Riders rug up with long sleeves and gloves for morning and night rides, but once the afternoon sun hits, all you need is a t-shirt and shorts. During Winter you can literally ride ANY time, with average daytime temperatures floating around 25°C. Summer, of course, reaches temperatures nearly double that during the day, so for these few months during the year, night and morning riding is in full swing! The best part about it though, is that humidity is nearly non-existent. Alice Springs has the PERFECT climate for year round riding (which is somewhat scary for us locals – we have no reason to be out of shape!) Check out our average temps here.
4. Post-Ride Vanilla Slice At The Trail Station Cafe
This seems to have become a weekend ritual for local riders: a mountain bike ride… aaaaand a cheeky post-ride vanilla slice. There’s over 28km of single track within the Telegraph Station National Park, and this area is a central meet up point for locals. The usual suspect for the post-ride social chat is the Trail Station Café, which is conveniently located within the National Park. Riders often treat themselves to a home-made vanilla slice while bragging about Strava personal bests. The Trail Station Cafe can provide unfamiliar riders with trail maps, souvenir cycling jerseys, and water and snacks to bring on the trails.
The solitude of being in the bush is something the local riders here absolutely cherish and is often what made them fall in love with Alice Springs in the first place. Within minutes of riding your bike, the township is out of eyesight and the metropolis sounds have faded. All that’s left is the vast desert ahead and the sound of your tyres on the dirt. I find a common theme with mountain bikers in Alice Springs is that many of them deeply yearn and desire for that feeling of solitude. You can feel so physically and emotionally far from civilisation when it’s just you and your bike out there in the desert. Going for a ride in the remote outback landscape almost feels like you’re recharging your whole existence. You begin to recognise the sheer amount of space in this country and think in awe of how the local Arrente people and the early pioneers navigated these harsh lands; traversing mountains, avoiding sharp spinifex, keeping hydrated and simply knowing what direction to travel. Luckily for us in the present day, we are equipped with trail signage, GPS, EPIRBs and phone applications like Strava and Trail Forks to keep us in line!
2. Epic Overnight Mountain Bike Tours
If you’re visiting The Alice and are keen to ride the mountain bike trails, but aren’t quite sure about navigating on your own around 150km+ of single track, then contact Outback Cycling. Their newest tour on offer is the Overnight Mountain Bike Adventure. It is the perfect combination of mountain biking, camping and adventure. You’ll ride single track snaking around the edge of urban Alice Springs and come to a rest at the Telegraph Station. The tour chugs onwards through the undulating trail headed into the West MacDonnell Ranges. The first day finishes with a memorable outback sunset as you arrive at the designated bush camp for the night. After dinner, rest your body in the comfy swag provided, while you drift off to sleep under a blanket of stars. You don’t have to worry about a thing – meals, camping equipment, bike mechanics… it’s all covered for you.
1. Proximity to Town
It’s our backyard, our stomping ground, our playground. The trails are North, East, South and West of Alice. They totally encompass us – over 150km of single track, all for a community just shy of 30,000 people. It’s what a lot of us do here: we ride. We ride the trails for fun, for the scenery, for the serenity, for the workout, for the experiences, maybe even a bit for the bragging rights. And it takes no time to get there. Many locals can see the trails mere minutes from their doorstep. We can go for a quick 30 minute ride on single track before work. There’s no driving, no getting the car loaded up; it’s just wake up and go.
Have you been mountain biking in Alice Springs before? We’d love to hear what YOUR favourite parts are in the comments below.