General

Fitness

You don’t have to be into extreme sports – but, (as with any activity), the fitter you are the more you will enjoy the Trail. 

As the Trail was a train track there are no steep hills, but some of the long gentle climbs will require some energy, especially if you encounter a head-on wind

If you haven’t been on a bike for a long time it’s a good idea to practise before you go – borrow or hire a bike if you have to. Modern bikes have a lot more gears, which can be a bit tricky to start with – however, the Trail’s slopes are gradual and there are no sudden dips that need quick gear changes. Lots of older people have done the Trail, as well as younger children (past the trainer-wheel stage).

If you are not a strong cyclist you may need to hop off your bike and push it up some slopes (e.g. Tiger Hill), also you may feel safer doing this where there are steep embankments (not many of these) or high bridges, or on exposed places in a strong wind – and everyone should walk through the darker tunnels.

How far you travel in one day will also depend on your level of fitness. If you pace yourself well and don’t try to cover too much ground in one day your body will thank you. Many people allow themselves 3 – 4 days to cover the whole 152 km. The average speed for most of us is 10 kph, so 5 hours cycling in a day would take you 50 km. Some people like a slower pace, and want a longer time to relax or go exploring. The choice is yours.

Just remember to check the weather forecast – if it is going to be very hot, start early and don’t bike in the midday sun. And if it is very cold and frosty in autumn or winter – don’t start early or finish late (days are shorter and the chill starts immediately once the sun disappears).