The guts of the Pipeline course stay the same each year, with a few changes made to keep things interesting or in response to works being completed on the pipeline itself. Most of the trail is not considered technical but it is varied. There are sections that are rutted, rocky or downhill that you will have to take carefully. Some sections are sandy, uphill (or on the odd occasion, both) and will really test your legs. Other sections will be long and fast and test your physical and mental endurance. Track conditions can change year on year based on weather in the lead up to the event, but below is a rough guide of what to expect.
Start: Kalgoorlie (Boulder)
Approx. Distance: 45 km*
Just a heads up, we lull you into a false sense of security today. After a light lunch and rider briefing, we head out of town on the bitumen before meeting up with your faithful friend for the next 5 days, the golden pipeline. Tonight we camp at our most rustic overnight stop, the Coolgardie Golf Course. What the golf course lacks in a traditional green, it makes up with a stunning sunrise and often kangaroos grazing nearby.
Finish: Southern Cross
Approx. Distance: 184 km
A long day means an early start. Today is all about endurance with a relatively straight course and a great long, gentle incline where you can go hard if you want. If you're looking for that iconic outback scenery here is where you'll find it. And if you're lucky, you might even spot an emu or two. Oh, and there's usually some muddy sections to keep things interesting!
Start: Southern Cross
Approx. Distance: 116 km
Hump day, the devil in disguise. Today is shorter but don't expect that to mean it will be an easier ride. You can expect some sandy tracks today and often some windy conditions, but it will be made better by some beautiful scenery as we transition from the red dirt of the Goldfields to the fields of the Wheatbelt (and a bar open from 4 pm). In contrast to the previous day, the course features rocky outcrops, hills, broad expansive views, and a lot of directional changes which mean you will need to keep your wits about you to make sure you don't miss any signage.
Approx. Distance: 172 km
We hit the track early again for our penultimate ride. Today's terrain is pretty varied, with dirt, gravel and bitumen. The latter part of today's course will see you travel through private farmland with some challenging climbs and rocky descents. Our final camp is the Northam Rec Centre and Henry St Oval- get ready to pay those fines you've accumulated!
Approx. Distance: 79 km
Today we set off from the Northam Army Barracks, riding through bushland until we meet the pipeline. At Baker's Hill we meet up with the Kep Track (yes, you can swing by the famous Baker's Hill Pie Shop). Then we finish with a bang- they're not called the Perth hills for nothing! As the greenery increases as we approach the finish line, so do the climbs. After four days of riding, our approach to the finish line is sure to test your legs (and brain!) but we promise you'll be rewarded with some memorable descents and an overwhelming sense of achievement!
* Route subject to change each year