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Munda Biddi Dreaming: An ultra cycling record film

Our good friend Jack Thompson cannot stand still, and even if what he did in 2022 is almost impossible to beat, last year he also collected a couple of remarkable achievements. In the first part of 2023, he became the fastest ever to ride from Osaka to Tokyo, and later in the year, he set the FKT (Fastest Known Time) of the Munda Biddi Trail in his home country, Australia.

Each record had its fair share of suffering, but the Munda Biddi Trail required him to dig extra deep and overcome extreme conditions. The weather in November in Australia is usually okay to ride a bike, but during the days in which Jack was in WA, he encountered the hottest November temperatures on record, reaching 40°C and putting the FKT attempt in jeopardy.

The Munda Biddi Trail is officially the World’s Longest Continuous Bike Trail, with 1.067 km in length and 14.000 meters of elevation to be gained. Born and raised in Perth, where the trail starts, it was clear that sooner rather than later Jack was going to try to beat the record time, which was at that moment 2 days, 17 hours, and 22 minutes.

In order to ride from the northern terminus of the trail to Albany in less time than the previous FKT, Jack had to minimise his stopping time and overcome not only the aforementioned high temperatures but increasing gusts of wind too. The surfaces and landscapes were constantly changing, and the high trees along the twisty section of the trail linked with some more exposed areas with no place to hide from the weather. Snakes, spiders and kangaroos were very present throughout the ride along Western Australia.

The trail is 100% rideable and not extremely technical or tough, but not exempt from challenges. There are parts of the route in which resupplying becomes a difficult task, and during Jack’s FKT attempt, the need to get a cold drink and food was accentuated given the extreme temperatures.

As predicted by his doctor, once he surpassed 48 hours without sleeping everything started to plummet. Jack wasn’t hallucinating yet, but became very paranoid about everything that was moving around him. He ended up lying on the ground to sleep for 10 minutes, even if he woke up one minute before the alarm.

The lowest moment was at around 200 km to go, as the sleep deprivation, together with the block headwind, put Jack in a bad place. Nonetheless, he showed again the resilience that has allowed him to achieve all the previous challenges he has embarked on, and cracked on for a last push, partly along the coastline.

It seems that the views of the sea gave him the energy he needed, as in the end, he managed to complete the full route in 2 days, 12 hours and 15 minutes, meaning that the FKT now belongs to him.

Friends and family were waiting for him in Albany, and he finally could enjoy a proper sleep while digesting everything that had happened during the previous 60 hours. Over the next days, he covered the trail backward, this time obviously by car, visiting the schools along the Munda Biddi to talk to the kids about the importance of exercising, particularly cycling, for mental health.

All this was documented by his mate Laundon Peacock, and the output of all their work has just been published. Give it a watch and check out everything that Jack Thompson had to face in order to claim the Fastest Known Time of the Munda Biddi Trail.

Photos: Zac Williams