WHILE other teenagers were enjoying school holidays, Branden Stewart-Richardson was cycling the world’s longest off-road mountain bike trail.
The Hillarys 14-year-old and his father Glen spent 19 days riding more than 1000km last school holidays on the Munda Biddi Trail, which runs from Mundaring to Albany.
Branden, an avid BMX racer, had wanted to do the trail for some time but thought he should wait until he finished high school.
“But I had a chat to dad and he said, ‘why don’t we do it now’?” he said.
They spent nearly a year planning and preparing for the journey, which saw them travel through Dwellingup, Collie, Pemberton and Walpole.
“I learnt a lot about myself and about nature,” Branden said.
“I discovered who I am and what I stand for and learnt how to let go and go with the flow.
“There were moments that we will remember forever; it was an amazing experience.”
Mr Stewart-Richardson said the trip had effected some positive changes in his son.
“He thought for himself about what he needed to do and got more confident,” he said.
“He did have some hard moments but he kept going, he persevered. We regarded it as a different style of education.
“It was a lot of work but I think it was definitely worth it.”
Branden said arriving in Albany was a bittersweet moment. “I could have kept going, so it was sad but also good,” he said.
“I’m proud of what I’ve done and proud of what my dad and I achieved.”