Established way back in 2004 already, the Dirtopia Trail Centre has undergone plenty of upgrades over the years, and hosted countless cycling events ranging from Cross Country to Dual Slalom to Enduro. Currently offering a complete bicycle shop, full service centre, fully licensed restaurant as well as accommodation, it checks all the boxes for an MTB destination. But none of that would matter without great trails, and the countless hours of labour put in by Meurant and his team. Trails that feature rewarding singletrack and, if you make your way up to the top of the 18km black route, some spectacular views from Paarl to False Bay and all the way across the Cape Peninsula. Other trail options at Delvera include shorter, less technical sections with more mild climbs to cater for those less experienced riders, but for those wanting more, a quick pedal across the R44 gives you access to an extended ride at Muratie and Uitkyk - all forming part of the greater Simonsberg concervancy trail network.

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Leaving the trail centre, the trail ascends gradually along gravel roads through vineyards until you eventually reach singletrack. The rocky climb along the singletrack gains elevation quickly without being to strenuous thanks to a series of (very tight) switchbacks and traversing trail, snaking its way to the top.

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A brief break in the thick layer of storm clouds lit our way as we reached the top of the black route, exposing spectacular views all the way from Paarl to False Bay. Simonsberg dominating the skyline towards the right.

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Darkness. Alarm. Irritation. Snooze. Alarm. Confusion. Get up. Denial. Caffeine. Thunder and lightning! Acceptance. Spectacular sunrise. Bargaining. Pedal up. Shred down. Happiness. The 5 stages of dawn patrols - difficult but always worth it! Daniel Dobinson | iRideAfrica

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Once you hit the summit, it's downhill all the way along flowing, tight and very rocky ribbons of singletrack, leading you all the way back down to the trail centre for a good ol' eggs benedict and cup of coffee.

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Delvera holds a lot of my early mountain biking memories. My first national title win, 8hr relay race, and my first Enduro! The terrain is hard pack and rocky, with so many twisty trails to choose from. I really love the sections when you're traversing and look straight into the Simonsberg mountain in all its glory. The trail network has something for the whole family, with its pump track and coffee shop at the trail head. Meaurant takes pride in his trail building, and you can see it reflected in Delvera Matt Lombardi

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Delvera/Dirtopia Trail Centre GPS: 33°50'56.5"S 18°51'27.9"E


Riders : Daniel Dobinson | Matt Lombardi


Permit: R50


All images by Ewald Sadie



instagram:

@ewaldsadie

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