Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'Trail Daze'.

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • General
    • The Bike Room
    • Sponsored
  • New to Cycling
    • Ask Anything
    • What Bike to Buy
  • Gear & Bikes
    • Technical Q&A
    • New Gear
    • Buyer’s Advice
    • Post Your Bike & Projects
    • Bike Shops & Services
    • Retro / Vintage Bikes
  • Events & Training
    • Events
    • Pro Cycling
    • Training, Health & Nutrition
  • Riding
    • Group Rides
    • Routes & Trails
    • Share Your Ride & Travels
  • Discipline-Specific
    • Gravity
    • Fixie & Singlespeed
    • Commuter
    • Multisport
  • Safety & Awareness
    • Stolen Bikes
    • Cycling Safety
    • Fraud Alert
    • Lost & Found
    • Good Causes
  • Help Desk
    • Site Announcements
    • Help & Support
  • Off Topic
    • Chit chat

Categories

  • Adventure and Travel
  • Tips and Advice
  • Event and Industry News
  • Tech
  • Promotions
    • Custom Content Partnership

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


Website URL


Location


Full Name

  1. Based out of Sedgefield, we were pretty centrally located with easy access to a list of trails - all within a 30-40 minute drive. We were however only interested in two of these, one of which is dubbed Witfontein. Forming part of the 38 000 hectare Outeniqua Nature Reserve, the Witfontein trail network is a relatively small geographical area, packed with multiple ultra flowy lines, short climbs and some eye-popping green ferns, and has such an incredible atmosphere to it that it became and an instant favourite. Which way shall we go. Turn right for dust, or left for ferns. Well, I guess the popcorn's out the bag - it's movie snacks that make him fast.... The necessary evil. Even though it totally disrupts the beautiful rolling landscape, it's rather clean and tidy compared to most industrial setups. A quick beer and pizza stop at Pili Pili in Sedgefield to wrap up the four hour drive before we head to base for an early morning rise. Sunrise over Sedgefield and you know it's gonna be a good day out. Wilderness at dawn has got to be up there with the most scenic in the world. Definitely worth the 5am alarm. In many ways, the story of South Africa. Such amazing beauty, ruined by a$$holes. This part of the country is hops central, with massive productions on both sides of the Outeniqua Pass. #getyourbeeron. With no real rain in forever, and the Southeaster sucking the last bit of moisture out of Cape Town, the contrast in environments are stark. Lush blankets of ferns and other luminous green flora, covered with droplets, line this whole network from top to bottom. Next level trail building. Constructed in the 1940's, the 14km long Outeniqua Pass connects the Garden Route to the Little Karoo. It's hard to imagine something of such scale, constructed of sandstone, was done by the hands of Italian prisoners of war and later (after the war) by local labourers. The top of the trail network is indicated by a railway line. This is the highest point of the Witfontein trails, and from here you drop down along the exposed downhill line, before entering the pine plantations that host the rest of the trails. If you looked at a map of the trails around Witfontein, you'd probably give it a miss and go and ride elsewhere. You would certainly be making a mistake in doing so! They only cover a small area but every trail is an absolute gem. Multiple lined rock gardens, punchy corners, poppy roots, and beautifully shaped jumps will mean you'll want to ride all day long in this little patch of paradise. Daniel Dobinson | iRideAfrica Strava = Hospital? Challenge accepted. Logging and fire roads connect the various segments of trail, and with a very mild gradient, you'll find yourself pedalling up 'one more time', a few times. Witfontein trails are somewhat of a hidden gem in the forests of George. They offered some incredibly fun riding with poppy berms and steep rock shoots among the rooty trails. There are so many trail options to choose from, each with multiple lines. I haven't had such a good day riding my bike in South Africa for a long time, as I did at the Witfontein trails. The locals really have turned the forest into a trail riders dream. Matt Lombardi *Pine Ring mushrooms add another splash of colour to the already technicolour surroundings on offer at Witfontein. Apparently they're edible - but don't quote me on that. With all but one trail segment under full canopy, this is the perfect place to ride during summer months as the trees keep the scorching African sun off your back. Keep an eye out for part two of the Garden Route Trail Daze trip... This project is made possible by: Outeniqua Nature Reserve parking GPS: 33°56'06.6"S 22°25'38.5"E Riders : Daniel Dobinson | Matt Lombardi Permit: Apparently it's free All images by Ewald Sadie www.esphotography.co.za instagram: @ewaldsadie
  2. Following last year's example in a desperate attempt to find greener pastures, a Southeaster-less, damp riding environment and even some loam, we headed about four hours up the N2 towards the Garden Route. Click here to view the article
  3. With very little greenery, and blown-out dusty trails the only options around the Western Cape lately, we headed to the North West province in search of some greener pastures - and boy did we find some gems. Click here to view the article
  4. After a year of riding and documenting only trails in the Western Cape during 2015, the Trail Daze crew packed up and headed for the hills where the grass was apparently greener, and rain wasn't a myth. Forming part of the greater Van Gaalens trail network, Hakahana was our first taste of some truly amazing views, red dirt, thunder storms and most importantly, some proper trails. Good bye Cape Town Hello Lanseria Travelling in style on our way to Hayden Brown's place, thanks to Jeep and Thule. Luckily our bikes survived the trip and everything was in place. Well almost everything... a small bolt from Daniel's rear derailleur undid itself somehow and disappeared, but luckily we found a spare derailleur at the friendly local bike shop. Alarms set for 4:30am. Dawn patrol here we come. On the road at first light, with some dramatic skies all around to get us frothing for some adventure. Hartebeespoort dam in the background. Tricky, steep uphills meant a lot of hike-a-biking. The trails here are purpose built for the enduro race format and while the trail names are a bit tame (sp1, sp2 etc), the trails themselves are anything but! Sharp rocks, drops, jumps and off camber sections means burly tyres and longer travel bikes will be most at home here. Daniel Dobinson | iRideAfrica Seemingly unlimited singletrack through lush green grass fields, puffy clouds and views in every direction. We found it. Terrain resembling Eselfontein meant Daniel was in his element navigating tricky rock gardens. Probably the best gravity trails around Gauteng, Hakahana have done some great work to keep riders coming back for more. Tough and long climbs are well rewarded on the way down with smooth and flowing trails that cater for riding levels from intermediate to advanced. The trail builders have created technical and challenging features for the best of riders, keeping you on your toes, alert and excited. The general terrain on the hills is very rocky and loose making you ride a bit on the wild side, while the trails down on the lower slopes are fast and flowing letting you relax and unwind. Chris Pearton A and B line options caters for varying skill levels, though I wouldn't recommend these trails to any novices. [caption this] NWP natives keeping an eye on things. Baboons out here are by far more people shy than the ones found in Cape Town, scattering in every direction as they spotted us. To have the opportunity to be in front of the lens for a change, I couldn't turn down the chance to shred for this issue of the Trail Daze. Hakahana Trails, a familiar set of trails that I've raced a few times in the past year, is the perfect playground for one to test the skills of an enduro rider. A bit of everything-ideal for a beginner and testing for the more skilled. At speed one finds themself on the edge navigating technical rock gardens and drifty corners that force one to hang a foot out and get loose. Hayden Brown This project is made possible by: GPS: S 25 46 32.36 E 28 00 33.70 Permit: R50 per permit - Saturdays and Sundays only Website: www.hakahanatrails.co.za All images by Ewald Sadie www.esphotography.co.za instagram: @ewaldsadie Riders : Daniel Dobinson | Hayden Brown | Chris Pearton Stay tuned to Bike Hub for more Trail Daze coming soon...
  5. With more than a year and a half of reconstructing, felling and other such rehabilitation activities, the Tokai MTB Trails closure during 2015 left a massive hole in the lives of most Cape Town based mountain bikers. And with only a few alternative legal riding spots available during that time, the reopening of these trails were eagerly awaited (even if it meant riding on limited days). December 2016 finally saw the gates reopen, and the weekends-only trail period kicked off, during which Tokai MTB and SANparks have, and will continuously assess compliance and any environmental issues, to gauge whether the trails will be opened during the week also. Seven months after the reopening, the Trail Daze crew saddled up to explore and sample everything on offer at the foot of the Constantiaberg mountains. Our aim was to ride trails specifically catered to longer travel trail bikes, typically used at the local Enduro events. Trials like Bridal Path, Cobra and DH 1 thru 3 seemed to fit the bill as it incorporated some properly tight corners, technical rock gardens and also high-speed flow sections. Even with 7 of the 21 trails currently still closed for maintenance or safety, there is still definitely more than enough riding to be done and something for everyone. Starting things off at Bootleggers for the pre-ride caffeine fix and defrosting on a cold winters morning seems to be the tradition. It also serves as a safe parking spot, and the quick pedal along the tar road to the trails is perfect for getting the blood flowing before the main ascent. R75 a pop for the Tokai trail permit is a bit more than what other places charge, but the TMNP permit includes Tokai (and all the other recently legalised trails around Table Mountain) and will only set you back about R600 annually. So good to be riding Tokai again. Missing the tree cover that I enjoyed as a kid riding here, but there’s nothing we can do about this now and the trail builders have done an excellent job resurrecting Tokai from the ashes. Roman Kumpers Here we are at arguably one of Cape Towns oldest trail systems. Tokia has seen so much devastation but also development over the duration of its lifespan, how awesome is it to be back and hitting the trails we all remember… from the Bridal Path, to the Snake trails, to the downhill! Whether it’s a quick Sunday blast or an all day session chasing mates down the hill, these trails always deliver... keeping you buzzing long after the pre ride coffees and post ride beers! Andrew Savage Tokai, what a place, one of the original inner city forested MTB trails. We helped build these trails back in the 90’s and I won my first South African DH champs here back in 2000 so there is a lot of history here. We were gutted about the fires and trials being closed during the past couple years but we’re seriously impressed with what the guys have done rebuilding and now ride here at least once a week. Add to that Chris Nixon’s Bike Park as well as his future plans and we’re super amped about the future here! Mark Hopkins Riding the Tokai MTB trails, you will inevitably encounter one or more of these fellas. They are synonymous with the greater Tokai area but other than being a nuisance do not pose any* threat to humans and usually get out the way very quickly. This project is made possible by: Tokai Forest GPS: 34°03'37.0"S 18°24'55.8"E Riders : Mark Hopkins | Andrew Savage | Roman Kumpers All images by Ewald Sadie www.esphotography.co.za instagram: @ewaldsadie
  6. Looking back at the best of Trail Daze 2017, and the wrap of a three year long passion project. Click here to view the article
  7. After three amazing but challenging years of documenting South Africa's finest trails, the Trail Daze project has punched its final ticket. From Cape Town to KZN, we've travelled the country to try and bring justice to the countless hours of physical labour and vision by trail builders and riders alike. Behind the scenes, it's a bumpy and sometimes messy process to produce each episode, but the ice cold beers, braais, banter, and good times afterwards always wins. Great friendships were formed and lots of lessons learnt, and without the support of the amazing sponsors and trail riders in South Africa, this project would never have been possible. For that, I'm incredibly grateful, and I hope that this project has inspired you to go out and shred some trails. Giveaway: Be sure to cast your vote in the poll HERE to stand a chance of winning a signed Volume 2 Trail Daze photobook. Competition ends on 31 December 2017 at 12pm. Trail Daze | Cape Town - Part 2 It’s absolutely amazing that these trails have been opened up recently. Being able to shoot out for a quick shred around Lions Head and the Glen to ride and test new product is a dream for us as a mountain bike company! Throw in some of the sharpest rocks in the region, rad turns in the Glen, a top-class sunset as well as your choice of restaurants/bars at the bottom of the hill, and you've got yourself a great place to ride. Mark Hopkins Get all the info and the full photo epic here. Trail Daze | Witfontein If you looked at a map of the trails around Witfontein, you'd probably give it a miss and go and ride elsewhere. You would certainly be making a mistake in doing so! They only cover a small area but every trail is an absolute gem. Multiple lined rock gardens, punchy corners, poppy roots, and beautifully shaped jumps will mean you'll want to ride all day long in this little patch of paradise. Daniel Dobinson | iRideAfrica Get all the info and the full photo epic here. Trail Daze | Jungle fever in the Garden Route The Garden Route Trail Park is definitely a must if you're going anywhere up the coast. I'm lucky enough to visit the park frequently and it's definitely on the favourites list. The trails vary from deep, dark, and dense forests with big bomb holes and tight branches, to open grasslands with amazingly flowy trails. I love riding here because of the natural forest that just makes you forget about the world for a few hours. And it's always nice to finish with a few pump track laps and a good coffee. Matt Lombardi Get all the info and the full photo epic here. Trail Daze | Fatbiking the Garden Route The South African coast is scattered with small interesting towns which are often missed when using a car, I can see this being one of many fat trekking trips to come in the future. A great way to spend three days. We were blessed with amazing weather and got to see some epic scenery along with lots of childish banter and post ride beer drinking. It was a real eye opener to see how easy it is to trek along our coastline taking only the bare necessities and a bank card. Dayle Holmes Get all the info and the full photo epic part 1 here. Get all the info and the full photo epic part 2 here. Trail Daze | Jonkershoek Revisited I remember it started in 2012 with Fanie, Harry, and I on a ride in Karkloof. Fanie and I were sitting at the top of a road gap after descending some trail, quietly staring for some time at the view then he said, "I think you should come and build in Jonkers". They returned home to Stellenbosch and a few months later I was in conversation with Bobby and Bennet about coming down for a few weeks to build trails. Immediately I was drawn to this area - the natural features that stood out, the carves and textures of the land. That place has a powerful presence about it that humbles you very quickly. Jonkers is not a place you just pop into scratch a trail in and pop out. You have to take the time to walk and scout and really get a feel for where the trail is going because of the features, and also visually what the area offers and the feel it has. Like where there is a little stream flowing by with some incredible vegetation that attracts the sounds of the wild life. I often think of it, you probably wouldn't find yourself on this piece of the mountain if it wasn't for the trail taking you there. Hylton Turvey Get all the info and the full photo epic here. Trail Daze | Karkloof Revisited Karkloof is home for me. I was born and raised here and still live here today. I can remember from a young age going on adventures into the mountains with my parents. Having that wide open space to explore with no real boundaries and living on our small farm played a huge part in the creative side of mountain biking for me. We didn't have a trail or features to ride so we had to build it or you rode something raw as it lay. My friend and I rode BMX and my dad helped us push some soil on the farm to build jumps. Every day after school we would be building and just as the sun sets we would ride as the jumps faced into the sunset, that went on for a few years. I'd still join my dad on some of his outrides into the mountains with no real purpose-built trail at the time just exploring on bikes. Hylton Turvey Get all the info and the full photo epic here. Giveaway: Be sure to cast your vote in the poll HERE to stand a chance of winning a signed Volume 2 Trail Daze photobook. Competition ends on 31 December 2017 at 12pm. A massive thank you must go out to all the riders that have been involved over the years. Without you bringing the action, hitting a section 'just one more time', and enduring the rain, heat & wind, there wouldn't be any episodes today. In order of appearance, they are: Daniel Dobinson Matthieu Hamel Rupert von Tutschek Harry Millar Rolfe van Breda Mark Hopkins Tyrone van Rooyen Pieter Henning Romain Belaud Bennet Nel Myles Kelsey Matt Lombardi Hayden Brown Chris Pearton Julien Louw Kath Fourie Tim Bentley Mark Millar Simone Futter Joanna Dobinson Rika Olivier Andrew Neethling Jonty Neethling Dayle Holmes Danie du Toit Andrew Savage Roman Kumpers Hylton Turvey Travis Browning Sam Bull All images by Ewald Sadie www.esphotography.co.za instagram: @ewaldsadie
  8. Having revisited the Jonkershoek trails recently, we decided to do so again with the similarly magical, and even more diverse, Karkloof trails. Since the 90’s, Karkloof resident and local trail builder Hylton Turvey, has been raking, digging, and building new lines and features to this ever-expanding trail network. At the centre of the now 100+ km network lies the Karkloof Country club. From here you can access all the different trail sections, however, with local knowledge, certain sections can be accessed via some of the connecting gravel roads. It’s important to note that most of these trails run through private farms and Sappi land, and access via vehicle is prohibited. Having sampled Rene's Rumble, Jewitt's Jive and Bat Outta Hell during our previous visit, we focused our attention on two new sections of this vast network, namely Netjie Shoes and Cleveland Express. Netjie (named after Hylton's wife Dané) Shoes is a new trail to the network, running through a patch of skinny Bluegums. With typical Karkloof flow, it makes use of the natural erosion and lay of the land, and the trail carves along the gullies which are connected by wooden bridges. In stark contrast to this, the Cleveland Express takes you through the wide open grass plains along cattle paths following the meandering Karkloof River. It is the type of trail with amazing scenery and that perfect gradient of up-and-down that every ride should finish on, with the last golden rays lighting the way and that feeling that you could pedal on forever... Karkloof is home for me. I was born and raised here and still live here today. I can remember from a young age going on adventures into the mountains with my parents. Having that wide open space to explore with no real boundaries and living on our small farm played a huge part in the creative side of mountain biking for me. We didn't have a trail or features to ride so we had to build it or you rode something raw as it lay. My friend and I rode BMX and my dad helped us push some soil on the farm to build jumps. Every day after school we would be building and just as the sun sets we would ride as the jumps faced into the sunset, that went on for a few years. I'd still join my dad on some of his outrides into the mountains with no real purpose-built trail at the time just exploring on bikes. Hylton Turvey I started frequenting the Karkloof trails back in 2010 with numerous trips from Joburg to the Midlands. Those trips have fortunately stopped as I have now made the Midlands my home and get to enjoy these trails on a day to day basis. The riding and trails in the Karkloof have always been pretty central in my progression as a rider and that progression has always been on tracks and obstacles that Hylt Turvey has put together and often with me following him into some new challenge. I've gone from just a rider visiting the area to a committee member and now the vice chairman of the club to try and give back in some way to the area and trails that have given me so much and to hopefully give other riders (and now trail runners) the same unique experience our trails offer. Mark Millar One day I watched a North Shore MTB movie and I was fascinated. Before I knew it we were raking and digging trails through a forest on our farm. The features grew and so did our bikes and we soon traded in our BMXs for mountain bikes. My dad and his friend started an MTB event in 1993, called the Karkloof Classic. It was basically the community getting together to host the event. Trails weren't a known thing back then. Soon after discovering it, we were raking the first trail down a mountain for the event - no building, just raking. We continued building our trails in the forests - making more and more hand built features. Each year more trail would be added to the event and soon the event became known for its trails. That was the foundation of all the trails in Karkloof. Hylton Turvey Karkloof Country Club GPS: 29°22'57.8"S 30°15'49.7"E Riders : Mark Millar | Hylton Turvey All images by Ewald Sadie www.esphotography.co.za instagram: @ewaldsadie
  9. To those that have been involved in the South African cycling scene for the last decade, Pietermaritzburg and more specifically Cascades MTB Park would have come up a few times. Hosting multiple mountain biking events, most notably the 2013 World Champs and a 2014 World Cup, it has seen the world’s best come here to compete. With constant building and digging happening over the years, the network of trails and singletrack scattered across this hill has expanded considerably. Local pinners Sam Bull and Travis Browning took me out for a very dry and dusty day to showcase a bit of what is on offer at this legendary MTB location. If you do consider riding here, remember to bring along your climbing legs, and lungs, and make sure your bike can get into granny gear… This place is steep, and there is no real warming up - just straight into an above average gradient. Another thing to note about this trail network is that it’s not graded in any official manner or marked with official signs, which means bringing along a local or two would be very beneficial. But even though it lacks the structure of other bike parks, it’s still an extremely varied and exciting playground just waiting to be explored. Riding at Cascades is bitter sweet in a way. The descent from the top is unreal and keeps you on edge the whole way down. But the climb to the top is always brutal. You never quite judge your ride on distance but more so time spent in the saddle to get to your ultimate trail. I've been fortunate enough to watch Cascades MTB park evolve from the beginning. Travis Browning Cascades has always been a big part of riding for me… It’s where I did my first ever downhill race and through the early stages of high school, we spent every afternoon there building and riding dirt jumps with the crew. As my riding career progressed, it became an integral race venue, ranging from nationals to my first ever world cup race. Fast forward to now, it’s in my backyard, not even 5 minutes away from where I live, and I go there for my morning rides and weekend shuttles. Sam Bull I've raced downhill, enduro even one or two XC races there. It has something for every type of rider to enjoy. We are really lucky to have it right on our doorstep. A huge thank you to everyone that has added their own personal touch or trail over the years. We have all had many happy days shredding because of it! Travis Browning This place offers a great variety, from flat jumpy trails to super steep, rough, and bumpy sections that have formed over time. You have to really work for your descents though as the climb is very tough, but you are rewarded with epic downhills. Sam Bull This episode is made possible by: Cascades MTB Park GPS: 29°34'14.3"S 30°21'12.6"E Riders : Sam Bull | Travis Browning Permit: free apparently All images by Ewald Sadie www.esphotography.co.za instagram: @ewaldsadie
  10. Throughout the 30 episode history of Trail Daze, we’ve not revisited many trails or trail locations. The idea was always to promote as many different trail riding locations as possible, over as wide an area as possible within South Africa. But just like a favourite movie or song never disappoints, and brings back memories of good times, Jonkershoek has delivered over and over and deserves another 15 minutes in the spotlight.Upper Canaries, Lower Canaries, Bennet’s Red, The Plumber, Never Ending Story, Fire Hut, Flow Trail, Black Diamond, Zululand and the list goes on. With countless hours of resurrection, housekeeping, and the building of brand new trails going on for almost two years since the devastating fires, riders are now treated to more options than ever. In the previous Trail Daze outing to Jonkershoek, we sampled two trails namely Bennet’s Red and the new Double Black Diamond. This time around we experience a brand new (and unopened at the time of writing this) section called Zululand, and a trail absolutely synonymous with Jonkershoek, Upper Canaries. Daniel and I were joined by two names that have also become synonymous with inspiring and progressive trail building, Bennet Nel and Hylton Turvey. Together, they and their team of builders have slowly but surely chipped away at this beast, and provided us with an ever expanding playground - and both of them shred... I remember it started in 2012 with Fanie, Harry, and I on a ride in Karkloof. Fanie and I were sitting at the top of a road gap after descending some trail, quietly staring for some time at the view then he said, "I think you should come and build in Jonkers". They returned home to Stellenbosch and a few months later I was in conversation with Bobby and Bennet about coming down for a few weeks to build trails. Hylton Turvey When you're offered a chance to ride a brand new trail with two of SA's most celebrated trail builders, you drop everything and go ride! Jonkershoek is already a magnificent place to ride and getting better every year thanks to these builders and the vision of the team backing them. The new addition to the trails is going to be a firm favourite, offering amazing flow, beautifully crafted berms and a variety of jumps. I can’t wait to get back there! Daniel Dobinson It's amazing to be able to build in Jonkers. The scope is huge, and the progress slow as we first had to fix the skeleton that remained after the fires. If we didn’t have that setback, and had the funding in place, we would probably have had a mini Whistler by now. There is so much still on the cards… wish-list trails, extending existing trails and building trail heads way up high to make the future plans work. Hopefully also a couple of park-style trails in the near future… My favourite trail to ride is probably Canaries, through flow trail and down to the gate. I mean where else can you do a gravity run for 11 minutes without stopping? Bennet Nel Immediately I was drawn to this area - the natural features that stood out, the carves and textures of the land. That place has a powerful presence about it that humbles you very quickly. Jonkers is not a place you just pop into scratch a trail in and pop out. You have to take the time to walk and scout and really get a feel for where the trail is going because of the features, and also visually what the area offers and the feel it has. Like where there is a little stream flowing by with some incredible vegetation that attracts the sounds of the wild life. I often think of it, you probably wouldn't find yourself on this piece of the mountain if it wasn't for the trail taking you there. Hylton Turvey There is just as much of an effort that goes into finding the trail as there is building it. But with Jonkers, I began to realise the trail is almost laid out for you. The way the rocks have fallen, the way the valleys run. It's all there waiting to be unveiled. I think that really hit me when building the Plumber. All the rock features lined up. Not one was out of place and for me, a trail has to flow. I'd rather miss a few features than kill the flow, but this all linked together. Bobby has given us a lot of freedom to do what we do which I really appreciate. I think he gets it in terms of letting us do what we do and he knows that will flow into something good. That man gets so fired up about the trails and if it wasn’t for him, a lot of what is happening in Jonkers wouldn’t have been possible because of the connections and relationships he has made. Hylton Turvey Building in Jonkershoek is not your average backyard build. The upper section where I am currently building is properly alpine, making it extremely difficult to dig. But it is extremely rewarding to being up there and the exposed to nature. The annual funding and push from MTO and Specialized to get everything cleaned up since the fires is very important, and without that, we wouldn’t have been where we are today. Bennet Nel This episode is made possible by: Jonkershoek Nature Reserve GPS: 33°58'07.0"S 18°56'05.2"E Riders : Daniel Dobinson | Bennet Nel | Hylton Turvey All images by Ewald Sadie www.esphotography.co.za instagram: @ewaldsadie
  11. 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. 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. 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. 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 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. 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 Delvera/Dirtopia Trail Centre GPS: 33°50'56.5"S 18°51'27.9"E Riders : Daniel Dobinson | Matt Lombardi Permit: R50 Website: http://www.dirtopia.co.za/ All images by Ewald Sadie www.esphotography.co.za instagram: @ewaldsadie
  12. This episode of Trail Daze is dedicated to the people of Knysna and surrounding areas, who were affected by the devastating wild fires during June 2017. Our sincere condolences go out to those who lost so much, in particular, the tragedy of losing loved ones. For the making of this episode, we were lucky enough to visit the Garden Route in all its splendour, and I’m glad to be able to showcase that beauty here. Nature always bounces back stronger than before, and we're certain that the people of Knysna will persevere to rebuild and strengthen their towns and community once again. Ewald Sadie Following part 1 of our Fatbike adventure, we leave the quaint seaside town of Sedgefield en route to Buffalo Bay for our second and final overnight spot. More unscathed, pristine coastline, lined with jagged coral formations greeted us as we enjoyed another perfect South African autumn morning. Seemingly endless banks of black mussels lined the shore with luminous green seaweed breaking the different shades of black and grey. On our left, the tall cliffs that have dominated the skyline for most of our trip started to shrink and we stopped off at one of the caves for a mid-ride snack. Approaching the Goukamma river/lagoon mouth, the perfect Autumn temperatures gave way to an angry African sun, and we were forced to take a dip and refresh before doing the final stretch along the tar road to The River Deck. Three options of accommodation are available in Buffalo Bay, two of which requires you to bring your own camping gear, and the other (River Deck) offers a permanent canvas tent setup, good ablution facilities and bedding/towels - perfect for not carrying around too much luggage as in our case. With the sun now on maximum, we pulled into our final destination for the day and proceeded with our lunch-time tradition of ice cold beer and fresh fish & chips. Up again at the crack of dawn, we started prepping for the next leg of our journey which would include some fibreglass and paddles. We weren’t yet 100% sure if this would work but proceeded to dismantle our bikes and loaded all our luggage in our very flexible yet seemingly waterproof kayaks. A few nervous paddle strokes later and we were all set and heading off, snaking along the farmlands en route to the Goukamma mouth where we would abandon our water crafts (to be collected again by the friendly people at The River Deck). Cattle and Egyptian Geese kept a watchful eye over us as the first rays of the day popped over the hills and created some amazing reflections. But even the most amazing natural scenes couldn’t hide the fact that we weren’t ‘paddling-fit’ and we soon started to realise this rowing thing might take longer than anticipated. The banter died down, body language changed as the river bent again in the wrong direction. Arriving at the mouth, we were glad to have done this part of the mission, but also relieved to get back to using leg power to continue the rest of our trip. Day 3 was absolutely epic, it started off with a fully laden dawn kayak up the Goukama river leading to a perfectly smooth cruise past Buffelsbaai. Things got a bit tougher when we climbed out at Brenton-on-Sea and then crossed the boggy marshlands across to the old railway. A scenic ride across the railway bridge lead us into Knysna where we enjoyed some ice cold beer at Mitchell's Brewery. Dayle Holmes The short stint along Buffalo Bay beach towards Brenton-on-Sea flew by and soon we were heading up the tar climb into town. A part of this day that I was not particularly looking forward to as the gradient is not very fat bike-friendly. Let alone loaded up with luggage and under another angry African sun. Rolling over the crest however into Brenton-on-lake, we could see our final destination across the Knysna River lagoon, with only a swamp and a bridge to navigate. We followed the ribbons of ’singletrack’ revealed only during low tide, and made our way along the edge of the lagoon onto and across the decommissioned Knysna Lagoon railway bridge. As we rolled through the harbour and straight into Mitchell’s brewery, our mini fat bike adventure had come to an end and there was only one more thing to do… The timing of day 2 ended up bang on with it hitting low tide for the duration of our ride gracing us with hard untouched sand which we named the "fat bike super highway". Dayle Holmes On our last bit of trekking towards Knysna we had to climb over the neck of Brenton-on-sea. It was tough as hell after 3 days of riding with the sun baking down on us at 35 degrees. Ewald was keeping his watts high, I cursed the heavens as Dayle was flatboxing up the hill training for Sani (not really). All worth it though, when we reached Brenton-on-lake we were treated to some boggy-marsh single track goodness! Danie du Toit This project is made possible by: RiverDeck GPS: 34°02'02.6"S 22°56'22.6"E Riders : Dayle Holmes | Danie du Toit Accommodation: RiverDeck Accommodation Restaurant: RiverDeck Restaurant All images by Ewald Sadie www.esphotography.co.za instagram: @ewaldsadie
  13. Discussing this mission over a few beers - mostly what equipment we didn't have and still need to get - the plan manifested into a three-day ride along arguably some of the most scenic stretches of beach in South Africa. Being novices at this, we decided to keep it simple and ride from Wilderness to Knysna, averaging about 30km a day stopping at backpackers along the way. That may sound like a short daily stint, and it is, but with so many unknowns of fatbikability, heavy luggage and never intending to pedal all day to begin with, we agreed that this would fit in better with our beer drinking schedule. Fatbikability (I’m claiming the term if it hasn’t yet been) is limited among other things, by reef or otherwise long sections of jagged rock that won’t be kind to the very exposed and vulnerable fat tyres. Reaching a section of coastline that is simply impassable, could force us to double back and find a way around - typically along the N2 or a quieter alternative if available. This would make the pedal considerably longer, and needless to say road riding was something we wanted to avoid at all cost. Google Maps gave us the green light in terms of impassable sections, however Murphy has a knack for showing up in situations like these. Opting to stay in backpackers instead of camping, meant we saved a bit on overall weight, however the combined additional weight of racks, panniers and camera/video equipment still affected the average speed as to be expected. Our luggage consisted of fresh clothes for three days, basic toiletries, water/snacks and some plastic, as meals and beers were to be bought in the towns we were staying at. A great way to spend three days. We were blessed with amazing weather and got to see some epic scenery along with lots of childish banter and post ride beer drinking. It was a real eye opener to see how easy it is to trek along our coastline taking only the bare necessities and a bank card. Dayle Holmes Starting our journey in Wilderness immediately had me planning my opening shot of us crossing the Kaaimans River bridge from Victoria Bay’s side, however multiple cautionary tales of muggings and close calls with scum had us deviate from this plan. It’s unfortunate that such beauty has to be tainted by evil, but such is the story of South Africa I guess. Leentjiesklip was to be our new starting point from where we would pedal to Sedgefield, timing our ride with low tide to access the hard sand closer to water. Inevitably, the shape of the coastline forced us up and away from the hard stuff from time to time, meaning energy-sapping, slow progress as the sun baked down from above. Having grown up in the Garden Route region, I thought I knew most of the gems scattered along the coast. I didn't. The fat trek trip allowed us to see the most scenic less-touristy places. The best thing for me about the whole vibe was getting around via no means of combustion. Just three fetties. Danie du Toit Starfish, blobs of jelly, low tide reef formations, colorful coral, lone fishermen, and a cool breeze from the ocean escorted us to our mid ride stop at Gericke’s Point. We passed long stretches of unscathed beach only accessible during low tide, with not a soul in sight. Flocks of Cape cormorant huddled together further ahead or performed low level formation flying millimeters above the water. It really is a very special landscape to be passing through, only leaving temporary tracks to be erased by nature in minutes. Arriving at Sedgefield, we pulled in to Afro Cafe where we would be stationed for the night, and headed straight for the downstairs restaurant, Pili Pili. The next two hours would consist of consuming fresh hake & chips and as many ice cold beers as seemed appropriate. Bikes washed, we lounged about and killed time as the midday sun scorched the earth, before heading downtown to sample the local pub life. It was such a treat having lunch and beers at our first accommodation stop, klapping a hard afternoon nap to then leave the bibs at home and head to town for some golden hour pub hopping. Bliss. Danie du Toit Up at the crack of dawn, we headed downtown once again to stock up on snacks and fresh water for the next leg of our journey, but Murphy had other plans. The freehub body on Dayle’s bike disintegrated and had to be rebuilt roadside, as we were in the wee hours of the morning and the local bike shop not open yet. Luckily, having racked up years of first hand technical experience in the bike industry, Dayle literally MacGyver’d his wheel back to (almost) new by using a bottle cap, leatherman, some dental floss and some patience. The South African coast is scattered with small interesting towns which are often missed when using a car, I can see this being one of many fat trekking trips to come in the future. Dayle Holmes Stay tuned for the next part of this trip as we head out to our next stop, Buffelsbaai... This project is made possible by: Leentjies Klip GPS: 33°59'42.8"S 22°33'55.8"E Riders : Dayle Holmes | Danie du Toit Accommodation: Afrovibe Restaurant: PiliPili All images by Ewald Sadie www.esphotography.co.za instagram: @ewaldsadie
  14. Nestled at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains and the Karatara River Gorge, lies one of South Africa's top mountain biking destinations. Proper trails cutting through lush indigenous forest with an incredible ambiance of bird sounds and other wild life, and a majestic mountainous backdrop is what defines this place. Add to that accommodation in the form of the Trail Park House, or a 20 person dorm room setup hand crafted by the land owner and trail builder Rob Dormehl, and you have the perfect place to rally together some friends and shred the 40km trail network from dawn till dusk. And with 4 trail options varying in difficulty and distance, and a pump track/dirt jump line, it really caters for all riders of all abilities. The ever-expanding network of trails and accommodation at Garden Route Trail Park is something to admire. Well built jumps in every size you could ever want, means it's the perfect place to get airtime and it's one of the few places in SA that you can ride proper singletrack under an indigenous tree canopy. Phone your friends now and plan a weekend getaway now! Daniel Dobinson | iRideAfrica The Garden Route Trail Park is definitely a must if you're going anywhere up the coast. I'm lucky enough to visit the park frequently and it's definitely on the favourites list. The trails vary from deep, dark, and dense forests with big bomb holes and tight branches, to open grasslands with amazingly flowy trails. I love riding here because of the natural forest that just makes you forget about the world for a few hours. And it's always nice to finish with a few pump track laps and a good coffee. Matt Lombardi This project is made possible by: Garden Route Trail Park GPS: 33°55'01.3"S 22°51'47.7"E Riders : Daniel Dobinson | Matt Lombardi Permit: R100 Website: https://www.gardenroutetrailpark.com/ All images by Ewald Sadie www.esphotography.co.za instagram: @ewaldsadie
  15. About an hour's drive further up the coast from last month's Trail Daze destination, we re-visited the now world-famous Garden Route Trail Park, to round off our trip up the N2. Click here to view the article
  16. Kicking off 2017, the Trail Daze crew re-visited Cape Town to bring you the second of this two-part (part one) mother-city mountain biking showcase. We were joined by local pinner, industry influencer and all-round nice guy, Mark Hopkins. Click here to view the article
  17. We met up at the Kloof Nek parking lot, just off Tafelberg Road, and headed for the rubber-destroying slab of granite just a short pedal away. Only a few hundred meters long, with Table Mountain towering above you, this fun section of trail is deceptively technical at high speed and will certainly leave its mark if you come off the bike. The elevated starting point serves up some great views across Cape Town CBD, Table Bay, and as far as Wellington on a clear day. The trails surrounding Table Mountain and Lions Head really surprised me with the technicality and gradient. I've never ridden any of the Cape Town trails so it was an awesome day out railing rugged trails in big dust clouds. It's a trail for the locals and Mark and Dan certainly know the scoop, and I'll hopefully be making my way back there soon. Matt Lombardi Rolling slabs of granite merging together under the patch of pine trees requires above average bike handling skills at high speeds. *knee pads highly recommended Crossing the top of Camps Bay drive, the unassuming entrance to The Glen leads you down a fast and flowing yet technical stretch of trail with the fun factor locked at maximum. Skinny, hard-packed singletrack cutting through dense greenery keeps you on your toes all the way to the bottom as you pick your line through sharp rocks and exposed roots. It’s absolutely amazing that these trails have been opened up recently. Being able to shoot out for a quick shred around Lions Head and the Glen to ride and test new product is a dream for us as a mountain bike company! Throw in some of the sharpest rocks in the region, rad turns in the Glen, a top-class sunset as well as your choice of restaurants/bars at the bottom of the hill, and you've got yourself a great place to ride. Mark Hopkins Matt Lombardi blending in and getting lost in the green-room, descending down The Glen towards the Atlantic ocean on another horrible day in Africa. Exiting The Glen, it's a short but punchy climb up Kloof Road toward the start of the Lions Head trail, from where you're confronted with more breathtaking views of Camps Bay, 12 Apostles, and Table Mountain. This section of trail is just one piece of the newly legalised MTB trails around Table Mountain, but is still shared with hikers, runners and everything else in between - so please be lekker and respect others also looking to enjoy the outdoors. A rare glimpse at a green, unburnt and unscathed landscape around Cape Town, while wildfires relentlessly ravage the greater Western Cape area day in and night out, for months now. Be grateful for the opportunities you have to ride your bike today, because it could be gone tomorrow. The city bowl has a huge network of short, steep and ridiculously rad trails that you'll need a local to make the most of. Of course, there are also the network of easily navigable dirt roads spread across the slopes of the mountain to make use of if you're after less technical riding. Views of the icy Atlantic constantly entice you to descend to the white beaches below, but at the same time, the magnetism of the colossal chunk of sandstone that is Table Mountain, keeps you climbing and searching for more views. Cape Town is a really special place to ride your bike! Daniel Dobinson | iRideAfrica 3 tiny riders traverse the final stretch of singletrack with Lions Head towering in the late afternoon blaze. Seeing out the last golden rays of the day. Cheers Cape Town trail network - you've been very kind. Beer time! Few things in life compare to the magic of an ice cold draft after a sweaty summers ride. This project is made possible by: Kloof Nek parking GPS: 33°56'31.7"S 18°23'42.4"E Riders : Daniel Dobinson | Matt Lombardi | Mark Hopkins Permit: Purchased from the TMNP offices Read more about the Constantia greenbelt trails here. All images by Ewald Sadie www.esphotography.co.za instagram: @ewaldsadie
  18. Trail Daze, yet again you simply take my breath away. I am now seriously waiting to be able to buy my first full trail bike and follow your lead.KarlvN Seems I have a trail to go explore this weekend. Thanks for the great review.BlackSnow Now why post all of this awesomeness on a Monday?? Lucky we have a free day on Wednesday so I don't have to wait a whole week to get on the trails again.Lone_Ranger Click here to view the article
  19. It's feedback and comments like these that remind us that we're on the right track with Trail Daze, and that we've inspired at least some of you to get out there and explore your local trails. Following a very successful first year in 2015, we've documented some great trails in 2016, adding 2 new provinces to the list with hopefully more added during next year. Another success story and personal achievement is the compilation and production of Volume 1 of the Trail Daze coffee table photobook series, available online or in store at Giant Cape Town and BMT in Stellenbosch. Giveaway: Be sure to cast your vote in the poll HERE to stand a chance of winning a Camelbak Mule 3L and a signed Volume 1 Trail Daze photobook.Competition ends on 31 December 2016 at 12pm. Welvanpas | April Spontaneity is the spice of life... Wanna go riding? Yes! This afternoon... we're pressed for time. Cool, let's do it... where? Welvanpas. Sweet I'm on my way. How many of us? Four... can we fit the bikes in your car? Ya, I'll make a plan, no problem. Awesome, we'll bring food and beer. No excuses, no hassles, no complaints, no delays, just awesome company, awesome trails, focused hard work, and all-round make-it-happen positivity. This is the mountain bike culture I live for, and every experience like this enriches life so much more than "just another ride in the forests". Harry Millar Get all the info and the full April photo epic here. Drakensberg | May Dropping into the first rocky chute, choked with boulders - I knew this wasn't going to be a flowy trail ride but a test of creativity and a willingness to engage with the rugged features on offer. I mean it's the Drakensberg, it's not called "the Barrier of Spears" for nothing, you have to work for your ride. Sometimes I came off second best, but stopping for a moment and taking in the view - it really brought home how remote and incredible the area is. At the end of the day, if you've got a big travel bike and a set of knee pads this is an incredible experience, and making the most of the rock features, gullies and ridge lines is all part of colouring in the memory you're actively making. Kathryn Fourie Get all the info and the full May photo epic here. Hoogekraal | July Hoogekraal is a trail riders treat! Perfectly groomed swooping berms, big drops, fun table tops and rocks made for a perfect balance of speed, exhilaration and heart pumping action! The fact that I got to ride it with two ladies who inspire me with their riding style and immense skill, made it an afternoon that will never be forgotten! #BigBikes&Baggies Joanna Dobinson Get all the info and the full August photo epic here. Karkloof | August The trails here hold a special place in my heart and have always been brilliant thanks to Hylton Turvey whose vision of MTB translates into flowy technical trails. The OutBack trails are located a bit further away from the Karkloof Country Club than the rest of the trail network and give those willing to make the journey some brilliant varied single track, with some phenomenal descending. The three main trails include the legendary Bat Outta Hell, Rene's Rumble & Jewitt's Jive. Mark Millar Get all the info and the full August photo epic here. Boschendal | September Boschendal trails offer a variety of different terrain. From fast forest trails to open twisty flow trails. The scenery surrounding the trails is truly breathtaking with the Simonsberg mountain always in the peripheral. There has really been a lot of effort put in to making these trails in such a special place just outside of Stellenbosch. Not the most technical trails, but certainly an enjoyable day out! Matt Lombardi Get all the info and the full September photo epic here. Hakahana | February Probably the best gravity trails around Gauteng, Hakahana have done some great work to keep riders coming back for more. Tough and long climbs are well rewarded on the way down with smooth and flowing trails that cater for riding levels from intermediate to advanced. The trail builders have created technical and challenging features for the best of riders, keeping you on your toes, alert and excited. The general terrain on the hills is very rocky and loose making you ride a bit on the wild side, while the trails down on the lower slopes are fast and flowing letting you relax and unwind. Chris Pearton Get all the info and the full February photo epic here. Giveaway: Be sure to cast your vote in the poll HERE to stand a chance of winning a Camelbak Mule 3L and a signed Volume 1 Trail Daze photobook.Competition ends on 31 December 2016 at 12pm. Winner to be announced on 3 January 2017 at 12pm. No project can be successful without the collaborative efforts of some key players, most important of which are the riders that are featured in each episode. So to the following people, I say a massive thank you: Daniel Dobinson, Harry Millar, Matthieu Hamel, Hayden Brown, Chris Pearton, Julien Louw, Kath Fourie, Mark Millar, Tim Bentley, Joanna Dobinson, Rika Olivier, Simone Futter, Matt Lombardi, Andrew and Jonty Neethling. And lastly, to Camelbak for supporting this project for two years in a row now. Without your backing, we will not be able to inspire more people to go out and ride. Cheers 2016, it's been real! See you guys again in 2017... #TrailDaze
  20. With Tokai taken from us by wildfires during 2015, and Cape Town mountain bikers having to find alternative playgrounds to get their daily or weekly endorphin fix, trail riding in Cape Town has become somewhat of a controversial topic. Linking up the legal bits in a legal manner, wasn't straight forward and required some urban hacks involving a lot of tar roads. The alternative and less accepted option was to ride rogue on illegally built trails, or dedicated foot paths built for hikers. That was until the recent announcement by SANParks and the Table Mountain MTB Forum that soon, many paths on Table Mountain will become shared-use trails. It is the start of one glorious mother city trail network stretching all the way from the city centre to Tokai. We start off by showcasing the Rhodes Memorial area and riding South through the Constantia green belts. 5:30am. Bikes loaded and heading for Table Mountain. Beautiful views of the entire Table Bay, Bo-kaap architecture, and Robben Island. Layers of early morning mist with Simonsberg dominating the skyline. Good morning, Cape Town! Parking at the end Table Mountain road, it's a quick pedal along the tar road to the top of Plum Pudding, which will lead you down towards Rhodes Memorial. Dropping in at the top of Plum Pudding with views stretching all the way from Muizenberg to Stellenbosch. Devils Peak dominates the view from my garden and every time I step outside, the trails beckon to me. Sometimes the motivation is hard to find as there's no such thing as an easy ride on Table Mountain! Once I HTFU however, the reward always outweighs the effort! I feel privileged to live in a city and to have a huge mountain on our doorstep to play on and show visiting riders. Now that we are officially allowed to ride on the Green Belt trails (and soon more), long, legal urban rides to Tokai are finally a reality! Daniel Dobinson | iRideAfrica Pink Watsonia's line these trails all year long, closely guarded by our very own proudly South African Silver Tree (Leucadendron argenteum) - an endangered plant species found nowhere else but in this part of the Cape Peninsula. Dropping into the Rhodes Memorial trail. Dawn patrols don't always pay off, but sometimes you hit gold with some incredible backlit singletrack freedom. To get to the Constantia green belt, its about a 10 km drive/ ride from the bottom parking of Rhodes Memorial. Successful trail sharing lies not necessarily in segregation, but in tolerance and common courtesy between all trail users. A little bit of empathy for others' impression of your activity goes a long way too. Slowing down to smile, greet, and pass a walker slowly takes little effort on the rider's part, but goes miles with the overall mountain biker/walker/hiker relationship. We shouldn't forget that we're all out there for the same reason, and with so many areas in and around Cape Town being opened up to mountain biking, it is ever more important to not be a chop! Harry Millar Harry Millar engulfed by ivy-clad, bendy trees and getting lost in a sea of green. It might be South Africa's driest year in recorded history, but some parts still remain green and fresh, offering great relief from the otherwise bone-dry and dusty trails... Towering trees and 8 km of pristine singletrack just a few minutes from the CBD. Lush, rainforest like vegetation surrounds this entire trail, validating and reaffirming its title over and over. Cheers Cape Town! To be continued... This project is made possible by: Rhodes Memorial GPS: 33°57'48.0"S 18°27'32.1"E Riders : Daniel Dobinson | Harry Millar Permit: Purchased from the TMNP offices Read more about the Constantia greenbelt trails here. All images by Ewald Sadie www.esphotography.co.za instagram: @ewaldsadie
  21. As part one of a two part series, we head to the ever friendly (and often relentlessly windy) Cape Town to take a closer look at mountain biking in and around the mother city. Click here to view the article
  22. Having hosted countless mountain biking events, ranging from XC to Enduro to DH (some of them at National level), the Helderberg Trail Network certainly does not need any formal introduction. Click here to view the article
  23. With around 40 km of marked trails, all starting from the family friendly coffee shop, the terrain caters for all skill levels from the very beginner to the very experienced. In addition to coffees, the kiosk sells light meals and drinks, and with a petting zoo and braai facilities on the premises, one can easily make a day of it. With input from professional mountain biker Andrew Neethling, land owner Jan van Schalkwyk and resident trail builder Duran van Eeden have come up with a selection of red and black route options, which can be configured and combined to suit your ride. And with views from Stellenbosch to Gordon's Bay, and across the entire False Bay towards Cape Point, it should be on any mountain biker's bucket list to shred these trails until the sun sets behind Table Mountain. Do not cycle alone. You can't form a train by yourself. 4 is better. Helderberg trails HQ. Coffees, breakfast, cakes, cold drinks, fresh produce and other mouthwatering eats. Check. Quick caffeine spike before we head up. With an elevation gain of about 600m, the climb is long and relentless, but the trails have been built to contour up gradually where possible. Granny's Forest - the only part of the trail network under tree canopy. From here things open up as you ascend the exposed Helderberg face. Countouring up with our destination in sight at the foot of the Helderberg mountain. Views for days across False Bay, and all the way to Table Mountain. As high up as we can go. Dropping in from here, it's downhill all the way to the bottom, with various line options to get you there. The steep, upper rocky sections are what make the Helderberg trails one of the top DH and Enduro destinations in the country. Proper technical, loose trails that can catch you out at any moment if you don't show the required respect. Helderberg Trails hold a special place in my heart for good reason. I grew up in Somerset West, just down the road from the mountain range. I have been riding this mountain ever since I can remember. It has been my training ground. I actually did my first Downhill race on this very hill back when I was 13. I could not pass up the opportunity to help redevelop and build Helderberg Trails with my partner Jan Van Schalkwyk. We pride ourselves on providing trails for every type or rider and skill level. Andrew Neethling Singletrack from the mountains to the ocean. #winning I might sound biased but I have seen trails centres all over the world and love the variety we have and know we have worlds class trails. The higher you climb the better the views get. You got to earn it here but its more than worth it. You get some serious panoramic views of False Bay and the Winelands. Once at the top, you have a variety of trails to choose from to get you down. We want the rider to come out and form their own loops and combinations. Andrew Neethling After growing up riding the Helderberg mountain for at least 15 years, it's amazing to have Helderberg trails 5 minutes ride from home. I've done my fair share of riding around the world and I can honestly say we have some amazing riding right on the doorstep. Not many places you can be five minutes from the beach or five minutes the trails. Jonty Neethling I would say that the Helderberg trails are the closest playground we have to a 'Euro' style bike park. Not only do they have shuttle access (Yay for multiple gravity runs!) but many of the trails are machine built through beautiful clay based soil meaning wide trails, sturdy berms, and jumps of all sizes. The builders have not shied away from trails that make use of the steep terrain and natural rocks toward the top of the mountain but cleverly, have also built some easy, flowy trails for all levels of rider at the base of the the mountain. Riding with these three super-skilled riders on their local trails was great but the highlight of the day was having a Springbok bolting alongside me as I plummeted down the 'S4P' berms as the light faded to night. Daniel Dobinson | iRideAfrica Three's a party. Four's a train. Helderberg trails will always be a special place to me. I grew up on the neighboring farm, and as a lightie just starting to ride bikes, my dad and I would always ride the original trails. Recently the new trails have become a training ground for enduro and XC riders. The technical trails and amazing scenery overlooking the Helderberg basin just creates a world class riding atmosphere. Whether it's an after-work-burn or a long shuttle day, Helderberg trails has everything you need from big bike park style berms and jumps, to raw rocky sections. True bike riding. Matt Lombardi Another average sunset as seen from the Helderberg trails. Put this on your bucket list - you won't regret it. Helderberg Trails GPS: 34°01'56.3"S 18°50'02.5"E Riders : Daniel Dobinson | Matt Lombardi | Andrew Neethling | Jonty Neethling Permit : R50 at the Helderberg Trails Kiosk All images by Ewald Sadie www.esphotography.co.za instagram: @ewaldsadie
  24. Crossing the Helshoogte Pass into the incredibly scenic Franschhoek valley, we stopped off at the more-than-300-year-old Boschendal wine farm, to see what the Boschendal team and master trail builder, Bennet Nel have put together. Click here to view the article
  25. Still a very young trail, having only been established in 2015, it already features six different riding options, with the 33 km (1025 m elevation gain) loop being the longest of the lot. A considerable amount of work has gone into these trails in a short amount of time with a nice mix of well-maintained single track, mountainside jeep track and some farm road. With the majestic Simonsberg towering above and views across the Franschhoek valley, you would be forgiven for stopping every few kilometres, as this is truly a five star view. Remaining clouds from the downpour the night before made for cool temperatures and dramatic skies as we started climbing. A short stint of winding single-track through the olive groves. Lots of history around these trails. An old farm house ruin, property of Frans Diederik Muller, dating back to the 1750's when mining silver was on the up. The remains of the devastating fires that ravaged the area earlier in the year. But nature is more than bouncing back, with carpets of lumo green ferms all around you in some areas. I tell our foreign guests that the sun always wins over the clouds here in Cape Town. Winter rain falls from the skies, the soil greedily soaks it up and the sun comes out before long. In return, we get a beautiful flower display with grippy trails and hardly a puddle in sight. After living in the UK, with its boggy trails, our weather is something I am profoundly grateful of! While we still have a way to go before summer, don't forget to get outside to enjoy the extra grip and let 'er rip! Daniel Dobinson | iRideAfrica Glorious, fresh, grippy, tacky soil. No corners were harmed during the making of this episode. Speedway rider on track! Boschendal trails offer a variety of different terrain. From fast forest trails to open twisty flow trails. The scenery surrounding the trails is truly breathtaking with the Simonsberg mountain always in the peripheral. There has really been a lot of effort put in to making these trails in such a special place just outside of Stellenbosch. Not the most technical trails, but certainly an enjoyable day out! Matt Lombardi Spring has sprung with the oaks showing their new coats. The bottom section of Inferno consists of an incredibly lush and scenic, fast, hard-packed section following all along the creek. More ruins. This water mill dates back to the early 1800's. With Simonsberg towering above you, the Sugar Bowl drops down perfectly groomed single track, snaking its way down berm after berm towards the Trout Cottage. This project is made possible by: Boschendal GPS: 33°52'40.4"S 18°58'25.3"E Riders : Daniel Dobinson | Matt Lombardi Permit: R50 at the Boschendal Wine Farm All images by Ewald Sadie www.esphotography.co.za instagram: @ewaldsadie
My Profile My Forum Content My Followed Content Forum Settings Ad Messages My Ads My Favourites My Saved Alerts My Pay Deals Settings Help Logout