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  1. Hey everyone. The last thread I created everyone was super helpful so thought I’d do it again. I’m heading down to the Richtersveld (Sendelingsdrift) in a couple weeks with a bunch of mates and thought about doing some rides up there. These will likely be out and back rides that’ll probably take up half a day each (or so). I was wondering if anyone has any idea of what it is like up there, from a riding point of view, and if someone knows the routes and can shed some light. ps, GPX files would be amazing!
  2. If you have been around the Western Cape road riding scene for a while the chances are you have heard about the Four Passes route. Or perhaps you have already ridden it and experienced one of the Cape’s best road bike loops. If not, hopefully this article will give you some good insight into what is one of my favourite routes. View full article
  3. This route feature is made possible by Toyota. We were lucky enough to take their Urban Cruiser 1.5 XR out for the trip, more on the car later. The Route As the name suggests, the route is made up of four passes, namely, Sir Lowry’s Pass, Viljoenspas, Franschhoek Pass, and Helshoogte Pass. Where to start? There are a few options. Most riders start in Somerset West to get an early attack in on Sir Lowry’s Pass. I like to start at Specialized Stellenbosch since they have great coffee and snacks for after the ride. Plus those rollers between Stellenbosch and Somerset West aren’t much fun after 120km. Sir Lowry’s Pass Sir Lowry’s Pass is by far the trickiest of the four climbs because it is not the most cycling-friendly road. Thankfully though it is the first pass so you can up and over pretty early in the morning before the traffic starts. A pre-sunrise climb on quiet roads gives you a chance to appreciate the beauty and difficulty of the climb. I find it the hardest of the four passes, mainly because it is so steep and the road is pretty much straight. At least with Franschhoek Pass, you get some switchbacks and corners to break up the mental fatigue of the climb. The viewpoint at the top of Sir Lowry’s gives you a great perspective of where you have ridden from, it’s definitely worth a stop and a quick photo. The first decent food stop is the petrol station on your left as you turn into Grabouw, they have been known to have a DJ outside with pumping tunes over the weekend so you might enjoy some vibes there before heading off again. It’s worth noting that the village on the left just before Grabouw can feel a bit sketchy, thankfully you are heading downhill and are at a proper speed so just keep your eye out for animals crossing the road. Riding the route the other way around (i.e Helshoogte and Franschhoek Pass first) can feel a lot more unsafe as you are climbing pretty slowly up the hill. I’ve been looking forward to driving the new Toyota on the block for a good while, there is something about the Toyota brand that just gets me excited. After Grabouw there is only one more feed stop before you hit Franschhoek. At the base of Viljoenspas after the climb and descent, there is a spaza shop on the lefthand side of the road. Pretty safe to stop at and enjoy a coke. It can get cold on this route so pack some warm gear if the weather looks suspect. When we climbed out of Grabouw on this ride the Wahoo was reading a temperature of 1 whole degree. Viljoenspas Viljoenspas is pretty stunning, especially in winter when you have snow on the peaks in front of you. With Hans se Kop on your left and the upper Grabouw dam it makes for a great photo or just a quick breather while you enjoy the view. After the descent down the other side of Viljoenspas, the road rolls on through the farmlands which gives you some time to collect yourself for the next pass, Franschhoek Pass. The Theewaterskloof Dam is also a great spot to stop and enjoy an energy bar or gel, the dam is full at the moment with all the rain so if the day is warm enough, a sneaky swim will be well worth the effort. If you have ridden in the area, you will know it can get pretty windy on this side of the mountain. Make sure you have someone with you who makes a nice big slipstream, if it’s a windy day the drag along the dam to the base of the pass can be hell. Franschhoek Pass Franschhoek Pass is pretty exceptional, especially on the Villiersdorp side. I see so many cyclists climbing up the Franschhoek side and then turning around at the View Point. They really are missing out on one of the Cape’s (and possibly South Africa’s) most beautiful and rewarding climbs. If water is running low, don’t worry there are a couple of streams flowing most of the year along the pass. Franschhoek Pass is only 2km shorter than Sir Lowry’s Pass but it does feel longer because of all the switchbacks and corners. Watch out for the Valentino Rossi wannabes who think the pass is their personal race track on the weekends, it is an incredible road to drive as well so unfortunately, it does attract the fast and furious. Best to stick as far left as possible and try not to ride next to each other here. Franschhoek is very well known for its wine and food so it makes for an amazing lunch stop, since most of the climbing is done you might even enjoy some beer or wine with lunch. If you are passing through on a Saturday the Farmers Market is a must. Great food that you won’t have to wait too long for. Toyota has done well to beef it up a little to give it that authentic Toyota offroad styling. It is called the Urban Crusier so don’t expect it to stick with its bigger brother the Land Cruiser. The 1.5 engine though is more than capable in an urban setting and on the open road. As cyclists we need space and the Urban Cruiser delivers on this well. The space inside the car is great, with plenty of room for kit bags and floor pumps. With the seats folded down, it swallows a road bike easily. After Franschhoek it’s basically a hop, skip, and a jump to the finish in Stellenbosch. If you have paced yourself well the drag to Pniel and the climb up Helshoogte should go by quickly unless the South Easter is blowing of course. That can make the road Franschhoek to the left turn at Boschndal very interesting. I don’t know why but Pniel is one of my favourite little towns in the Cape. It just feels like it has so much history and personality. If you have the time it is definitely worth exploring a little bit. If Burgers and Beer is more your thing after a ride, Stellenbosch has plenty of that, another great reason to start and end in Stellies. The extra lift in the suspension and higher body height than that of the Yaris for example gives you a lot of confidence on gravel roads. The ride is very comfortable with little to no body roll in tight corners. It may be called the Urban Cruiser but it will be comfortable in pretty much every terrain, apart from hardcore 4x4 tracks. Route overview The 130km route gives you about 1800m of climbing and the steepest gradient is 7.7% GPX Route Download: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/36969110 Ready for your own adventure? For more info on the Toyota Urban Cruiser click here.
  4. Right, there is this challenge called Parallels, go check it out. Basically it a see how far you can go in 24 hours type of deal. But the unique selling point is that your distance is measured as the crow flies. To illustrate, if you do a circle route of 200 km; your distance, according to the rules of this challenge, would be zero km. I think I found an excellent route. The N14 between Vryburg and Upington. It is straight and it is flat. It drops from about 1200m above sea level to about 900m above. And the route would be about 406 km on the road but as the crow flies it would be 377 km. But I do not know how safe it is. Consider that I would cycle through the night so heavy traffic (there is mining activity in the area so a lot of trucks) and high crime (where is there ot high crime) would would put a nix on this route. I need some advice from locals. Thank you
  5. Hey all. I'll be spending the long weekend in Magoebaskloof. Anyone have any suggestions for nice MTB routes around there? I'm not too fussy, they can be long or short, technical single track or basic district roads, whatever, just wana get out on my bike a bit.
  6. I was wonder where a place is safer for a solo cyclist to ride and plan to stay for the weekend in Gauteng? Mageliesburg? Hartbeespoot? Your post will be appreciate.
  7. Hi guys, I haven't been in centurion long. I come from Blormfontein where you could cycle +- 30km and end up at a nice view. I find that it's different in Centurion. I have to make an event of it and either go to Big Red Barn or Wolwespruit etc. It feels like I am confined to the city streets during the week. And as a mountain biker, that sucks. Are there any nice (and safe) mtb routes one can give a go before or after work without having to load my bike in my car? Thanks
  8. I am looking for a route that is 25km long and has a constant gradient of 3% or 4%. Which will give you either 750m or 1000m of climbing over that distance. I am looking for this / and not this /\/\/\/\. I have tried looking at creating a route in Rouvy or plotaroute but can't seem to find an option to create such a route. I just want one constant climb for 25 km. Any other tools I can use to create such a route? Oh, and I want to use it on the IDT, so a gpx will be most welcome.
  9. Hi Guys Going to be spending some time at the Fish River and am contemplating taking the MTB along. Anyone have some insight into trails in that neck of the woods?
  10. Hi everyone, I am riding in Clarens this weekend with two beginners. Does anyone have experience on a nice single track in the area? I'm allergic to endless dirt road slogging. Thanks in advance.
  11. Today I tested the navigation/ routes function of my Garmin 510 with a Spruit route in preparation for Berg and Bush as I had never used the function before. When I got to the end, the Garmin peeped, displayed end of "training ride" & then switched off by itself straight away. I now have no data from my ride as the ride wasn't saved which you usually do manually. I don't want this to happen after 99km of Berg and Bush Day 1 & I'm a bit bleak that I've lost a ride in terms of stats, goals, Strava, Vitality etc etc. I don't want it to happen again, please help. Thanks!
  12. Hi I'm going to Dullstroom for the weekend. I am looking for good mountain biking. I've done some searches and come up with references to some good rides, but no specific routes. Can anyone help out with this? I was thinking about Dullstroom - Tonteldoos and back. It's a bit short for what I was looking for, and was hoping there are some actual trails around too. Thanks!
  13. Is anybody aware of any trails in the Drakensberg Sun area...ie should I take my MTB...Thanks in advance
  14. Hi all I'm new to cycling in general and live in Moregloed (Waverley area). I would like to know if anyone knows of nice and quiet road cycling routes in the Pretoria area? Thank you in advance!
  15. Evening I am going to be in Durban 22 and 23 November and 5 December, looking for a cycle buddy to discover the routes from Morningside (which is where I am staying in November at least) From 30 November for a few nights I will be on or near Pietermaritzburg/The Midlands, so again would be great to hook up with a cycle buddy. I am English, but live in Spain and I cycle on a mountain bike 3 times a week 40 - 50km most weeks. Fancy hooking up when morning or evening? Cheers Gary
  16. If I wanted to take 6 days and explore from Graskop, Pilgrims Rest, Gods Window, Bourkes Luck, Mac Mac, Lisbon Falls, Blyde River Canyon etc...and maybe further north to Haenertsburg or Misty Mountain, how many of these can one actually ride to? Tar? Gravel? If one had vehicle transfers and included some riding each day (30km - 60km) - where would the best riding/routes be, not in terms of trails and single track, but more in terms of scenery and exploring the most scenic and interesting parts by bike, preferably on gravel roads and jeep track - or quiet tar roads I guess. Any locals? Thanks
  17. Hi all So I just recently moved down to Cape Town and will be heading to Jacobsbay area over the long weekend. Obviously taking the bike with... Can anyone tell me if there are any nice routes to ride and if it safe-ish? I'll be riding alone and have never been there Thanks
  18. Mountain biker Truda Turner will be cycling 1,000km from Kakamas to Cape Town in October 2015. She is raising funds for the My Child has Cancer Trust - www.mchct.org.za She is looking for a safe gravel road link between Malmesbury and Cape Town. CAN ANYONE ASSIST? Thanks https://www.facebook.com/pages/Let-The-Wheels-Turn-for-the-My-Child-Has-Cancer-Trust-MCHCT/850529508334857
  19. Hi Hubbers, So I've been thinking about ways to rate/rank my rides and I wondered if anyone has any suggestions on how to go about it. So far I have the following data which I think is important: 1) Distance 2) Elevation 3) % single track 4) # of obstacles with warnings So the first two are easy from your GPS device so a ratio of the two gives a good indicator (meters climbed per km on average). The next two are a bit more subjective. Any thoughts?
  20. Hi guys. I'm from Hermanus, but will be in Claremont for the next few weeks. Don't know the area at all. Would like to get on the bike and keep up the fitness. Where can I go ride (mtb)? Where does the trails start? If you are in the area and looking for a partner please let me know. I'm available every day. Thanks
  21. Hi all, I will be coming down to DBN to ride the Tour of Durban on the 26th April, & will in DBN for the rest of that week, so would like to get some riding in while there. I will be staying at Garden Court South Beach, and would like to know if there are any group rides/routes that one can recommend. Other than the 20 odd kms that I can get done on the beachfront, looking for routes/rides that are a little longer on the road bike. Thanks, appreciate any advise.
  22. Hey Everyone Has anyone done a Mtb ride from Gauteng(Randburg) to Pilanesberg(Sun City), Is it at all possible doing it without tar road?
  23. Hi all, I'm doing some work with Isuzu over the next two months, part of which is creating hyperlapse videos and reviews of MTB routes so that you can check out the route online before making a mission. Here are the routes we've covered before so that you can get an idea of what I'm talking about: http://www.isuzu.co.za/experience-mountain-bike-trails Because I have limited time I need to be picky about the routes we choose to do so I'm asking all you to help me out. What are the best routes/trails in the Western Cape (we're currently geographically limited)? What routes would you most like to see a video of? Any ideas/suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance, Albert
  24. Hi All, I'm new to road riding in Cape Town and I'm looking for road routes to ride. I'm based in Century City and looking for some decent (and safe) routes to ride after work (4pm onwards). For the mornings, I live in Claremont so any route suggestions from there would also be appreciated.
  25. Hi all, I am embarking on a personal website called MTB Events SA. There are so many MTB events across South Africa and they each have their own website. The reason why I started this website is because I want to have a centralised website/database where you can view all events across the country. I want to display event information in a neat and readable way instead of having race details all over the place. I also want to display accommodation in and around the event. I always struggle to find accommodation when travelling to far away races. I also want to display things to do in and around the venue for those that are going to sleep over and don't want to sit at the place where you stay and watch TV. I want to have detailed route information and profiles. User comments after the race which can be forwarded to the event organisers. Pics of the race, Youtube videos of the routes, directions to the race, weather etc etc. The site has been optimised to use the latest internet technologies, it won't work on Internet Explorer 8 or lower, only from 9 and above. It will work on other browsers like Google Chrome and Firefox. It is optimsed for mobile devices because most people are all day on their phones. I don't plan to make money off the site right now, for now it's just a personal project and website. There might be a similar site but like I said it's a personal project that I am doing in my spare time and for my own enjoyment. If you have any ideas it would be appreciated. What would you like to see about an event before entering? Do you guys think something like this will work? The site is very bare at the moment, I put on content as soon as when I have time. Go to www.mtbevents.co.za and click on events on the menu above. Select the race that I have loaded to see what I am trying to do. I have a Facebook page and Twitter account registered. If you want please follow on Facebook and Twitter. I will starting posting as soon as when I have some more content. I would appreciate your feedback. Thanks Brendan
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