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  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. The Paarl Adventure Trail Network is a joint initiative between Hero Adventure Trails, Drakenstein Municipality and Land Owners to create a network of quality mountain bike , trail running and hiking trails . The city of Drakenstein and Paarl in particular is not only one of the most visited destinations in the Western Cape but one of the most beautiful .The custom-built trails traverse through a variety of terrain and boasts some spectacular features and views around and on Paarl Mountain. Take a journey of discovery and stop over at the many points of interest along the trail. Restaurants, wine, olive, cheese, guest houses, museums and various other artisans make up just some of the features along the trail. This Trail was designed to showcase the amazing features, venues and activities around the Paarl Mountain, most of the trail is wide single-track with a few climbs and intermediate technical sections. TRAILS: Base Trail (58km Orange Trail ): A journey around Paarl Mountain. Take your time and enjoy the traverse around Paarl Mountain, there are many points of interest and stop over points along the way. Various venues where you can stop to enjoy activities. You can also plan your trip and only use sections of the trail (Point to Point use). Many of these venues, artisans and farms rely on your support so please stop enjoy what they have to offer and don’t forget to thank these amazing folks. Reserve Trail ( 20km Purple Trail): Enjoy the picturesque landscape of fynbos vegetation dominated by massive rounded granite rock formations set among wild olives, rock candle-woods and wagon trees. There are a host of other activities to do in the reserve that include Picnics , Fishing and tours. Please note that this area is an environmentally sensitive area, do not deviate of the trails, remove or damage and fauna or flora. The trail is mostly sand road , but includes a couple of long climbs and steep descents . There are also links to the Hero Adventure Trails at Rhebokskloof and Spice Route as well as the Paarl Adventure Base trail. please note that on this route you share the road with vehicles , so keep left and be cautious. Link Trails ( Grey Trails ): There are 2 link trails between Hero - Rhebokskloof and Hero- Spice Route that both go up and over the Paarl Mountain reserve . Rhebokskloof - Spice Route Link Trail : 40km Spice Route - Rhebokskloof Link Trail : 25km Both trails have a few big climbs but the rewards are amazing . Hero Adventure trail Park Links: as part of the network we have included all the trail options at both Hero Adventure Trail Parks . opening up a variety of over 40 different trails to select 1 day pass gives you access to over 200km of trails , great venues and endless adventure Access to the trails is strictly through purchasing a day pass , no pass no use . Registration points include : Rhebokskloof wine estate Spice Route Destination Paarl Tourism Office Ridgeback Wine Estate Picardie farm http://www.paarladventuretrails.co.za
  4. I have been wondering, Do we have a proper technical mountain bike race in SA? I don't mean enduro, which we obviously do have and they are loads of fun, but rather a one day or multi day race that has some seriously technical terrain as the main feature? I've done the Piket-bo-berg race, which was fun and had tons of single track, but it wasn't all that technical. Origin of Trails is probably the closest thing I can think of in terms of a more technically challenging race. Is there anything else out there that is on par or maybe more challenging?
  5. After noticing several MTB riders dashing it out near my home in Kempton Park, I decided to investigate the field they apparently made their playground. Much to my surprise, the local field was hiding a tidy little single track route of approx 15km (or the part I could find at least). With it being a 'free-to-ride' track, I didn't get my hopes up too much. However, after riding the route with my BIL, him on a jumper and me on a 29er, I was somewhat impressed. Yes, this track does not compete with the likes of BigRedBarn or the like, but it is a nice ride for the Kempton locals looking for a short(ish) single track . The route is properly marked and includes a GREEN, BLUE and RED section. The RED (which we elected to ride) was not intimidating at all - with some limited obstacles closed to the end of the route. The route(s) could however benefit by the addition of some proper doglegs in the corners, more jumps and some optional obstacles (with chicken-runs for the softies ). After some investigation, I was able to determine that the local cycle shop (Finishline Cycles) was involved in the layout of the track, and that the local farmer/developer granted access to the property with this in mind - kudos to them both . One could only assume (and hope) that it is a constant effort by them to update the route(s) as and when they have the manpower and funds to do so. This being said (and if a may be so bold as to assume ), I am certain they would be grateful if riders take it on themselves to maintain and upgrade the track ... The track starts and ends through a small black gate about halfway down Blaauwklippen Rd, between Monument and Mulder Rds, next to the Glen Eagles Estate in Glen Marais, Kempton Park. I attached a STRAVA route image of the RED route, for interest... Enjoy the ride if you ever find yourself near there and fancy a MTB dash ... I am definitely making the track a regular part of my riding, and will most likely try it out with my Cyclocross this weekend .
  6. Hello from a very long time lurker on this forum. Over the last two years, I have been doing a lot of bikepacking type riding in ZA and in Lesotho, with my biggest trip being from PMB to Knysna, with numerous smaller trips in Lesotho. Last year December, while crossing Lesotho from Maseru to Himeville, I ran into an American guy bikepacking in the opposite direction, we talked and spent a rest day together....one thing led to another, and now I'm en route to Ecuador to ride rhe Trans-Ecuador Singletrack Route with him (http://www.bikepacking.com/routes/trans-ecuador-singletrack). I will be doing my best to keep my instagram account updated (@jagged_horizons) and time allowing, this forum as well, if anyone is interested.... Cheers Jagged Horizons
  7. Howdy parteners! (Peter Sellers, "The Party", 1968) I would like to get an idea about the general feeling towards carbon parts (especially handlebars, stems, saddles and seat posts) on mountain bikes, more specifically for use in beginner to intermediate singletrack (i.e. small jumps, rock gardens, etc.) Do any of you make use of carbon parts on your MTB? If so, what is your experience i.t.o. lifespan and dependability? Note that I'm aware that if you hit a tree, it can break. I'm talking about the likelihood of taking a jump and snapping your bar in two on the landing. Would you say that 3K carbon is better than UD, or vice versa? Thank you kindly!
  8. Event Name: Wagon & Spear When: 23 September 2016 - 25 September 2016 Where: Verbara Lodge, Kwazulu-Natal Category: MTB This year Camelot Events brings you the inaugural event on the KZN North Coast- Wagon & Spear! This event will traverse some of the most diverse and beautiful scenery on the North Coast, with massive valleys filled with natural single track, breathtaking scenery and all the luxuries of a proper MTB stage race event. This July holiday, don't miss out on participating in KZN's hottest new stage race. Entries are limtied to 150 teams, so be sure not to delay. Go to Event PageWagon&Spear_EFlyer.pdf
  9. Hi. I ride a bit around Huddle park and there's somewhat of a single track surrounding Huddle on Club street. This is used by walkers, joggers, dog walkers and mountain bikers (road cyclists use the road obviously). The last few months whilst cycling on this single track of sorts, near the entrance to Huddle Park are a few motorbike riders who use this trail. But why? I can't see how one can motox inside Huddle (its quite small) and why mbike on a trail used by cyclists and walkers- its dangerous.
  10. The Camelot Events team is proud to bring you the inaugural Wagon & Spear 3 Day MTB Satge Race on the KZN North Coast! (View our official race flyer attached) We have an entry limit of only 150 teams- 300 riders- so make sure you enter soon. Breathtaking scenery, natural cattle tracks and groomed flowing single track built especially for you! FB: https://www.facebook.com/wagonandspear/ Website: http://www.camelotevents.co.za/ Wagon&Spear_EFlyer.pdf
  11. Hey guys, I know there aren't too many places left to do this, but where can one ride alone SAFE in and around Cape Town area?
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