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  1. Mountain bike enthusiasts can now enjoy the 92km Bottelary Hills Renosterveld Conservancy (BHRC) trail network at the special midyear permit rate of R400. Make the most of the great outdoors for the remainder of 2021 and enjoy the wide open spaces of the BHRC that stretches across the rolling hillsides, conservation areas, vineyards and private farmland in the Bottelary Hills. The ever-evolving network of MTB trails cater for various skill and fitness levels. Only 2021 BHRC annual or day permit holders are allowed access to the trails and bike boards must be displayed on handle bars at all times. Annual permits are available online at www.bottelaryconservancy.co.za and day permits (R70) and are sold at various park and ride spots including Devonvale Golf & Wine Estate, Zevenwacht Wine Estate, Hellsend Bike Compound in Stellenbosch as well as Engen Soneike and the security gate at Dwars in die Weg on Devon Valley road. Due to lockdown restrictions Asara, Neethlingshof, Jordan and Cycle2Ride are closed for permit sales. Take note that most of the access points operate on a cashless system with Zapper as the only payment option. Less than 4% of the original Renosterveld in the Western Cape remains and only grows in very rich fertile soils, which is often replaced with commercial crops. The BHRC is fortunate to have large tracts of pristine Renosterveld in its area and has been declared as a World’s Heritage Site by UNESCO. Funds generated through permit sales are used mainly to subsidize alien vegetation eradication. While alien plant clearing has been an ongoing initiative of the BHRC, the project has intensified since 2012 following the opening of the Bottelary Hills MTB Trails in April 2011. During the past two years alien clearing follow up was done across 735.2 hectares generating a total of 4486 person days worked. Game still roams naturally in the Hills such as Caracal, Grysbok, Grey duiker, Porcupine, Bat-eared foxes, Cape foxes and otters. There are also endangered reptile species such as the Diamondback tortoise only found in Renosterveld areas. More than 109 bird species have been identified and listed on the BHRC website. When you support our trails you support conservation. Find the latest trail map on the Trailforks APP (https://www.trailforks.com/region/bottelary-hills-conservancy-mtb-trails/?activitytype=1&trailstyle=random&z=12.0&lat=-33.91566&lon=18.77475&m=hybrid). For more information please visit www.bottelaryconservancy.co.za or follow us on social media.
  2. Those of you who have been following the "Big Adventure" thread at I started back in May 2015 will know our story already, but for anyone who has managed to miss it, here's a brief summary: In 2013 we decided we wanted to move from SA back to Europe. I'd been in SA for 8 years at the time (I was also there for 8 years as a youngster) but "Wendy" had been in SA for most of her life. We both have UK (& SA) passports but we really wanted to end up somewhere that at least has a guaranteed summer and the UK does not fit that criteria. Northern Spain was top of my list for several reasons, not least of which was access to Cycling in the Pyrenees Mountains. After a couple of exploratory trips to Spain, we ended up buying a "Barn" in the village of Guaso in the Aragon region of Spain. Guaso is a hilltop village in the foothills of the Pyrenees. It is a 5 minute drive away from the small towns of Ainsa & Boltana and thanks to its location on the warm south facing side of a hill, enjoys its own very favourable “micro-climate”. We are going to convert the Barn into a 4 Bedroom "en-suite" B&B that understands and caters for cyclists (although everyone would be welcome of course). We've had plans drawn up, planning permission granted and builders quotes obtained. The original plan to cover the cost of the renovation / conversion was for us to put in our savings and borrow the balance from the bank. The regional department of commerce carried out a favourable viability study for us & the banks and the local bank managers were happy with our applications. When the bank managers (we've spoken to several banks) sent our applications to their respective head offices it became apparent that it was not going to be as easy as we'd thought to secure a loan. In a nutshell: Pre the 2008 financial Crises, Spanish bank managers (much like bank managers in the UK and the US) lent money without proper approval to literally anybody and his dog, holding the property deeds as security. As the Crisis hit it became apparent that people had spent the money on all sorts of things and now couldn't pay it back. Half-finished properties were repossessed to be sold off, but the numbers were so large that the banks ended up with more properties than they could sell and the market flooded. (which is why we got our property for the price we did). The downside though, is that banks can no longer accept your property as security against a loan. That leaves us with two options: Option 1 is for us both to get full time jobs, which would qualify us for a mortgage. Option 2 is for us to look for some form of private investment. Unfortunately, for various reasons including language and the type of work on demand locally, Option 1 is just not viable. (Of course we knew that when we came here - the plan was never to have to look for full time jobs, the plan was for us both to run the B&B and associated services, which in itself is going to be a full time job for both of us!) So that leaves Option 2. To try and raise the funds we need via sources other than the high street banks. Now this is something neither of us have ever had to do before. We've both had various mortgages/loans over the years - but always through a recognised bank/building society or, in the case of vehicles, loan company. I know there are a fair few financial bods on here as well as a number of (small) business owners. What we're looking for (aside from a suitcase full of money) is any advice, on how to move forward. There are some things that we do already know or have already considered: 1) We do know that if we don't involve the banks then we can split our project into three stages (as I've mentioned on the Big Adventure thread). 2) We believe that one possibility for funding the second and third stages of the project would be via some form of "Crowd-Funding" (essentially a time-share type setup where people get a holiday every year (for themselves or a nominee) for a number of years using the finished stage(s) of the project) A downside to "Crowd-Funding" is the admin cost that the organisers take. Percentages vary anywhere from 5 to 9% of the total amount raised. 3) We know, because it was shown to be true on the Dept. of Commerce viability study, that this area is growing, our business plan is sound and we will succeed. . 4) We remain confident that buying the property we did, where we did, was a good idea. Almost everybody that I guide, regardless of where in the world they come from (from Brazil to New Zealand and everywhere in between), wants to see our barn and hear our story. They all love our place, the tranquillity of the village, see the potential in the property and encourage us not to give up! 5) The time we have already spent here interacting with visitors has taught us exactly what it is that people are after when they come here to stay. (Being cyclist ourselves, we already had a pretty good idea, but you can always learn a bit more). 6) We have realised that instead of running a B&B "with some cycling/guiding thrown in", there is actually a very big market for proper organised cycling holidays - both MTB and Road based. To that end we have spent time working with and forging relationships with, the local bike repair/hire shops, the local uplift taxi & bike services, restaurants etc etc and we now aim to provide, alongside a basic B&B service, full-blown guided cycling holidays..... Lots of ideas & plans and lots of enthusiasm. Maybe with the help of our Hubber friends we can work out a way forward from here. In the meantime, we're constantly promoting the area, I'm MTB guiding (and making friends with) some very nice people - some of whom have already made return visits, and we're both working enough to keep our heads above water and food on the table. . . . . Tranquilo - Todo a Tiempo. (Stay Calm, Everything in its Time) Tony & Andrea.
  3. Good day all, We will be down in Kommetjie in the Western Cape and I was wondering if anyone knows of any gravel road or beginner trails in the area? As per my intro I only started MTB a week ago so for me it is gravel roads and easy trails to get into the swing of things. I did do a search and went through the trails thread but cant seem to pick up anything for the Kommetjie area. Thanks
  4. Hi all, We are heading to San Lameer in January and I was wondering of there are any worthwhile trails in the area? According to San Lameer website they do have a MTB trail in the grounds of about 10km, but I do not want to pack the bikes if this will be the only riding to do. Your suggestions is appreciated.
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. Morning. I am from the W.Cape, but spending time in PTA nowadays. Looking for some primarily gravel routes which start as close to Brooklyn as possible. Have been riding in Magaliesberg(roads around v Gaalens recently graded btw) which has been fun. Routes don't have to be all flat dirt and can be a combo of surfaces. Many thanks.
  9. So I know I am probably a bit late to the party but all the rules are pretty unclear. My question is can I travel across districts (Overberg to Cape Winelands and Cape Town) to ride? Anyone able to enlighten me. Thanks
  10. 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
  11. Hi everyone, just to let you know that B'sorah's MTB trails near Skeerpoort is open again to day visitors on Sundays to Fridays. We currently have a 18km and 26km trail, and some longer and shorter distances will be added soon to accommodate all types of riders. We also now have a shop and picnic area. Please park and pay at reception before starting your ride. For directions, visit our website at http://www.bsorah.com and scroll to the bottom of the page. Our website will be updated soon with info on the trails, but in the meantime please send us an email at info@bsorah.com if you need any more info. Hope we see you guys soon.
  12. UPDATE: Tokai will open on Saturday the 10th of December, jump to the post. Sorry for the copy/paste from Facebook but this pretty much captures the progress from the last few weeks and why #Volunteering is so important. The tweet that seems to have grabbed a lot of people's attention.. can't say we blame them, some of the trails in Tokai are really starting to take shape again! https://twitter.com/CraigRH_10/status/760491199996264449 Reto Mani (from Blackhill fame) has been working pretty hard on the Tokai Downhill track for the last week. With financial assistance from the Pedal Power Association, TokaiMTB has contracted two trail builders to help prepare the trails for December's official reopening. Not to say they will be doing all the work, there is still a lot happening behind the scenes with volunteers pitching in to prepare the base track for the contractors. Debris, branches and erosion all need to be cleared, cut away and filled. Tons of soil and rock need to be moved from our stockpile sites to where it can be carted onto the trail and moved into place. Skill graded trail signage and safety measures to keep people from straying into dangerous areas still have to be installed.. There is a lot of work still ahead but the promise of good trails back on our doorstep is the drive and motivation to get it all done. Join us for our regular Volunteer Trail Build days supported by the Devil's Peak Brewing Company. Dates as follows: - Saturday, 13 August, 2016 (next build) - Saturday, 27 August, 2016 - Saturday, 03 September, 2016 - Saturday, 17 September, 2016 Registration for each build day opens at the start of each week leading up to that event. The notice and registration link is shared on TokaiMTB twitter, TokaiMTB Facebook and here on Bike Hub under the TokaiMTB hosted forum. Thanks for the tweet Craig Rhodes-Harrison, VIVA STOKE! (twitter photo credit: Reto Mani)
  13. 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
  14. Spice Route Destination and Fairview Estate is one of the most visited attractions in the Winelands area . located lease than 30 min from Durbanville and 40 min from Strand and the City Bowl , it is the ideal venue to take the family or mates for a awesome day out. Spice Route has no less than 5 restaurants , a host of different artisans that include craft beer , gin , chocolate , cheese and 2 new kids play areas that include pump tracks . Developing a Hero Adventure Trail park was a no brainer and together with the land owners we have spent the better part of 18 months developing a network of trails to suit everyone . The Western Cape is blessed with many trails and trail parks .The variety and quality is probably right up there with the best in the world . But when designing and planning the trails at Spice Route our key focus was developing trails for the families and weekend warriors . With Hero - Rhebokskloof , Paarl Adventure Trails and Wild boar trails , the area is packed with great trails for the intermediate -experienced cyclist/runner . We felt there was a gap for trails for the less experienced , juniors and fun trails for tourists . Spice Route and Fairview is a venue where people visit to enjoy the views , wine , food and just have a great time . We have taken that foundation of fun and tried to put it into the trails we have developed . We wanted to develop trails that are not difficult , packed with features and provide a place where newbies - intermediate cyclists/runners can enjoy lots of fun single-track . The majority of trails on offer have very little elevation ,giving weekend warriors ,families and tourists the opportunity to get in some proper distance and experience all the great features on the farm . We have however added in a number of pockets where the more adventrous and experienced get their moneys worth . The 1st few months were not much fun . having to deal with difficult terrain and finding a happy medium between having set trails on a working farm . but as we move into the coming season we are really excited at how the park is developing . TRAILS: * 2 kids areas with obstacles and pump tracks * 3km Yellow Trail : A fun short trail through the vineyards close to the main buildings * 5km Pink Trail : A fun but pretty challenging trail that traverses down to the lower part of the farm and back up. it includes a 2km flow trail and forest , so packed with fun * 10km Green Trail : This Trail in our opinion is perfect for weekend warriors just getting started , families and tourists looking for a fun easy adventure . lots of single-tack , vineyards , olives and and .. * 20km Blue Trail : The popular trail for mates, tourists and families that want some proper distance but not technical . the blue showcases many different parts of the farm and terrain , packed with features and a great experience *35km Red Trail : The Red Trail was built for a great day out for the intermediate cyclist/runner .With all the fun and adventure of the blue but topped off with a few challenges and technical sections to get the adrenalin going . The Red trail also includes sections of the new XCO Trail we developed for provincial xco champs at Diamant Estate next door * XCO Trail : We have a dedicated 5km xco trail on the property next Door ( Diamant Estate ) where you get to experience some proper xco love , also included on the red trail * Link trails : There are also 2 link trails that go up Paarl Mountain and to Hero Adventure - Rhebokskloof . Hero Adventure - Spice Route also forms part of the Paarl Adventure Trail Network and has direct access to over 200km of other trails within the project VENUE: Spice Route is a great venue to enjoy a fun day out after your ride , run or walk . grab a shower at the venue and spend the day with family and friends enjoying all the artisans and experiences . for more info visit : http://www.hero-adventure.co.za
  15. Hi All I am brand new to MTB'ing. So new in fact that I will only be buying my first bike this weekend. I live the Northern suburbs in Cape Town and am looking for suggestions of easy beginner friendly trails to go earn my stripes. Also what time of day would be best? Don't want to annoy the regulars until I become one. Thanks in advance
  16. Hey Guys I am in Stellenbosch for the coming easter weekend. I will be bringing my brand new Norco gravel bike along. Looking for some great gravel riding trails to prepare for Race to the Sun. can anyone guide me on gravel bike friendly routes or is there anyone going for some nice long rides from Friday to Sunday ? Thanks for any advice I have plenty mtb routes that i have found that look amazing im just not sure which one i can manage on the gravel bike?
  17. I'm in PE for a few days between Xmas and New Years, can anyone recommend some safe trails near Newton Park that I can enjoy? I don't mind riding 10-15kays to get to a trail. At the moment I'm not sure if I should take the MTB or Road bike but a worthwhile trail will sway my decision quickly. Ta
  18. Hi Guys, I was just wondering if there are people interested in riding over the weekends? I enjoy the Trails nearby, such as Cradle Moon and the few others in that area. The technical rides are what excite me - I'm not that great at long far uphill slogs. I don't enjoy riding the suburbs due to safety reasons, so I put the bike on the rack and drive to wherever. So far Ive been riding solo. I've been riding for a few months now. I come from an Off Road Bike environment (many years ago...), so I'm quite comfortable with the technical stuff. Cheers, Michael
  19. It's been a long time coming and for those who can wrangle a bike through every terrain, you'll like this announcement! Actually, anyone looking for fun will enjoy the news about the All-Mountain track that's been restored and dare I say it, "upgraded". Long story short. It is open for riding from tomorrow despite it still being work in progress. Here is some more detail.. > https://www.facebook.com/tokaimtb/posts/615933831933702
  20. With the massive increase in trails being built here in the WC I am interested in the process / cost of these projects. It seems that every wine farm and deli in the winelands has a new trail network. These I understand as they are trying to attract more visitors and therefore turnover from restaurants, accomodation, deli, cellar doors etc other than get just the nominal trail fees. There also seems to have been a big increase in other trails outside of the traditional trail custodians [Tokai MTB, TBMBC and so on]. Does anyone have a rough guide on the kind of cost per KM that trail building entails and how the process works? A family member has about 1000 hectares of essentially mountains outside Worcester that he rides moto on and is looking add some basic cottages for riders / bikers. There is very little in the way of any kind of animal, car or moto tracks so it is a blank canvas but from when I've been there it's something special. I know there are lot of variables in the kind of trail you build and cost would depend of features included, how sculpted they are and so on but a jump off point would be a great help.
  21. 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?
  22. Urgent appeal. Window for comments close today. - Submissions closed, thanks! If the objections succeed in blocking this track for the reasons provided, it's a precedent that makes for a slippery slope from here on.. The article has been written from one side only, this is quite clear by the reasons provided. Please read and if you support the effort to responsibly construct and manage this proposed trail, send a one line email to the address supplied. I think Meurant has proved himself several times over to be a responsible ambassador for trails in this country. https://www.facebook.com/ama.rider/posts/1960106460682691
  23. Need to know which trail is safe to ride alone. There are too many trails, not too sure whereabout good to go and ride. Your feedback will be great.
  24. Capaia Wine Estate is hosting a Trail Run on Human Rights Day 21 March, so our normal tracks will be closed to the public just for the morning between 7am and 10am, while the race is taking place. If you know of any runners who might be interested in registering for the race, please use the below link to enter! https://entries.trailfun.co.za/ Looking forward to seeing you at the track over the weekend!
  25. I'm doing a weekend away (Fri - Mon) for a family getaway to Crystal Springs Resort and contemplating whether we should be taking mountain bikes for the weekend. Are there any Mountain Biking Trails in and around Crystal Springs Resort? if so, has anyone previously been there and taken your bikes?
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