GIBA GORGE

Bicycling (South Africa) - - WOW RIDES - – Aaron Bor­rill

The Giba Gorge story is a fas­ci­nat­ing one: what started as a hobby back in 2007, when Chris and Steve Har­burn took own­er­ship of the Stockville Quarry, has grown into the com­pre­hen­sive trail park and MTB track we have to­day.

Giba has loads of dif­fer­ent line op­tions to suit all lev­els of skill and fit­ness; and you’ll leave here a bet­ter rider as a re­sult. The veg­e­ta­tion grows freely, but the trails re­main in im­pec­ca­ble con­di­tion. The scene is also con­stantly shape-shift­ing – one mo­ment you’re ne­go­ti­at­ing steep, rocky slabs, and the next you’re plum­met­ing down a forested sin­gle­track mi­ne­shaft at full tilt. Giba uses this nat­u­ral to­pog­ra­phy to max­i­mum ef­fect, as the trails in­cor­po­rate rocks, boul­ders, dips and drops.

There’s lots of wildlife in the con­fines of the trail park, and on crisp clear days they fill the air with their dif­fer­ent calls. Leg­end has it there’s a size­able mamba that lives here too, and it’s made the old ruin deep in the for­est its home – so watch your­self, if you ride those bits... as­sum­ing you be­lieve in le­gends, of course!

The trail net­work has nu­mer­ous link-ups that al­low you to join trails, cre­at­ing a dif­fer­ent rid­ing ex­pe­ri­ence on ev­ery out­ing. If you ride all of the marked trails as they ap­pear, you should reg­is­ter around 35 to 38km – which can be ex­tended by us­ing the link-ups.

The main lines are con­ve­niently colour-coded for ease of use: pur­ple for kids and novices; green for eas­ier climbs and flow trails; and blue, which in­cor­po­rates steeper climbs and tight switch­backs, for fit­ter rid­ers. There are also two short down­hill/ en­duro trails, fes­tooned with jumps and ramps, for more ex­pe­ri­enced rid­ers.

With such diver­sity in terms of rid­ing on of­fer, you can only progress as a rider. Other prov­inces could take a leaf out of Giba’s multi-chap­tered book on skills devel­op­ment. DIS­TANCE: 38KM MAX ( MUL­TI­PLE ROUTE COM­BI­NA­TIONS) TER­RAIN: FLOW­ING AND TECH­NI­CAL RAT­ING: BE­GIN­NER TO AD­VANCED

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