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

The Gar­den Route Trail Park in Knysna is ar­guably more fa­mous in North Amer­ica than it is in South Africa. Se­ri­ously! Ever heard of the guys from Pure Dark­ness? Or the Loop of Doom? Well, the Pure Dark­ness crew spent three months build­ing the Loop, rid­ing it and shoot­ing it in this trail park. And it’s a fright­en­ing thing – the largest of its kind in the world, stand­ing 12m tall. Be­sides that, those crazy enough to at­tempt it firsthave to ride down a ramp that rises nearly 25 me­tres! Cana­dian MTB free rider Matt Mac­duff, one of the crew who helped build the Loop, sus­tained hor­rific in­juries after a failed at­tempt that landed him in hos­pi­tal with 13 frac­tures and in­ter­nal bleed­ing…

The Trail Park has a lot more to it than the Loop of Doom, and has built a rep­u­ta­tion for its world-class trails and unique set­ting. The trails are more on the chal­leng­ing side, but ev­ery­thing is ride­able – even for novice rid­ers.

There are seven dis­tinct trails that can be cob­bled to­gether for a long, ex­hil­a­rat­ing ride. If you ride ev­ery­thing, you’ll ac­cu­mu­late around 35km with 700m of ver­ti­cal as­cent.

Moun­tain Ma­nia, Jun­gle Fever, Crazy Creek and For­est Frenzy are four of the pop­u­lar routes, while Lu­nacy Lane’s jump line will please the grav­ity rid­ers. From pump tracks, jump lines and drop-offs to pris­tine berms and root-fes­tooned for­est tracks, the Park cov­ers all types of ter­rain.

The GRTP is a bucket-list des­ti­na­tion; and lo­cated be­tween Ge­orge and Knysna, it’s ideal for hol­i­day rid­ing – so plan­ning a fam­ily va­ca­tion just got eas­ier. – DIS­TANCE: VAR­I­OUS ( DEPEND­ING ON HOW YOU MIX YOUR TRAILS) TER­RAIN: TECH­NI­CAL AND DI­VERSE RAT­ING: BE­GIN­NER TO AD­VANCED

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