WHAT’S ALL THE FUSS?
Following a surge in popularity around the world, bikepacking is beginning to take off in SA. It’s a new way of travelling by bicycle that emphasises exploration and getting off the well-worn roads. As Bikepacking.com explains: ‘It evokes the freedom of multi-day backcountry hiking, but with the range and thrill of mountain biking. It’s about exploring places less travelled via single-track trails, gravel and abandoned dirt roads, carrying only the essential gear.’
South Africa, with its sprawling web of gravel roads, is the ideal place for bikepacking. In response to the growing interest, PE-based Momsen Bikes has produced two gravel bikes ideal for bikepacking (see page 60). A local father-and-son team has launched a website, Bikepacking. africa, to create a database of free-to-ride routes around the country. Tour companies offering catering experiences are also popping up, while many riders are foregoing the big MTB events for do-it-yourself alternatives.