Rough­ing It, Safely

Keen moun­tain biker? Whether you’re a be­gin­ner or a trail blazer, safety is still a top pri­or­ity when it comes to your off-road ad­ven­tures. Here are our fave places to get your stoke on – so safe, you could ride alone

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1. MEERENDAL, CAPE TOWN

Pull into the Dur­banville Wine Val­ley and there are a num­ber of moun­tain-bik­ing trails to try, but Meerendal is a favourite for it’s com­bi­na­tion of smooth sin­gle track and steep, rocky climbs. They’ve re­cently added an­other sec­tion to the bot­tom of the farm, which serves as a nice warm-up. Those want­ing a chal­leng­ing as­cent can at­tempt the Dorstberg moun­tain 425m climb which of­fers spec­tac­u­lar views and pic op­por­tu­ni­ties of Table Moun­tain at the top. To get down, you fol­low a 2km thrilling sin­gle-track sec­tion. Fin­ish with a wine tast­ing af­ter­wards, obvs. R30 per day. 2. OAK VAL­LEY, THE OVER­BERG Winelands, for­est, hills... It’s all hap­pen­ing at Oak Val­ley and you book for some se­ri­ously de­li­cious lunch af­ter­wards at The Pool Room (shower fa­cil­i­ties and bike wash avail­able). Want a long ride? Oak Val­ley trails con­nect to neigh­bor­ing farm, Paul Clu­ver, so you can ex­tend your ride if you want a chal­leng­ing day out. These trails are for rid­ers who love smooth, flow­ing sin­gle track. R50 per day. 3. THE BIG RED BARN, JOBURG This fa­cil­ity is more than just a cy­cle park – you can drop the kids off to go go-cart­ing or try tree-top ac­tiv­i­ties. The prop­erty is next to a gi­ant Eu­ca­lyp­tus for­est and over­looks an ex­pan­sive vista of fields, grass­lands and the Kaal River. Don’t have a bike, but keen to try moun­tain bik­ing? You can hire a full­sus­pen­sion bike for R220/3 hours (an ex­tra R800 de­posit for a hel­met) and test your skills. There are be­gin­ner and ad­vanced, trails very clearly marked. R50 per day. 4. GIBA GORGE MTB PARK, DUR­BAN Horse trails, run­ning routes and bike tracks, plus camp­ing and pic­nic fa­cil­i­ties are what’s on of­fer at this awe­some lo­ca­tion in West­mead. Thera are 46km of in­cred­i­ble moun­tain bik­ing trails, from be­gin­ner to ad­vanced (with some se­ri­ous jumps), in­clud­ing plenty of sin­gle track, wooden bridges and an En­duro trail. R65 per day. 5. GAR­DEN ROUTE TRAIL PARK, KNYSNA This much-spo­ken about bike park of­fers over 50km of trails, through forests, fyn­bos and big moun­tain­ous climbs. An­cient trees tower over snaky sin­gle track, where you might still spot an ele­phant. The park is nestled be­tween Knysna and Ge­orge and of­fers rid­ers all lev­els of flow­ing turns, burms and river cross­ings – be­cause no one should leave with­out a mid of mud on them. Need a bike? You can hire a hard­tail MTB for R350 per day from Cy­cle­worx in Sedge­field. R100 per day.

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