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
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.