Bringing Living Colour to West Coast mountain biking

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Fields of gold, ready to ride, at the Living Colour venue, outside Darling (Image: jacqmaraisphoto)
Fields of gold, ready to ride, at the Living Colour venue, outside Darling (Image: jacqmaraisphoto)
  • Darling is known for its wine, wheatfields and Pieter-Dirk Uys.
  • But the town’s surrounding hills also offer great mountain biking potential.
  • Living Colour is a new venue for riders who need that mountain bike fix, on a West Coast weekend away.

The West Coast is magical. Raw. Barren. Beautiful. And crisscrossed with many gravel roads, ideal for gravel riders.

But what if you need a singletrack mountain biking experience?

Yzerfontein and Langebaan anchor the West Coast vacation experience, being within an hour from Cape Town, but neither have notable mountain riding routes.

The only option has been journeying to Darling, which has great mountain biking. Especially at the Wolwefontein farm, where singletrack trails have been developed since 2012.

mountain bike
The trails are natural and great for all skill levels (Image: jacqmaraisphoto)

Shaping a family outdoor experience

Negotiating a family weekend away and the need for that mindful mountain biking session can be fraught. Especially when a riding venue doesn’t have anywhere for a partner or kids to relax and enjoy themselves.

Darling outdoor events and lifestyle company, Living Colour, is changing all that with coffee, beer,  light meals, and a pump track for the kids at Wolwefontein.

There are also power points too. Ideal those riders who might fancy driving out to Wolwefontein for a day’s riding and using Living Colour’s facility as a remote working venue.

mountain bike
Container structures make the Living Colour venue modular (Image: jacqmaraisphoto)

Local empowerment

Mountain biking only thrives where landowners are involved, and government allocates funding to experienced stakeholders. People who know the area and understand what riders want.

Wesgro has helped Living Colour’s Kevin and Philippa Wood to make their Darling destination vision, a reality. The Woods are Darling locals and have been involved with some of the town’s popular mountain bike events.

mountain bike
There are some rock slabs, for technically confident riders, to have fun on (Image: jacqmaraisphoto)

Not too long, but lots of fun

Anyone who has raced mountain bikes around Darling, will know that the best part of any route is the bit that rolls through Wolwefontein.

Gabri Steyn is a keen mountain biker and has crafted two routes on his Wolwefontein farm.

There are 11- and 25km options. Gabri believes in using the natural topography of his land. The result is a trail network with great flow, using rock features to increase the challenge of a ride.

Living Colour
West Coast mountain biking means lots of sun, and very little shade. Remember the sunscreen (Image: jacqmaraisphoto)

Classic trail mountain biking

Some of the climbs are short and steep, but entirely manageable, with riders adequately rewarded with fun descents.

Although Gabri occasionally ventures onto his trail network with a weed eater to clear some overgrowth, he prefers keeping his singletrack natural.

The descents are mildly technical in places, with some rock slabs and naturally eroded ruts into corners. It’s the kind of classic hill country trail riding that the West Coast could use much more of, with textured trails that command just enough attention to keep you engaged on the descents.

mountain bike
Living Colour’s Kevin Wood, descending the one trail that has some shade (Image: jacqmaraisphoto)

The start of bigger things, for West Coast MTB

If you need a day out of Cape Town, or are planning a West Coast vacation in Yzerfontein or Langebaan, the Living Colour venue is a great mountain bike option.

It has all the facilities you need, pre- and post-ride, and enough to keep a partner or the kids happy. 

A day riding permit is R50 and Living Colour operates from 07:00-18:00.

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