Remote working opportunities have made keen mountain bikers reconsider where they live.
Factors like easy access to cycling routes or trails have become increasingly popular. And the work-from-home trend allows for more riding or sneaky lunch break shredding, in the search for the perfect work/life balance.
Central Gqeberha residents probably boast the best access to trails in relation to the city centre, of any of South Africa’s major metropolitan areas.
During a recent visit to Gqeberha, I was amazed at the easy access to trails in the Baakens Valley that runs through the middle of the Gqeberha suburbs.
The valley is 23km in length and comprises around 500 hectares of land that falls under the jurisdiction of the Parks and Recreation Department. Years of building have created trails across its length, carved into the valley and following its topography.
The trail network is open to the public and maintained by volunteers. Membership of the FatTracks Mountain Bike Club, which has continued expanding the network, is encouraged.
Trails consist of singletrack, jeep track, switchbacks, drop-offs and numerous bridge crossings lower in the valley. Everyone knows that Gqeberha can be extremely windy, but riding in the valley offers mountain bikers and trail runners an escape from those conditions.