- De Hoop guards one of the world’s most secretive and protected stretches of coastline.
- And the nature reserve's best trails are usually off-limits, to mountain bikers.
- But riders at the De Hoop Vlei MTB Experience, will access the reserve’s Whale Trail.
Mountain bikers keen on a long weekend in one of Cape Nature’s most celebrated nature reserves can enter the De Hoop Vlei MTB Experience.
Hosted by Overberg MTB Events, this race is scheduled for 20-22 May. The De Hoop Vlei MTB event is all about exploring one of the world’s most cherished biospheres, with privileged access, in a structured way.
With a 117.5km route split over two days, riders will climb 1700m of elevation – with every meter of that rewarded by some truly spectacular coastal views.
Stage 1 is 55km, with stage 2 being a touch longer at 62.5km. There is an optional 31km fun ride on the Friday before weekend’s stages - for riders who want to get even more distance.
Inspired coastal singletrack
The first stage climbs out of the De Hoop nature reserve along the Flat Rock singletrack.
Riders will pass Buchu Bushcamp and then traverse limestone towards the headwaters of the De Hoop Vlei. Stage 1 then routes along the banks of the Potberg River, turning north, before navigating east to Driefontein. The inbound course links up with the outbound at the Windpump trail and follows Flat Rock back into the reserve and to the finish.
Riding the best hiking trails
Stage 2 starts with a tar road ascent which transitioned into gravel before becoming a nature reserve dual track, leading into the Potberg sector of De Hoop.
Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of the De Hoop Vlei MTB experience, are those parts of stage 2 where mountain bikers will be allowed on trails only used by Whale Trail hikers. The route navigates pass Valkrans and Koppie Alleen, before finishing at the 300-year old De Hoop opstal.
Entries for the De Hoop Vlei MTB experience are R3 450, including all meals from the De Hoop Collection’s Fig Tree restaurant. Riders will also receive a bottle of wine, complimentary massage by EPT Recovery and a bike wash.
Event participants are eligible for a 42% discount on their three-night stay, if booking De Hoop Collection accommodation.