Give the gift of mountain bike trails this Christmas

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All you need for Christmas is a mountain bike trail permit. (Photo: Ashley Oldfield)
All you need for Christmas is a mountain bike trail permit. (Photo: Ashley Oldfield)
  • Trail permit gives you access to over 150km of trails.
  • Within 20 minutes of Cape Town’s CBD.
  • Includes trail access to certain other trail networks outside Cape Town. 


 

The Western Cape has an abundance of outstanding mountain bike trails. 

From novice routes right through to double-black diamond graded trails nestled in the high mountains of the Winelands, the riding is highly regarded. 

If you’re heading for Cape Town with mountain bikes in tow, we may have the perfect trail permit gift idea. 

Tygerberg mountain bike club has developed the Durbanville area into a thriving mountain bike sanctuary. The routes link many wine farms, totalling over 150km of trails, most of which can be connected in a single ride with only a tar road crossing between them. 

The club offers a holiday membership, open to everyone, which costs R300 and is valid for December and January, giving riders full access to the trails and member’s only sections of the network. 

Single ride permits can still be purchased at each farm, but at R40 to R50 per trail, the holiday membership quickly makes sense if you’re planning multiple rides.Junior memberships cost a further R100 for the same access

The trail network is probably the longest continuously linked system of its kind in the country and uses a few of the trails from the Cape Epic such as Meerendal and Hoogekraal. 

All trails are well marked but it’s always wise to grab a GPX file from a Strava ride or your favourite cycling app before heading out onto the trails so you don’t wander off course and annoy a local farmer.

What sort of riding are you in for? 

This is the perfect place to train if you’re looking to improve your hot weather adaptation. There is little in the way of shade from trees, unless you lie down underneath the fynbos. 

Don’t be fooled by the trail called Majik Forest either, there’s only a small section of forest which is shared with dog-walkers and hikers. It’s still a great piece of trail if you get an uninterrupted run through it.

Out to the northern side you have the Renosterveld trails of Hoogekraal and Contermanskloof, hardpack surfaces with big berms and rocky turf. 

These trails are exposed to the dominant summer winds. Trail builders have made excellent use of dried-up riverbeds and spiky hills to provide excellent flow trails that can be easily rerun. 

Contermanskloof has great parking, a microbrewery and stellar coffee shop. It is very much the broader trail network’s centrepoint and boasts a selection of steep and technical trails, with incredible sweeping views of the peninsula.

The Tygerberg mountain bike club has developed the
The Tygerberg mountain bike club has developed the Durbanville area into a thriving mountain bike sanctuary with routes that link many wine farms. (Photo: Ashley Oldfield)

What else do you get for your money?

As part of a broader membership privilege, the Tygerberg membership allows you access to the Welvanpas trails of Wellington and Greyton’s mountain biking assets. 

They are a bit further away from Cape Town city centre, but well worth a day trip or overnight. Welvanpas is a regular fixture on the Cape Epic route, generally hosting the Queen stage of the race.

Prepare your climbing legs if you’re heading there. 

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