Winelands Cycling Club, Stellenbosch Trail Fund (STF), MTO (Jonkershoek) and Winelands Trails are excited to launch the long-overdue Winelands Regional Permit that will allow its holders access to a multitude of world class trails in five iconic areas stretching from Grabouw, Somerset West, Stellenbosch, Jonkershoek and then over the mountains through to Paarl, Wellington and Franschhoek.
The Winelands Cycling Club (until recently known as the Wannabees Cycling Club, and chaired by Paul de Klerk) was founded in 2004. Over the years and as cycling has changed from being more focused on road riding to now being dominated by mountain biking, so the need to develop mountain bike trails has also grown.
Similarly, trails have been developed in and around Stellenbosch (STF) and MTO (Jonkershoek) over the years. More recently, The Winelands Trail Network was formed in 2019 between the trails network managers of Paarl (Darren Herbst) Wellington (Pieter Van Wyk), Banhoek Conservancy (Kim Lord) and Franschhoek (Eldorette Carinus). All of these trail networks have relied on membership permit fees being paid in order to grow and maintain the trail networks. The result of this has meant that until now a mountain biker typically had to have numerous permits in order to access the different trail networks.
Each of the local trails networks will retain and sell their own local membership/permit offers for those that only want to ride a local network.
INFORMATION: Winelands Regional Pass
Cost per year: R1500.00 per adult (18-64 years); R1250.00 per person under the age of 18 or older than 65 years.
Trail access granted: A to Z Grabouw, Winelands Cycling Club Trails, Helderberg Trails, Stellenbosch Trail Fund Trails, MTO Jonkershoek, Banhoek Conservancy, Franschhoek trails,
Paarl trails, Wellington: Wild Boar and Scouts
Available from: Wednesday 01 December 2021
The Bottelary Hills Renosterveld Conservancy (BHRC) celebrated 10 years of mountain biking from 1-3 October 2021 with the inaugural BHRC MTB &ECO Weekend. Mountain bikers could select from five starting points with trails to suit varying fitness and skills levels. Neethlingshof offers a 20km (405m elevation) as well as 36km (998m elevation) route that will include various new singletrack sections. Fort Simon is the 36km route starting from the opposite end with a challenging 998m elevation, while Bellevue is ideal for novices with mostly jeep track and only 277m elevation. The Jordan route has been extended and now features a lovely new piece of singletrack designed and built by Conrad Stoltz, former Xterra triathlon world champion with a growing reputation as a top trail-builder.
The Bottelary Hills MTB Trails were opened by the Bottelary Hills Conservancy in April 2011 and allow controlled access to the conservancy via dedicated routes. The rolling hillsides feature vineyards, farmland, conservation areas and trails comprise of farm roads, jeep tracks and abundant singletrack. While never too technical, there are challenging climbs and a variety of distances on offer for riders of all fitness levels.
To ensure that these routes continue to offer exciting new mountain bike experiences to riders, the BHRC has invested R150 000 in new trail developments this year. Trail-Blazers planned, designed and built the original trails and have played an integral part in trail maintenance and route developments over the past decade. In addition, they make a significant investment in community development through the employment of local youths. Not only have they generated 200 man-days in the past six weeks, but also transferred valuable skills to the team.
Conrad Stoltz was commissioned to build the new 1.2km Jordan singletrack. Riders can look forward to a flowy single track in natural terrain with unique granite dome that is suitable for all levels of riders. On completion of his first project in collaboration with the Bottelary Hills Renosterveld Conservancy, Stoltz stated that views of the ocean, mountains and vineyards will take your breath away, (if the climb doesn’t). Additional singletrack sections were also completed by Trail-Blazers and the owners of Jordan. “Nature lovers will appreciate the Renosterveld with its abundant wildlife. An eagle soaring on the breeze, sharing the trail with duiker and, if you’re lucky, you may spot the caracal and its cub stepping into the brush. The location and its people are fantastic and made this one of my favourite builds. Hopefully it brings pleasure to riders for many years to come,” concluded Stoltz.
The new singletrack section on Wolwedans Vineyards offers spectacular views, while the new singletrack from Fort Simon is ideal for those looking for a challenge. Alternatively, Bellevue will ease new riders into the trails.
If you are keen to explore the trails throughout the year, you can purchase an annual permit online or obtain a day permit from various park and ride starting points at R70. The BHRC is a registered non-profit organisation (063-324-NPO) that forms part of the Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve. The core focus of the BHRC is to maintain, expand and sustain the large tracts of remaining Renosterveld in the area – less than 4% of the original Renosterveld in the Western Cape remains. Funds generated through annual and day permits as well as events are used mainly to subsidise alien vegetation eradication. In addition, dedicated community programmes and projects address the socio-economic challenges of the people living and working on the farms within the BHRC. For more information on day and annual permits visit www.bottelaryconservancy.co.za.
We are extremely proud and excited to welcome Marriott Investment Managers as our title partner at the Karkloof Country Club.
The team from Marriott approached us a few months ago to see how they could partner with us, with the aim of improving the value the club offers. It has been a wonderful few months of discussion and brain storming which has culminated in a three-year deal that will help us build on what is already a world class network of trails and embark on a three-year development plan at the club itself. This plan involves some really exciting and new development projects to make your experience with us much better. To start off with, some R100 000 will be spent on a new trail to be built in May. We will also start construction of a deck in front of the club, an extended enclosed kids play area and a brand new pump track. These are exciting times for the club as we aim to push the value for you our members as high as we possibly can with all of our partners.
Yesterday, 23 May, MTO Trails Management was alerted to a hippo seen trudging with purpose down a jeep track alongside the Brightside Estate fence. The jeep track forms part of the MTO Trails routes.
A notice of caution to avoid this area was sent out to the MTO Trails community.The hippo seemed determined to enter the estate (not via the main gate!) to get to the lovely big dam on the estate. This was not going to happen, however, as Vaughan Lascelles of MTO promptly arranged a well-executed and safe relocation of the hippo by the Mpumalanga Parks Board.
No less than FOUR consecutive youth-camps were held by Johann Potgieter at home base, Bloemendal Trail Park. These camps were as much about riding bikes, and gaining confidence through learning of new skills, as it was about making new friends. Fun was the order of each day (and night, as kids of all ages laughed their way to bedtime in the tented village). A huge thank you to each sponsor, volunteer and affiliate who assisted in making these camps such a success, but to the man himself, ‘Pottie’ we tip our hats!