Trail Daze 2.0 is supported by:
Commissioned and published by bikehub.co.za
Words and images by Ewald Sadie / Shift Media
Riders Dayle Holmes and Oli Munnik
It’s not often that you find a suburban trail network which offers proper riding, more than just a commuter path from one side to the other. A network of short segments that take you through various types of lush vegetation including ferns, cork trees and all kinds of rain-forest-like ground cover that isolates you from the city’s hustle and bustle. A network accessible for so many mountain bikers straight from home, with no need to load up and drive anywhere. A proper green ride. And with the recent abundance of rainfall, things were particularly green and fresh, with plenty of water around.
There are many ways of connecting the various segments in the area – we planned to do a top to bottom ride, starting at the Kirstenbosch Top Gate. The area has relatively safe parking, however its not officially guarded so it’s always a good idea not to have any valuables lying around on your seats – nothing new. There is also no official trailhead or access point in terms of permits. We dropped in along the first sections of single track, across at Cecilia Forest, up Cork Trees, down from Southern Cross Drive and on the traditional route. Completing the entire top to bottom ride will give you about 15km of riding (so about 30km looping back), with various coffee stop options along the way. We ended up for a spot of lunch at Chardonnay Deli – highly recommended.
An important factor to remember is that these trails are shared by walkers, runners and cyclists alike – so remember to be mindful and courteous towards each other.
We didn’t encounter any 4 legged wildlife ourselves, but there are an abundance of birds, insects, spiders and reptiles in the area.
Oli Munnik joining us for this episode, showing us around some of his local trails.
Pinner opting for the same bike as he used for this year's Cape Epic, the Signal Spectre.
We met up and started at the Kirstenbosch top gate. The trail only starts a little way down the road, for those that are unfamiliar.
My twin brother SmallBlade_Si and I first pinned these single-tracks with friends in the early 2000s in between build sessions at our Southern Cross jump track… 20 years later the jumps are still there and the stoke of railing the greenbelt’s turns and dialling your lines though the rooty sections is just as high as it was as teenagers hanging on for dear life riding a pair of Trek 4500s! A special thank you to the various stakeholders who have worked so hard to open up these trails for all of us to enjoy – Thank You!!!
A proper Cape Town winter has left the soil saturated, with streams and muddy trails around every corner.
The area along the cork trees offer some technical trails with decent sized rock-gardens to navigate.
There are also safer wheels-on-the-ground B-line options around the more technical sections.
The green room.
Magical rain-forest-like sections with only a thin ribbon of single-track to follow.
Dropping into the iconic opening berms off Southern Cross drive.
The trails along the greenbelt offer a little bit of everything, from short techy bits, to smooth manicured trail and even the odd dip in to fully covered forest. The thing that stands out for me is just how lush this piece of trail becomes in winter, its nestled amongst houses and roads but feels far more peaceful and tranquil considering it’s location. As you make your way along the trails you’ll notice a bunch of interesting fern and jungle like plants with natural streams funneling mountain water down through the suburbs. It’s a super convenient trail network that can serve as a commuter path as well as a cycle loop offering a bit of fun for all levels of riders.
Some areas can be very technical, especially at speed. Rooty sections like these could catch out less experienced riders.
The green belt is made up of many different segments that are connected by normal asphalt roads that make up the greater neighbourhood. Popping out of the trails usually has a short section of road that quickly spits you back on the trails.
Rolling through a quiet cul de sac before joining the next segment of trail.
Quick pitstop at Chardonnay Deli to refuel. It’s bike friendly and checks all the boxes with coffee and food.
Trail Daze 2.0 is supported by: