The holiday season is an awkward one for cyclists. You must take time off work, but time off from the bike? Man, that may be a step too far. There are choices to make, logistics to sort out.
Do you take your bike with you? Do you rent a bike? Do you organise days where you and the family go on bike tours? Do you ride on Christmas Day? The answer is whatever is easiest and suits you.
If you are driving, then taking your own bike with is the perfect solution. If you are flying, then, perhaps, you willnot want the hassle of packing a bike in a bag, paying extra for it to get on the plane and then hoping beyond all hope that it gets to the other side intact. You can ride on the roads and around the cities of your destination, but the adventurous rider will want to go home bragging he has seen the best of what the rest of the country has to offer. Here are two of the must-do suggestions for where and how to ride when on your holidays.
This province is mountain biking paradise with farmland and reserves providing some of the most glorious yet most testing rides around.
The HollaTrails near Ballito offer 360km of trails, with farmers in the area coming together to open their land to visitors. Trails are marked according to difficulty and distance, from the 16km green route, to the 85kmblack route.
A day pass costs R65 and can be purchased from the Trailhead at Sugar Rush Park. Bike hire and a bike wash is alsoavailable, and there are facilities to relax post ride.
The Holla Trails near Ballito offer over 380km of trails on farmland, catering for all levels of cycling. (picture: HollaTrails)
The trails around the Jonkershoek Reserve 10km south-east of Stellenbosch are spoken about in hushed, reverential tones. They are legendary, having been some of the pioneering trails in the Western Cape, and a must-do for all visitors. It’s not just the testing nature or the beauty of the trails that have captivated locals, but the fact that after the fires of 2015, the trails have evolved as they were restored with new trails built.
Permits are available at the reserve gate.
If you would prefer to be shown around by a local, the experienced people at Cape MTB Tours would be glad to help you out. They organise guided rides that can stretch one to seven days.
Jonkershoek and the Western Cape is a cycling paradise. (picture: Cape MTB Tours)