Mountain biking trails with some serious payoff in the form of stupendous views.
Whether it’s the endurance and technical skill of cross-country, the speed and raw nerve of downhill, or even a leisurely family ride, Piket-Bo-Berg has ‘em all.
For the pros
An extensive network of single-track trails on the Mouton’s Valley and Bugler’s Post farms make up the 110-plus kilometre ride. Featuring bridges, berms, steep descents and rocky climbs, the ride through fynbos, mossy forests and rock formations is technically challenging for sure. However, the views – from Table Mountain to the Rooi Karoo – reward the blood, sweat and tears.
As a private trail it’s only open publically for two weekends a year during the The Piket-Bo-Berg Cycle Challenge & Trail Run (end-October) and the formidable The U. So all tough guys and gals should diarise 24 – 26 September and contact https://www.facebook.com/pbbtrails or enter here.
Something more moderate
If The U sounds a tad intimidating, book in for an overnight or two-day stay at Retreat Guest Farm for an easy- to intermediate-graded, 3-hour circular trail.
With good signposting and scaped specifically for mountain bikers, the 24-km loop is mostly single-track. From Langberg cottage it passes the dam before ripping via rocky outcrops beyond the dam wall. Follow the trail clockwise over the Langberg tar road and into the hills. After a zigzag climb into fynbos, the trail loops to the Blackburn single-track climb. Grind away for 3 km to the Beacon Aisle single track (about 9 km into the ride).
The Beacon Aisle flows into Leopards Lair. This is a pleasant peddle through an olive tree canopy and rock cave. Here, as a matter of interest, a former resident Cape Leopard left scratches on the olive tree. Prepare for a rumbustious downhill ride with bermed corners, a rocky chute and a quirky detour through a sandstone arch.
As you whizz towards the cottages, well-designed jumps and a final berm greet you before the Gums & Bees track. Now things get decidedly interesting. On the Perdekop foothills – 14 km into the ride – the trail is pleasant, with short downhill sections providing much-needed respite for calves and quads. A flowering gum avenue leads to stunning fynbos ridges.
Mastering the 5-km ascent to Perdekop is worth the slog. Stop for some resuscitation to admire the mind-blowing views that stretch asunder to Saldanha Bay.
From here, you can either head down calmly along the single-track, or combine it with a Red Bull-pumping down-run. But the caveat is: your skill level needs to be tops!
Throughout the ride, enjoy the tapestry of botanical diversity, remarkable rocky outcrops and the indigenous insect life.
Apart from the spine-tingling mountain-biking, a stay-over in one of Retreat Guest Farm’s three tucked-away pet-friendly cottages is just great, thank you very much. Beautifully appointed, the two six-sleepers and one four-sleeper have the sort of glamour that’ll make them a favourite with discerning visitors. The attention to detail is faultless and the setting on a small almond farm couldn’t be more perfect. Every element of this farm rooms, pool, dam and grounds – is in harmony.
Rates are R1 000 – R2 800 pn. To book, contact Jane on Retreat Guest Farm: 083 2086873; firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Cycling images by Jacques Marais.