Lifestyle | Health
Cycling is fast becoming the next golf, if it isn’t already. A lot more people are taking up the sport, not just on the road but mountain biking as well. As someone who does both I can attest to mountain biking being a lot more scenic than road cycling.
Unlike the Western Cape that has plenty of mountains for mountain bikers, in Gauteng one has to hunt for great trails.
Many newbies are unaware there are plenty of trails in safe, enclosed mountain bike parks, so I’ve decided to review and share some of the awesome trails in different corners of Gauteng
1. PwC Bike Park in Bryanston
Also known as the Cycle Lab Bike Park, this is one of my favourites because it caters for the whole family so there is a little bit of something for everyone. It’s more than just a bike park.
There are 13km of mountain bike trails and skills circuits where you can practise b a l a n c i n g skills, drop offs, cornering, navigating rock gardens, bridges and other bike skills.
There are also two jump tracks and pump tracks for avid BMX riders and mountain bikers to test their handling skills.
The various trails on offer will give you a little bit of everything. If you aren’t confident enough to take to the trails on your own, lessons are available.
If you don’t own a bike yet, you can hire a bike and helmet at the park for a nominal fee.
There are individual and family memberships available and also day visitors passes. For day visitors the costs are: adult riders R80, under-15 riders R60, trail R20
2. Avianto near Muldersdrift
Avianto Mountainbike Trails has four different routes. A 2.5km kiddies loop, a 6km green route for beginner riders, a 17km blue route for intermediate riders and an advanced black section for skilled riders.
Trails are open daily from 6am to 5pm and the fee is payable on arrival for use of trails. There are showers, a pool area, a kiddies play area and a restaurant on site.
3. Big Red Barn Cycle Park Big Red Barn
Is another family friendly cycle park that is open seven days a week. It is a fully fenced and safe park so safety is not a problem.
There are three routes available: the Green Circle for casual riders, Blue Circle for intermediate riders and Diamond Black for advanced riders. Cost: Adults R50, under-12 riders R30, pensioners and students R40.
There are annual memberships and multiple ticket packages available.
There are also bike hire services available for both children and adults and a restaurant on site.
4. Northern Farm Bike Park
This is where I learnt how to ride more than 12 years ago so I can vouch for this place. It has grown substantially over the years and now has 118km of trails, six routes, a bike wash and a coffee shop offering light breakfasts and snacks.
The routes on offer are for beginner to advanced riders and essentially offer everything you can thinks of.
It’s one of the best training grounds in Johannesburg and it’s located on the boundaries of the Diepsloot Nature Reserve, close to the 14 highway, Lanseria and Broadacres.
On weekends and public holidays the park opens at 6am until 5pm.
During the week (Wednesday to Friday) the park is open 7am to 4pm. Cost: R45pp during the week and R60pp on weekends.
5. Thaba Trails Thaba trails
Is in the south, near Mulbarton. It has circuits ranging from 6km to 30km. There is a bike wash facility, ablutions, a shop for refreshments and safe parking available.
I often suggest Thaba Trails for those wanting to really test their technical riding skills.
Thaba Trails is located inside the Klipriviersburg Nature Reserve and so you may spot some wildlife.
There are three trails, namely Yellow, Green and Blue and these go according to difficulty and distance with yellow the easiest.
Thaba Trails has annual fees, multiple ride access passes or alternatively day passes at R40 per rider.
There are many more trails and parks around Gauteng. These are my top five picks in the different corners of Joburg.
See you on the trails!
Zulu is a qualified biokineticist and cofounder of PopUpGym.
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