Eselfontein: Singletrack Heaven in the Farmlands of Ceres

The Winter rains finally arrived here in Cape Town after about 7 months without any, and we were happy to break out our long forgotten wet weather gear and long sleeves. We headed off to Eselfontein, a very popular piece of MTB heaven, featuring more than 100km of single track, just outside Ceres. Farm owner, trail builder, mountain biker, Enduro rider and all round legend Deon, transformed almost 2500ha of land into a must-do mountain biking experience. From tight single track in the Poplar woods, to river crossings, to elevations higher than the top of Table Mountain with amazing panoramic views, its got everything.
Eselfontein is a guaranteed highlight on iRide Africa's 10 day singletrack tours. The farm owner is the perfect example of the generous Afrikaans culture, often popping in for a 'kuier' (a visit with beer in hand!) and pointing us in the direction of new trails that he has built. The fact that there are no plug points, means that phones and modern life distractions quickly get left behind and are replaced with the simplicity of riding, eating and laughing around the dinner table. Daniel Dobinson

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No electricity, just a couple of solar panels and some gas cylinders. The simple life.

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Over a 100km of single track among those hills.

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Heading out towards the cold and rainy hills. Something we haven't done in a long time. It was a good feeling for a change.

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Tight and slippery single track in the moody Poplar forests. The floor is littered with ultra slippery tree roots, camouflaged by a continues layer of leaves. Hit one slightly off-camber and you hit the deck, hard.

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Before leaving, I was warned that this next mission was going to be more suited to XC riding and any thoughts of proper Enduro trail should be banished from my prayers. Apart from a couple of long, winding descents, that would be it. Oh ye of little faith. Behold. There are trails in this valley that will make you thank your maker. Epic valley views from 2500m high mountains that stare down upon newly forged descending Enduro MTB trails, became the truth. The mix of fun flowing single track over a variety of different terrain and gradients, made this farm one sizable trail offering. This farm is my new religion. Rupert von Tutschek

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Fossils of sea shells at the highest point of the climb? Apparently it means this was once part of ocean floor a few million years ago.

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Peanut butter FTW!

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No one likes to ride with wet shoes and pads on day 2.

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Our digs.

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Day 2. More rain. But the clouds did lift and we were treated to some stunning views.

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After 6 months without rain, it was nice to ride in wet conditions. Trails are really interesting in Eselfontein: slippery woods at the bottom, soft ground singletracks at the foot of the mountain and gnarly rock gardens on top! We all enjoyed that diversity, and one more time that was the opportunity to measure the incredible abilities of our bikes! Matthieu Hamel

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Riding the trails at Eselfontein was an awesome experience. Despite the dodgy weather we still managed to get in a fantastic couple of rides and the trails held up fantastically. There are some truly epic trails there if you know what to look for. Luckily for us Deon was more than happy to show us around and went as far as taking us to a trail he made with his MX bike, that has never had mountainbikes ridden on it before. It was rocky as you like and well worth the hour long, intense hike-a-bike to the trail head. Cliff Beckett

Riders: Matthieu Hamel, Daniel Dobinson, Rupert von Tutschek, Cliff Beckett.

Experience your own Trail Daze with iRideAfrica.


50 Comments

MTBeer, Jun 25 2015 12:37

I will be there this weekend. My first ride there with the Trance - can't wait.

 

Thanks for posting that Captain. Flippin love that place. I know every one of those places in those photos, even the those fossils in the rocks. This is the most awesome riding in the WC.

Eddy Gordo, Jun 25 2015 12:43

Been trying to get out there for a while now, but no one seems keen and whats the point of going so far alone!

MTBeer, Jun 25 2015 12:44

make a plan. you wont regret it.

Captain Fastbastard Mayhem, Jun 25 2015 12:54

Been trying to get out there for a while now, but no one seems keen and whats the point of going so far alone!

I'm keen. Just gotta find the time!

MTBeer, Jun 25 2015 01:16

I'm keen. Just gotta find the time!

fork bru, there's always time for a ride.

popcorn_skollie, Jun 25 2015 01:23

Exactly how far are we talking

Captain Fastbastard Mayhem, Jun 25 2015 01:23

fork bru, there's always time for a ride.

Down there it'd have to be a multi-day affair... 

MTBeer, Jun 25 2015 01:36

Exactly how far are we talking

Ceres. 140km. Easy, peasy lemon squeezy.

 

About 12 km past the Ceres town centre to the start of the trails.

Paul Ruinaard, Jun 25 2015 01:37

Wow Wow wow.

 

Didn't even know this place existed. 

 

This is something that just hit the bucket list

DJR, Jun 25 2015 01:40

Eselfontein is one of those treasures I want tell the world about, but don't, because I'm too selfish :blush: Bad dog!

SiriS, Jun 25 2015 01:43

Eselfontein is magic.

MTBeer, Jun 25 2015 01:47

I'll post some photos on Monday to make all you okes jealous. :devil:

Josh0, Jun 25 2015 02:21

Looks like I will start planning a trip to Eselfontein soon........

 

Epic article!

Eddy Gordo, Jun 25 2015 03:08

Well last month the idea was to go up the sat and camp in their bungalows. So after ramadaan, its gonna be probably the same option or head out early sun morn to get there at opening time and then a campsite for a braai afterwards.

Prince Albert Cycles, Jun 25 2015 05:19

Great photography !

Skylark, Jun 25 2015 05:40

"The fact that there are no plug points, means that phones and modern life distractions quickly get left behind and are replaced with the simplicity of riding, eating and laughing around the dinner table."

 

AWESOME :thumbup:

Mntboy, Jun 26 2015 12:50

http://www.pinkbike....ftica-2015.html

Iride needs to get his facts straight: a kuier can only be called if there's a braai involved and not just beer drinking! [emoji12] What a blessed oke to be able to get to do that regularly!

Top shots from Ewald as usual. Has a serious knack for getting great visuals and angles.

udxcob, Jun 26 2015 05:34

Sick

BikeHub Plus, Jun 26 2015 05:59

Jussis that just me makes me want to go there NOW! Awesome series,

MTBeer, Jun 26 2015 07:28

Jussis that just me makes me want to go there NOW! Awesome series,

I'm leaving at 14.00 :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

SuperDooperSnooper, Jun 26 2015 08:22

I'm leaving at 14.00 :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:


Rub it in, why don't you?!

Defo need to get out there soon!!!

VT2jp, Jun 26 2015 09:17

Still my favorite Trail in the country - my home of MTB for sure!!! Brings a smile to my face just thinking of it... :)

iRide, Jun 26 2015 10:48

Been trying to get out there for a while now, but no one seems keen and whats the point of going so far alone!

You should join us on one of our 'Wild Weekends' out there then. 10-20 intermedaite/advanced mtber's, riding rad trails with great food and skills sessions to boot!

iRide, Jun 26 2015 10:50

Iride needs to get his facts straight: a kuier can only be called if there's a braai involved and not just beer drinking! [emoji12] What a blessed oke to be able to get to do that regularly!

Top shots from Ewald as usual. Has a serious knack for getting great visuals and angles.

Haha! I am a 'rooinek' so you'll have to forgive me on the definition ;)

Captain Fastbastard Mayhem, Jun 26 2015 10:50

You should join us on one of our 'Wild Weekends' then. 10-20 people, riding rad trails with good food and skills sessions to boot.

When!? 

 

I think I'll be in for that. Could definitely benefit from one of your skills sessions, Dan.