Back on home soil after exploring some fine trails up North. We headed out to a destination that needs no real introduction. Known simply as Welvanpas, the trail network merely originates on the farm, but actually spans across six farms in the greater Bainskloof area.
Naturally when covering such a large expanse, you can expect a wide variety of surroundings and surfaces, ranging from overgrown, ferny river trails and orchards to pine forests and exposed single track running down from the foot of the Hawequas mountains. Riders of above average fitness will enjoy these trails most, as some of the more rewarding and scenic sections of this trail network only start after 550m of relentless climbing.
4 of us with 4 bikes on the R44 en route to Wellington.
Heading out towards Doolhof to ride some river trails before taking on the long climb up towards the Full Monty.
This part of the trail features fast, narrow hard packed single track traversing the hillside along the Kromrivier, heading down towards the orchards.
A massive mountainous backdrop, huge climbs, never ending singletrack and trails to suit (almost) every type of rider - these are the things that come to mind when I prepare for a day out at Welvanpas. It's also one of the last places in the area you can blast through pine forest and trail builder Pieter van Wyk has done an incredible job with the flow of these trails! The trails North of Bainskloof Pass are more XC oriented and pass through beautiful, remote areas of protea filled fynbos. The trails South of the pass make great use of the gravity on offer and have incredible flow through the pine plantations and the ridiculously fast and loose descent down 'Cool runnings' is the perfect way to end the ride!
Daniel Dobinson | iRideAfrica
Further down the river side trail, you enter a 'Jurassic Park' like world of ivy covered poplars reaching for the skies.
Contrasting surroundings as you leave the lush green riverside shrubbery, and head up towards the more harsh and unforgiving Hawequas Mountains. It's a long and steep climb and not to be underestimated, especially during summer months - so make sure you fill up those hydration packs.
The reward is worth the climb as you drop into Full Monty for some super fast, rocky, pine-needle covered single track goodness.
Blasting down endless single track on the MTB express train, the evening sun piercing the trees and flashing on your eyes. Dust assaulting your nostrils, you're breathing heavy, chasing that wheel in front of you. Mates, bikes, flowing trails, Roti, Beers. Welvanpas never disappoints.
Exiting the forest en route to Cool Runnings.
Spontaneity is the spice of life... Wanna go riding? Yes! This afternoon... we're pressed for time. Cool, let's do it... where? Welvanpas. Sweet I'm on my way. How many of us? Four... can we fit the bikes in your car? Ya, I'll make a plan, no problem. Awesome, we'll bring food and beer. No excuses, no hassles, no complaints, no delays, just awesome company, awesome trails, focused hard work, and all-round make-it-happen positivity. This is the mountain bike culture I live for, and every experience like this enriches life so much more than "just another ride in the forests".
Dropping into Cool Runnings with some sublime single track on the way back down to the Welvanpas trail center.
Bombing down Cool Runnings in the last rays of the day, dissecting wild Protea fields with the majestic Hawequas mountain towering above you... yes please.
This project is made possible by:
GPS: 33°37'59.1"S 19°04'10.5"E
All images by Ewald Sadie
Riders : Daniel Dobinson | Julien Louw | Harry Millar
Stay tuned to Bike Hub for more Trail Daze coming soon...