Crossing the Helshoogte Pass into the incredibly scenic Franschhoek valley, we stopped off at the more-than-300-year-old Boschendal wine farm, to see what the Boschendal team and master trail builder, Bennet Nel have put together.
Still a very young trail, having only been established in 2015, it already features six different riding options, with the 33 km (1025 m elevation gain) loop being the longest of the lot. A considerable amount of work has gone into these trails in a short amount of time with a nice mix of well-maintained single track, mountainside jeep track and some farm road. With the majestic Simonsberg towering above and views across the Franschhoek valley, you would be forgiven for stopping every few kilometres, as this is truly a five star view.
Remaining clouds from the downpour the night before made for cool temperatures and dramatic skies as we started climbing.
A short stint of winding single-track through the olive groves.
Lots of history around these trails. An old farm house ruin, property of Frans Diederik Muller, dating back to the 1750's when mining silver was on the up.
The remains of the devastating fires that ravaged the area earlier in the year.
But nature is more than bouncing back, with carpets of lumo green ferms all around you in some areas.
I tell our foreign guests that the sun always wins over the clouds here in Cape Town. Winter rain falls from the skies, the soil greedily soaks it up and the sun comes out before long. In return, we get a beautiful flower display with grippy trails and hardly a puddle in sight. After living in the UK, with its boggy trails, our weather is something I am profoundly grateful of! While we still have a way to go before summer, don't forget to get outside to enjoy the extra grip and let 'er rip!
Daniel Dobinson | iRideAfrica
Glorious, fresh, grippy, tacky soil.
No corners were harmed during the making of this episode.
Speedway rider on track!
Boschendal trails offer a variety of different terrain. From fast forest trails to open twisty flow trails. The scenery surrounding the trails is truly breathtaking with the Simonsberg mountain always in the peripheral. There has really been a lot of effort put in to making these trails in such a special place just outside of Stellenbosch. Not the most technical trails, but certainly an enjoyable day out!
Spring has sprung with the oaks showing their new coats.
The bottom section of Inferno consists of an incredibly lush and scenic, fast, hard-packed section following all along the creek.
More ruins. This water mill dates back to the early 1800's.
With Simonsberg towering above you, the Sugar Bowl drops down perfectly groomed single track, snaking its way down berm after berm towards the Trout Cottage.
This project is made possible by:
Boschendal GPS: 33°52'40.4"S 18°58'25.3"E
Riders : Daniel Dobinson | Matt Lombardi
Permit: R50 at the Boschendal Wine Farm
All images by Ewald Sadie