With very little greenery, and blown-out dusty trails the only options around the Western Cape lately, we headed to the North West province in search of some greener pastures - and boy did we find some gems.
After a year of riding and documenting only trails in the Western Cape during 2015, the Trail Daze crew packed up and headed for the hills where the grass was apparently greener, and rain wasn't a myth. Forming part of the greater Van Gaalens trail network, Hakahana was our first taste of some truly amazing views, red dirt, thunder storms and most importantly, some proper trails.
Good bye Cape Town
Travelling in style on our way to Hayden Brown's place, thanks to Jeep and Thule.
Luckily our bikes survived the trip and everything was in place. Well almost everything... a small bolt from Daniel's rear derailleur undid itself somehow and disappeared, but luckily we found a spare derailleur at the friendly local bike shop.
Alarms set for 4:30am. Dawn patrol here we come.
On the road at first light, with some dramatic skies all around to get us frothing for some adventure.
Hartebeespoort dam in the background.
Tricky, steep uphills meant a lot of hike-a-biking.
The trails here are purpose built for the enduro race format and while the trail names are a bit tame (sp1, sp2 etc), the trails themselves are anything but! Sharp rocks, drops, jumps and off camber sections means burly tyres and longer travel bikes will be most at home here.
Daniel Dobinson | iRideAfrica
Seemingly unlimited singletrack through lush green grass fields, puffy clouds and views in every direction. We found it.
Terrain resembling Eselfontein meant Daniel was in his element navigating tricky rock gardens.
Probably the best gravity trails around Gauteng, Hakahana have done some great work to keep riders coming back for more. Tough and long climbs are well rewarded on the way down with smooth and flowing trails that cater for riding levels from intermediate to advanced. The trail builders have created technical and challenging features for the best of riders, keeping you on your toes, alert and excited. The general terrain on the hills is very rocky and loose making you ride a bit on the wild side, while the trails down on the lower slopes are fast and flowing letting you relax and unwind.
A and B line options caters for varying skill levels, though I wouldn't recommend these trails to any novices.
NWP natives keeping an eye on things. Baboons out here are by far more people shy than the ones found in Cape Town, scattering in every direction as they spotted us.
To have the opportunity to be in front of the lens for a change, I couldn't turn down the chance to shred for this issue of the Trail Daze. Hakahana Trails, a familiar set of trails that I've raced a few times in the past year, is the perfect playground for one to test the skills of an enduro rider. A bit of everything-ideal for a beginner and testing for the more skilled. At speed one finds themself on the edge navigating technical rock gardens and drifty corners that force one to hang a foot out and get loose.
This project is made possible by:
GPS: S 25 46 32.36 E 28 00 33.70
Permit: R50 per permit - Saturdays and Sundays only
All images by Ewald Sadie
Riders : Daniel Dobinson | Hayden Brown | Chris Pearton
Stay tuned to Bike Hub for more Trail Daze coming soon...