Kicking off 2017, the Trail Daze crew re-visited Cape Town to bring you the second of this two-part (part one) mother-city mountain biking showcase. We were joined by local pinner, industry influencer and all-round nice guy, Mark Hopkins.
We met up at the Kloof Nek parking lot, just off Tafelberg Road, and headed for the rubber-destroying slab of granite just a short pedal away. Only a few hundred meters long, with Table Mountain towering above you, this fun section of trail is deceptively technical at high speed and will certainly leave its mark if you come off the bike.
The elevated starting point serves up some great views across Cape Town CBD, Table Bay, and as far as Wellington on a clear day.
The trails surrounding Table Mountain and Lions Head really surprised me with the technicality and gradient. I've never ridden any of the Cape Town trails so it was an awesome day out railing rugged trails in big dust clouds. It's a trail for the locals and Mark and Dan certainly know the scoop, and I'll hopefully be making my way back there soon.
Rolling slabs of granite merging together under the patch of pine trees requires above average bike handling skills at high speeds. *knee pads highly recommended
Crossing the top of Camps Bay drive, the unassuming entrance to The Glen leads you down a fast and flowing yet technical stretch of trail with the fun factor locked at maximum. Skinny, hard-packed singletrack cutting through dense greenery keeps you on your toes all the way to the bottom as you pick your line through sharp rocks and exposed roots.
It’s absolutely amazing that these trails have been opened up recently. Being able to shoot out for a quick shred around Lions Head and the Glen to ride and test new product is a dream for us as a mountain bike company! Throw in some of the sharpest rocks in the region, rad turns in the Glen, a top-class sunset as well as your choice of restaurants/bars at the bottom of the hill, and you've got yourself a great place to ride.
Matt Lombardi blending in and getting lost in the green-room, descending down The Glen towards the Atlantic ocean on another horrible day in Africa.
Exiting The Glen, it's a short but punchy climb up Kloof Road toward the start of the Lions Head trail, from where you're confronted with more breathtaking views of Camps Bay, 12 Apostles, and Table Mountain. This section of trail is just one piece of the newly legalised MTB trails around Table Mountain, but is still shared with hikers, runners and everything else in between - so please be lekker and respect others also looking to enjoy the outdoors.
A rare glimpse at a green, unburnt and unscathed landscape around Cape Town, while wildfires relentlessly ravage the greater Western Cape area day in and night out, for months now. Be grateful for the opportunities you have to ride your bike today, because it could be gone tomorrow.
The city bowl has a huge network of short, steep and ridiculously rad trails that you'll need a local to make the most of. Of course, there are also the network of easily navigable dirt roads spread across the slopes of the mountain to make use of if you're after less technical riding. Views of the icy Atlantic constantly entice you to descend to the white beaches below, but at the same time, the magnetism of the colossal chunk of sandstone that is Table Mountain, keeps you climbing and searching for more views. Cape Town is a really special place to ride your bike!
Daniel Dobinson | iRideAfrica
3 tiny riders traverse the final stretch of singletrack with Lions Head towering in the late afternoon blaze.
Seeing out the last golden rays of the day. Cheers Cape Town trail network - you've been very kind.
Few things in life compare to the magic of an ice cold draft after a sweaty summers ride.
This project is made possible by:
Kloof Nek parking GPS: 33°56'31.7"S 18°23'42.4"E
Riders : Daniel Dobinson | Matt Lombardi | Mark Hopkins
Permit: Purchased from the TMNP offices
Read more about the Constantia greenbelt trails here.
All images by Ewald Sadie