Trail Daze | Hoogekraal

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Timing it perfectly between the year's first proper grey and rainy winters days, the Trail Daze crew headed out towards Hoogekraal, just a few minutes drive outside Durbanville, to experience some tacky trails, green grass and a herd of curious cattle.

Forming part of the greater Tygerberg MTB trail network, this loop probably won't keep you busy all day, or even half a day, but what it lacks in distance, it more than makes up for on the fun scale. Likewise on the scenery scale, with luminous green rolling hills in every direction, and on a sunny day as we experienced it, blue skies and puffy clouds.

 

Celebrating women's month, this episode sees the first all ladies edition of Trail Daze, featuring three of Cape Town's (well one of them is imported from Switzerland, and the other from KZN) finest trail riders in the form of Joanna Dobinson, Rika Olivier and Simone Futter.

 

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A quick pedal out from the parking area and you're surrounded by views stretching all the way to Table Mountain.

 

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Hoogekraal remains a commercially active farm, so expect to encounter some curious locals during your ride. These guys have notoriously bad eye-sight, so don't be alarmed when they get startled and start running as soon as you get close.

 

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Some high speed A-frames to indicate the start of the single track. The Hoogekraal loop consists of pretty much 99% pristine, single track, all courtesy of master trail builder, Bennet Nel.

 

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Trailside banter.

 

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A late afternoon winter ride at Hoogekraal is special โ€“ green landscape, tacky dirt and, if youโ€™re lucky like we were, that winter kind of sunshine. Perfect golden afternoon fun. Rika Olivier

 

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Simone sending the jump line. This section was added more recently and features a high speed, flow trail with a few big jumps and a drop with an alternative chicken line.

 

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Blue skies, green grass and some puffy white clouds along with a super fun trail = good times.

 

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Ascending the switchbacks towards the top of Hoogekraal.

 

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In stark contrast to the extremely dried out and dusty summertime conditions, this region transforms into a lush and colourful landscape during winter.

 

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Tiny riders in a sea of green.

 

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Muddy trails... something we haven't seen much of in the Western Cape for a very long time.

 

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Dropping into the Cobra. A fast paced descent, filled with boulders, a few shaley sections and a lot of fun.

 

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I like Hoogekraal for its rocks, jumps and flow. Though it's a short trail, there is a lot to play with and the many switchbacks make it a great workout. We scored a great day after heavy rains and were rewarded with super tacky trails. Bombing down the last flowy section left me smiling silly, long after arriving back at the car. Simone Futter

 

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With the Cobra taking you all the way back down the hill, there's a punchy climb back up to the top of the trail.

 

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From the top of Hoogekraal, you get panoramic views of pretty much the whole peninsula - from Table Mountain, all the way to Stellenbosch.

 

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Hoogekraal is a trail riders treat! Perfectly groomed swooping berms, big drops, fun table tops and rocks made for a perfect balance of speed, exhilaration and heart pumping action! The fact that I got to ride it with two ladies who inspire me with their riding style and immense skill, made it an afternoon that will never be forgotten! #BigBikes&Baggies Joanna Dobinson

 

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Swooping back down towards the parking area on perfectly tacky trails as the last rays of the days start to fade away.

 

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Cheers to all the female mountain bikers out there, having fun and shredding trails 'till the sun sets.

 

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GPS: 33ยฐ47'01.2"S 18ยฐ34'53.4"E

Permit: R40 (part of greater Tygerberg MTB trail network)

 

All images by Ewald Sadie

www.esphotography.co.za

instagram: @ewaldsadie

 

This project is made possible by:

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Riders : Joanna Dobinson | Rika Olivier | Simone Futter

 

Stay tuned to Bike Hub for more Trail Daze coming soon...

 

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37 Comments

Eddy Gordo, Aug 01 2016 09:56

awesome stuff. I always enjoy a late afternoon ride there, and barely do the cobra due to time.

'Dale, Aug 01 2016 10:12

Was there yesterday
Beautiful piece of riding heaven

Garethley, Aug 01 2016 11:18

Stunning photos....

popcorn_skollie, Aug 01 2016 11:35

Always a pleasure chatting to the locals there. They get me. Always willing to listen. Ophelia, Beatrice, Charlotte. Thank you. Not everyone sees the wisdom behind your blank stares and all the grass you chew. But I do.

popcorn_skollie, Aug 01 2016 11:38

awesome stuff. I always enjoy a late afternoon ride there, and barely do the cobra due to time.

 

That's like the best part! You did it with me the last time though. See. You shouldn't ride without me. Although the new stuff is pretty awesome too. Got big love for that drop that leads into all those jumps.

Super_mil, Aug 01 2016 11:44

Very cool!

Eddy Gordo, Aug 01 2016 03:17

That's like the best part! You did it with me the last time though. See. You shouldn't ride without me. Although the new stuff is pretty awesome too. Got big love for that drop that leads into all those jumps.

Yeah, you need to ride more afternoons as well.

Sarel See Monster, Aug 01 2016 05:24

Woman riding bikes and drinking beers. Amazing. 

JonoZA, Aug 01 2016 08:01

One of my favorite trails!!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

MTBeer, Aug 02 2016 02:21

Woman riding bikes and drinking beers. Amazing. 

ja, is nothing sacred anymore?

Cptmayhem, Aug 02 2016 02:24

Woman riding bikes and drinking beers. Amazing.


Can guarantee that those "woman" (sic) will klap you 6-0 on the trails

DoomedUser, Aug 02 2016 03:12

Bliksem! these photies always makes me want to go ride!

Flowspeed, Aug 05 2016 09:38

Kudos to the photographer !

Stunning pics

Piston ZA, Aug 05 2016 09:44

Looks very cool. Going to be in Table View this weekend, so I think I will head to Hoogekraal for ride.

ridin dirty, Aug 15 2016 08:17

Why are none of the riders using a Camelbak if the project is sponsored by Camelbak?

A_du_Plessis, Aug 17 2016 04:44

Sitting at work busy with 70 day Shutdown, not even 30 days in, and then I read (re-read) article today!!!!!

 

Articles like these makes me miss cycling even more! been to Hoogekraal once, and I've been looking forward to going there every day!

 

Beautiful trail...

billygoat0523, Aug 21 2016 12:11

how much practice do i need for that dropoff?

'Dale, Aug 21 2016 07:46

The coolest part is that view...

๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿพ

Cptmayhem, Aug 21 2016 08:16

how much practice do i need for that dropoff?


Which one? There's one on the way back down that is about half a metre high but super easy

'Dale, Aug 21 2016 09:32

Which one? There's one on the way back down that is about half a metre high but super easy


I guess the one by The Gorge that sweeps to the left ๐Ÿ˜Š

Cptmayhem, Aug 21 2016 09:36

I guess the one by The Gorge that sweeps to the left ๐Ÿ˜Š

Oh, the roller drop. Gotta make sure you either take it slow and roll it, or pre jump it so you land on the back side. It's not difficult, it's just very steep.

I do the former, but try to do the latter and fail. Lol

If you just drop it, you'll flat land straight into the corner, from what I'm able to surmise

billygoat0523, Aug 22 2016 08:41

Oh, the roller drop. Gotta make sure you either take it slow and roll it, or pre jump it so you land on the back side. It's not difficult, it's just very steep.

I do the former, but try to do the latter and fail. Lol

If you just drop it, you'll flat land straight into the corner, from what I'm able to surmise

that one, yes.  i haven't been out that way yet, didn't know there were more drops.  i'll give it a go tomorrow.

billygoat0523, Aug 23 2016 03:10

chickened out the first time, then did another lap.  stopped to have a look first and rolled it slowly.  was good!

Cptmayhem, Aug 23 2016 03:13

chickened out the first time, then did another lap.  stopped to have a look first and rolled it slowly.  was good!

good stuff!

 

And yeah, the blind lip is offputting unless you roll up to it very slowly the first time. 

 

And you see what I mean about treating it like a drop? You'll flat-land it into the berm. Not nice... So best is to sorta pre-jump it so you get rid of the potential over-rotation from the rear wheel.

 

Like approaching the jump section at Bloemendal... that first slope into the trough, you need to hop into it otherwise your back tyre will want to pitch up just when your front is on the way down... 

popcorn_skollie, Aug 23 2016 03:34

good stuff!

 

And yeah, the blind lip is offputting unless you roll up to it very slowly the first time. 

 

And you see what I mean about treating it like a drop? You'll flat-land it into the berm. Not nice... So best is to sorta pre-jump it so you get rid of the potential over-rotation from the rear wheel.

 

Like approaching the jump section at Bloemendal... that first slope into the trough, you need to hop into it otherwise your back tyre will want to pitch up just when your front is on the way down... 

 

You know the little play area at Taal monument. By the wall ride and then there's a short drop on the right that rolls into a table? Is that steeper?