The Trail Daze crew head out to explore the original and most iconic of all Cape Town mountain biking destinations, the Tokai MTB trails.
With more than a year and a half of reconstructing, felling and other such rehabilitation activities, the Tokai MTB Trails closure during 2015 left a massive hole in the lives of most Cape Town based mountain bikers. And with only a few alternative legal riding spots available during that time, the reopening of these trails were eagerly awaited (even if it meant riding on limited days). December 2016 finally saw the gates reopen, and the weekends-only trail period kicked off, during which Tokai MTB and SANparks have, and will continuously assess compliance and any environmental issues, to gauge whether the trails will be opened during the week also.
Seven months after the reopening, the Trail Daze crew saddled up to explore and sample everything on offer at the foot of the Constantiaberg mountains. Our aim was to ride trails specifically catered to longer travel trail bikes, typically used at the local Enduro events. Trials like Bridal Path, Cobra and DH 1 thru 3 seemed to fit the bill as it incorporated some properly tight corners, technical rock gardens and also high-speed flow sections. Even with 7 of the 21 trails currently still closed for maintenance or safety, there is still definitely more than enough riding to be done and something for everyone.
Starting things off at Bootleggers for the pre-ride caffeine fix and defrosting on a cold winters morning seems to be the tradition. It also serves as a safe parking spot, and the quick pedal along the tar road to the trails is perfect for getting the blood flowing before the main ascent.
R75 a pop for the Tokai trail permit is a bit more than what other places charge, but the TMNP permit includes Tokai (and all the other recently legalised trails around Table Mountain) and will only set you back about R600 annually.
So good to be riding Tokai again. Missing the tree cover that I enjoyed as a kid riding here, but there’s nothing we can do about this now and the trail builders have done an excellent job resurrecting Tokai from the ashes.
Here we are at arguably one of Cape Towns oldest trail systems. Tokia has seen so much devastation but also development over the duration of its lifespan, how awesome is it to be back and hitting the trails we all remember… from the Bridal Path, to the Snake trails, to the downhill! Whether it’s a quick Sunday blast or an all day session chasing mates down the hill, these trails always deliver... keeping you buzzing long after the pre ride coffees and post ride beers!
Tokai, what a place, one of the original inner city forested MTB trails. We helped build these trails back in the 90’s and I won my first South African DH champs here back in 2000 so there is a lot of history here. We were gutted about the fires and trials being closed during the past couple years but we’re seriously impressed with what the guys have done rebuilding and now ride here at least once a week. Add to that Chris Nixon’s Bike Park as well as his future plans and we’re super amped about the future here!
Riding the Tokai MTB trails, you will inevitably encounter one or more of these fellas. They are synonymous with the greater Tokai area but other than being a nuisance do not pose any* threat to humans and usually get out the way very quickly.
This project is made possible by:
Tokai Forest GPS: 34°03'37.0"S 18°24'55.8"E
Riders : Mark Hopkins | Andrew Savage | Roman Kumpers
All images by Ewald Sadie