Try a tour

South African mountain bikers are incredibly fortunate to have a jam-packed race calendar throughout the year. These races are a great reason to explore our country, focus your training regime and squeeze in a few ‘mini-holidays’ into your year. But, if racing isn’t for you there are a few other options.

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Events can be expensive, singletrack queues are inevitable, tented accommodation is uncomfortable and event dates are fixed. So, as much as the iRide crew (Jennie Stenerhag and Daniel Dobinson) love racing, in fact Jennie came third in the ladies category of the 2014 Epic, they also saw the need for customised mountain biking tours, where quality singletracks can be enjoyed with friends, followed by good food and wine in beautiful surroundings.

iRide Africa offers high quality bike rentals, skills clinics and mountain bike and road riding tours in and around the Western Cape. The tours are customized to the group’s needs, with dates, length of trip, level of riding, food and accommodation costs all taken into account, to ensure the best rides with the minimum amount of fuss.

The established name in South African cycling tours is undoubtedly Daytrippers. They’ve been going since 1992 and in addition to their daily excursions around the Cape Peninsular they also do day trips to Hermanus and the Winelands, scheduled road and mountain biking tours ranging in length from a weekend to two weeks. They also do custom events too, so if you have a route in mind but need back-up and someone to cook your meals give them a call.

If you work in a MTB mad office here’s an idea to plant in your boss’s head. MTB Adventures (of the Houwhoek MTB fame) do corporate MTB adventures. So leave your copy of Full Sus suggestively open on this page, in a spot where you know your boss will see it and before you know it you’ll be on a corporate team building day, scoring time out of the office and time on the trails of Paul Cluver, Thandi, Lebanon and Oak Valley. They can cater for groups of up to 35 riders and will look after your every need while you’re there.

If you’ve got a hankering for getting out on your bike in the Karoo though there’s only one company for the job, Makadas. The rather odd name is taken from a steam locomotive that used to run the narrow branch line between Touwsriver and Ladismith from 1925 to 1981. They run events and tours into the heart of the Karoo using, owner, Mitzi Knipe’s extensive exclusive network of Karoo farm contacts to create unique routes into the hinterland.

Or if you’re keen on mixing cycling with a scenic trip through the Winelands to partake in a classic Western Cape activity wine tasting, then give The Bikes ’n Wines crew a call. They’re the only carbon negative tour of the Cape Winelands so if you’re carbon conscious that’s a big plus. If you’re only interested in wine, you shouldn’t worry about getting to drunk to ride… the guides keep an eye on you, plus you’re exercising so you’ll metabolize the alcohol faster than you normally would.

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You can explore the urban environment on a bike too, with most of the afore mentioned companies offering city and township tours, but if you want to enjoy an authentic township tour then Lebo’s Soweto Backpackers is the place to visit for their Soweto Bicycle Tours. Visit the only street in the world where two Nobel Peace Laureates have lived, the site of the 1976 student uprising and the Hector Pieterson Memorial amongst other local attractions.

So there you have it: races aren’t the only way to see great new trails, visit new places or push your riding abilities. Why not book your spot on a tour and experience a different side of mountain biking this winter.

 

Sus the Tour Operators:

iRide Africa

www.irideafrica.com

(079) 396 4064

 

Daytrippers

www.daytrippers.co.za

(021) 511 4766

 

MTB Adventures

www.mtb-adventures.co.za

082 807 5895

 

Makadas

www.makadasadventures.co.za

(021) 981 9535

 

The Bikes ’n Wines

www.bikesnwines.com

021 823 8790

 

Soweto Bicycle Tours

www.sowetobicycletours.com

(011) 936 3444

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