The Bottelary Hills Renosterveld Conservancy (BHRC) is celebrating 10 years of mountain biking with the launch of several new starting points and an additional 30 km of trails, which includes around 12 km of single-track.
The extensive trail network now totals 120 km of farm roads, jeep tracks and numerous single tracks. While never too technical, there are challenging climbs and a variety of distances on offer for riders of all fitness levels. These are single use trails and limited to mountain bike riders only.
Trail-Blazers planned, designed and built the original trails and have played an integral part in trail maintenance and route developments over the past decade including the current expansion. In addition, they make a significant investment in community development through the employment of local youths. Not only have they generated 200 man days in the past six weeks, but also transferred valuable skills to the team.
The Jordan route has been extended, and now features a lovely new piece of single track designed and built by Conrad Stoltz, former triathlon world champion. Riders can look forward to a flowy single track in natural terrain with unique granite dome rides that is suitable for all levels of riders. On completion of his first project in collaboration with the Bottelary Hills Renosterveld Conservancy, Stoltz stated that views of the ocean, mountains and vineyards will take your breath away, (if the climb doesn’t). Additional single track sections were also completed by Trail-Blazers and the owners of Jordan. “Nature lovers will appreciate the Renosterveld with its abundant wildlife. An eagle soaring on the breeze, sharing the trail with duiker and, if you’re lucky, you may spot the caracal and its cub stepping into the brush. The location and its people are fantastic and made this one of my favourite builds. Hopefully it brings pleasure to riders for many years to come,” concluded Stoltz.
New riders can ease into the trails from Bellevue Wine Estate that has recently joined the orange route and offers a mild ride on jeep tracks, across farmland and over dam walls. Also ideal for a family ride. Park and ride starting points now include: Bellevue Wine Estate tasting room on Bottelary Road, The Farmer’s Pantry on Brenaissance, Devonvale Golf & Wine Estate, Fort Simon Wine Estate, Hazendal’s Babushka Deli, The Cellar Door at Jordan on Stellenbosch Kloof Road, 18 Coffee roastary at Neethlingshof, Zevenwacht Wine Estate, Overgaauw (no permit sales) and the soon to be launched Karibib Vineyards & Wine craft Polkadraai trail that will link into the state-of-the-art Polkadraai Bike Park. In addition, day permits are also available from Engen Soneike and the Dwars in die Weg security gate at R70. Please note permits are payable via Zapper. Get your mid-year permit, valid until 31 December, online (www.bottelaryhillsconservancy.co.za) for R400.
The BHRC, a non-profit (063-324-NPO), forms part of the Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve. It aims to maintain, expand and sustain large tracts of remaining renosterveld in the area – less than 4% of the original in the Western Cape. Funds generated through annual and day permits as well as events are used mainly to subsidise alien-vegetation eradication. Dedicated community programmes and projects also address socio-economic challenges of people living and working on farms within the BHRC.