After just over two months of government enforced lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, South African mountain bikers will once again be able to ride with the level of freedom they’re used to. Mostly. Here’s a breakdown of where you can ride your mountain bike from Monday 1 June 2020:
By Sean Badenhorst
With exercise only permitted daily from 06h00-09h00 within a 5km radius from home for Level 4, most mountain bikers were still limited as to where they could ride, most confined to tar roads nearby. Add to that the frustration of knowing that by its very nature, mountain biking in the bush is about as socially-distanced as you can get, with a very low Covid-19 infection (giving and receiving) risk…
Even though it doesn’t always feel like it, mountain biking is exercise. And mountain bikes are bicycles (the best type of bicycles) and in Lockdown Level 3 exercise, including cycling, from 06h00-18h00 is permitted.
Over the past decade, places to ride mountain bikes for exercise in South Africa have increased significantly and range from public urban green belts to national parks to private land. Some places that we ride mountain bikes are on agricultural farms, wine farms and game farms. We’re fortunate that so many landowners have embraced mountain biking as a popular form of exercise and have given us permission to exercise on their land.
While this may not be the complete list, it’s a list of confirmed places that you can ride your mountain bike for exercise during Lockdown Level 3, starting from 1 June 2020. Please let us know if your local place to ride is missing via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll add it.
NORTH WEST PROVINCE
- Cradle Moon
- The Cradle Trail
- Northern Farm (Saturdays and Sunday only)
- Taroko Trail Park (Modderfontein)
- Braamfontein Spruit*
- Thaba Trails
- Rietvlei Tails
- Hobby Park Trails
- Kings Kloof (Saturdays and Sundays only)
- Cycle Lab Bike Park, Bryanston
- Johannesburg Country Club
- Avianto Trails (limited trails open)
- Green belt*
- Tygerberg MTB Club (except for Meerendal for now)
- Deer Park**
- Signal Hill**
- Lions Head**
- Rhodes Memorial**
- Newlands Forest**
- Cecilia Forest**
- Constantia Nek**
- Bottelary Conservancy
- Stellenbosch – Mont Marie
- Stellenbosch – G-Spot *
- Stellenbosch – Eden*
- Stellenbosch – Jonkershoek
- Du Toitskloof
- Paarl – Rhebokskloof
- Paarl – Spice Route
- Paarl – Landskroon
- Paarl – Diamant
- Paarl – Jankan
- Ou Bethlehem – Banhoek Conservancy
Note that each place of exercise for mountain bikers is required to adhere to certain hygiene and social distancing protocols and that it’s essential for you to follow these. These include but are not limited to:
- Wear a face mask/Buff
- Avoid riding in groups
- Avoid car-park congestion
- Ablutions may be closed at some venues (prepare accordingly)
- You may have to book and pay in advance online
- You may have to book a time slot in advance online
- You may have to purchase a membership to be eligible for access
We have given a website url for all the venues that have one. However, websites can take time to update so rather check the Facebook page for each venue for the most up to date information on exercising there with your mountain bike.
If your local trail is open for exercise to mountain bikers and it’s not listed here, please email the info to email@example.com and we’ll update the list.
* These trails are on public land/open spaces. Not classified as Public Parks. Please ride using discretion and at your own risk.
** Riders need a Level 3 My Activity permit.