CLOSEST TOWN/CITY: Sandton, Johannesburg
DESCRIPTION: We’ve reviewed a few of the trails at the PWC Bike Park in Bryanston over the past four years. But in the past year, the suburban bike park has undergone some significant changes under Cycle Lab, the new owners, who have restyled it to be more appropriate for the masses. That’s not to say it’s not suitable for highly skilled riders.; they’ve catered for them too.
Besides the reworking of the BMX track and pump track, they’ve added a new skills section with various obstacles from rock gardens to drop-offs. They’ve also developed the facilities to have better ablutions and a double-storey sheltered functions venue. The landscaping work has given the trailhead a makeover that leaves it looking classy and attractive, while updated signage, new trail names and trail modifications have transformed the park on many levels. It’s now a bike-riding venue that caters for the whole family. It’s a popular option for kids’ parties, which we think is great because it encourages kids to have fun on bikes, like the old days…
The most exciting changes for us have been the transformation of the
trails from many short trails to fewer, longer trails. Hylton Turvey, the master trailbuilder that’s best known for the flowing singletrack masterpieces he’s created at Karkloof, was hired to weave his magic trail wand at the PWC Bike Park. And boy can you feel his signature when you ride the new trails.
The two main trails are now Berm City and Spaghetti Junction. Berm City on the eastern slope is 1.9km long and essentially a combination of the old Green Mile, Wind Her Up and Corkscrew but with better flow. Expect a lot of bermed turns and some tame rollers on this trail. It’s an ideal trail for all skill levels, but there’s a detour to the left about three-quarters of the way through that takes you onto a wooden jump, a wooden drop-off and a rock garden before rejoining the main trail again. There are three levels for the jumps and drop-offs, making it possible to progress as your confidence grows. A nice addition for the more ambitious riders.
Spaghetti Junction is also around 2km long and includes the old Rust Preventer, Drop Zone and Dark Side, all on the west slope of the park. This trail requires a higher skill level than Berm City, but it’s not dangerous, with just one right-hand switchback descent that’s challenging.
The upgrading of the park is ongoing and definitely worth a visit if you haven’t been in the past few months (or years).
DISTANCE: As long as you like. It’s more about skills than endurance though.
TYRES: The surface is almost entirely manicured hardpack, so cornering traction is critical. Choose a front tyre with an aggressive tread pattern with a bit of a square edge.
BEST THING: Great trail variety so you’ll never get bored. Exceptionally well maintained. Very secure.
WORST THING: Not many appreciate skills-orientated trail parks like this – yet
BEST SEASON: All year round is good, but summer thunderstorms can be a bit disruptive.
HOW TO GET THERE: From N1 William Nicol Offramp – Exit onto William Nicol Drive (R511), turn towards Sandton, turn first left into Sloane Street, travel over Main Road, turn first left into Libertas, turn left into the PwC Bike Park entrance.
GPS COORDIANTES: 26°02’09.5″S | 28°01’41.2″E
COST: R60 per rider per day (R50 – kids Under 12; R20 – kids under 5). Frequent visit cards are also available.
NB: Subsequently the fee has increased to R75 per rider per day, with an alteration to frequent visit options.
SECURE PARKING: Yes.
ABLUTION FACILITES: Yes, basins, toilets, hot showers
REFRESHMENTS: Yes, hot and cold drinks and snacks
CONTACT: 083 725 2453; www.bikepark.co.za
TREAD Magazine is sold throughout South Africa and can be found in: Spar, CNA, Exclusive Books, Discerning bike shops and on Zinio
*Originally published in TREAD Issue 34, 2015 – All rights reserved