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Mountain Bike Parks 

Mountain bike recreation and social riding is making serious in roads in South Africa. More and more riders are looking for mountain biking venues and trails rather than races. In the last two years a lot of progress has been made in SA with more and more marked mountain bike trails as well as the appearance of some mountain bike parks.

The earliest originator in South Africa must be the guys at Dirtopia with the Dirtopia trail centre at Delvera outside Stellenbosch. Owner Meurant Botha has had his hand in many of the mountain bike trails in the Cape Town area, including Thandi, Lebanon, Jonkershoek and Tokai. The launch of AMARIDER, African Mountain Bike Association, our formal local IMBA affiliate signals a new chapter in recreational mountain biking. So if you are in the Cape make sure you checkout some hand crafted singletrack at Dirtopia, Jonkershoek or Tokai.

Mountain bike parks gained popularity in the USA and Canada with Whistler Blackomb Mountain Bike Park arguably being one of the most famous. These dedicated mountain biking venues are purpose built and offer a mountain biker a range of riding options and mountain bike trails. Here in South Africa some entrepreneurial riders have decided that we too need some mountain bike parks. Not quite on the scale of a Whistler but it is a good start anyway.

Giba Gorge in Kwa-Zulu Natal is a good example of what is possible in South Africa in terms of riding and facilities to be offered. Everyone and anyone who has been to Giba have come back with only good things to say. If you live in the Pietermartizburg or Durban area or are going past anytime soon best you plan a small detour. If you are nowhere nearby then check out their website to see what they have to offer and plan a visit soon.

Cycle Park in Gauteng is another great example of what can be done with a relatively small piece of land. With just a bit of vision, ingenuity, wood and nails you can build a fun bike park. This venue is perfect for honing your technical riding skills, something that SA riders lack especially when compared to the guys in the US and Europe. It is safe, secure and fun mountain biking venue full of obstacles and fun trails.

Mpumalanga has also seen the launch of a new mountain bike venue recently. Situated outside Nelspruit near the Sudwala Caves. Mankele mountain biking has marked trails of varying difficulty as well as some wood constructed sections.

So it is no longer necessary to leave your bike at home when you go on holiday. Pack it in and check out some of these riding destinations the next time you are out of town. Or else take the easier option and get someone else to book your mountain biking holiday.

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