Good old PE … I love riding here in the Friendly (or Windy – it’s all about perspective) City. One of my recently discovered trails is at Hopewell, a newly developed eco-estate, blessed with lazy single-track curves meandering forever along a series of undulating fynbos ridges. The whole family will find a trail that suits their level as you can choose from the easy 7km White Route to the ‘slightly’ more hectic 50km Yellow Route. For the inbetweeners there is also the 20km Green Route and the 35km Blue Route to choose from.
This 2,500ha nature reserve approximately 20km west of central Port Elizabeth offers secure riding in a wilderness area. Even better, the trails are tailor-made for mountain biking, and with a limited amount of climbing, you are in for a super-fast blast.
On the Bike
Flat single-track flows in wide ess-bends along grassy summits and fynbos slopes, every so often plunging along rough jeep-track into densely vegetated fynbos valleys. Keep your eyes peeled as you bomb through these riverine forest sections, as this is probably where you will bump into much of the game, including eland, kudu, red hartebeest, Cape mountain zebra and springbok.
There are several trails of varying intensities including a toddlers’ track, a 7km social ride, a 20km and 32km intermediate ride and a 44km and 50km advanced and technical ride. (Find out about the pissed off ostrich along the longer routes, as he has taken to chasing riders on occasion.)
The trails are open Wednesday to Sunday (closed on Mondays & Tuesdays); gate times are 06h00 – 18h00 (Summer) and 07h00 – 17h00 (Winter).
Off the Bike
Trail runners and hikers are also welcome to enjoy the trails. Birders should note that there is more than a 130 resident bird species in the reserve. Keep an eye out for their special family evenings with live music and kiddies’ activities or their Sunday MTB brunches. There is also a pool on site.