ElginMTB Launch Party

The Western Cape is littered with amazing mountain bike trails, the Grabouw region is no exception. Oak Valley, Paul Cluver, Lebanon the list goes on. There’s one issue though, the above trails are not linked. This was all about to change though.

‘border crossing’ between Oak Valley & Paul Cluver

I may sound like I’m being anal but the fact that numerous mountain biking routes are not linked does cause a dilemma. Either you ride a trail pack up and drive to the next, or you cycle between the two trails on the N2 which isn’t particularly safe. After I’m sure what was many meetings and discussions the greenlight was given to link Oak Valley and Paul Cluver wine estates. When I first heard the news I was overjoyed, one could now spend 3+ hours of riding and not have to worry about driving to get to the next trail.

Over the weekend of August 15th the official launch party was held to celebrate the grand opening or linking of Oak Valley and Paul Cluver. No race batches, no seeding, no timing of riders, just riding the trails, an event for the whole family. Riders were allowed to set off from either Oak Valley or Paul Cluver on the day of the event. We opted to set off from Paul Cluver as the after ride entertainment and spit-braai was based there. Come 9am we mounted our steeds and set off on the route. The pace as relaxed and the banter was high. The relaxed ride was a welcomed change from my normal training regime, something that I enjoyed thoroughly. The entire route distance made available to us was 70km’s; we however opted to aim for +- 30k’s. Despite the shorter route the smiles were still just as big. Paul Cluver and Oak Valley offer some of the best manicured singletrack in the country, spoilt we certainly were.

ElginMTB launch party route and profile

After two hours of riding we rolled into Paul Cluver, the ride had been a great success and every one of my mates had thoroughly enjoyed the ride. Now it was time for us to enjoy the after ride entertainment. The event organisers did a fantastic job with the spit-braai, live music and bar area. We were spoilt for choice when it came to wines to purchase. Paul Cluver and Oak Valley had both supplied wines to purchase as well as ciders made by Paul Cluver. A bonfire was roaring while riders exchanged stories of the ride while sipping their wine of choice. The mood was relaxed and friendly; this is what a ride of this nature is all about. Come 14:30 the spit-braai was ready and we lined up waiting to try the meal that was provided. We certainly were not disappointed; the food was fantastic, just what a rider would want after a ride. Roast lamb, roast potatoes, roast vegetables and salads. The selection was endless. After lunch the party continued as the ‘one man cover band’ strummed his guitar and the wine flowed further. Looking back I’d regard the launch party as a great success. I would have anticipated a larger group of riders however it was still a great day out, whether you were a ‘weekend warrior’ or a ‘racesnake’. Going forward I hope the urge to link other trails will become the main aim of trail builders and landowners.

See you on the outside — urban rouleur