I decided to take a ride to Groenkop with 22 Degrees South on Wednesday afternoon. The ride is in a nature reserve where few are privileged to go and strict rules apply. No quads, no 2 strokes and no bikes with performance pipes (noise pollution) – most DS bikes are ok. The area is also used by hikers, people on horseback and mountain bikes. The idea is that they don’t even know we’re there.
It’s a scenic ride, NOT an adrenalin ride and I have to say that I agree with the rules 100%. This is a beautiful piece of untouched nature that needs to be preserved. The only way you can get to see this peace of heaven is through the right channels.
The ride starts with a nice road through the forest.
The heat of the day is forgotten when you ride here. Just fresh cool air, beautiful scenery and serenity. The road quickly turns into a “2-spoor”.
Being in this environment really is spiritual. Standing next to the giants of the forest makes you feel small. Actually, even the Ferns make you feel small!
You are left wondering what you’ll see behind the next bend – a Knysna elephant perhaps?
Emerging from the forest higher up on the mountain the road gets noticeably worse with lots of loose rocks. What you don’t see clearly on the photo is the incline.
You keep climbing through the Fynbos to some spectacular views.
On these mountain trails you often encounter fallen trees over the road. Sometimes the trees can be moved and the biker wins…
Sometimes the tree cannot be moved but the bike can still get over – draw…
And sometimes, the tree, he wins…
The road takes you through Fynbos around Groenkop
Around the bend the road turned into a single track trail – trail riding at its best!
We stopped in this clearing for a while.
We couldn’t follow the trail much further because the tree he won big-time 50 meters on, so we backtracked on this trail and followed the road further around Groenkop.
Then back down into the forest. The beauty here is jaw dropping!
On this trail we encountered another tree, but it was getting late so we decided to start heading back.
Even when you hit the tar the scenery remains idyllic.
When people hear I stay in the Southern Cape and I don’t play golf they can’t believe it, but how can a hot afternoon on a man made lawn compare to this?
The terrain we rode on ranged from rather good roads to 1 track trails and rocky sections. I believe the big trail bikes should be able to do the whole trip, but at least intermediate to advanced rider abilities will be necessary on the heavy bikes. Rental bikes are available (Honda NXR125’s like on the photos). They are light, handle quite easily and the lack of power is not a problem since this is a scenic ride. These bikes run so quietly that you can get up to 50 meters from a bushbuck before it hears you!
All in all a worthwhile way to spend an afternoon.