A mountain biking hotspot just outside Cape Town
The rolling hills of Durbanville are home to a staggering 80km of grin-inducing trail. Dedicated efforts by the Tygerberg Mountain Bike Club have been instrumental in gaining access to the land and building beautiful, flowing singletrack through vineyards, grasslands and Renosterveld.
Contermanskloof falls in the middle of the trail network and is privately built and managed by Robert Starke of Contermanskloof Farm.
The trailhead overlooks a fishing dam and has parking, toilet facilities as well as a small area overlooking the dam, complete with benches and tables and an honesty box system for trail fees.
Jaco Veldsman runs The Bike Shed shop near the farm house a few hundred metres from the trailhead, so spares are available if the need arises. He also hosts shuttle days occasionally so that riders can have fun on the downhill trails without all the back-breaking climbing.
Trail marking is superb and uni-directional, allowing for three different routes based on your skill and fitness (easy 7km, moderate 14km, difficult 17km). A dedicated downhill course that runs down the valley from the peak (433m elevation) is a must for gravity riders. For those that want more riding, the contoured trails of Kliprug will add a further 7km to your ride and also serve to link up a further 12km of trails on the adjacent Hillcrest Farm.
Great place to practice your high speed cornering techniques
The difficult route leads you up to the transmitters via a ridiculously steep, lung-busting, leg-shattering climb but the views of Table Mountain are unrivalled! The switchbacks down to the moderate route are very rocky and steep which will keep advanced riders smiling. The high speed descent from the top of the moderate route is the very definition of fun and a great place to practice your high speed cornering techniques. The less fit riders are treated to an easy downhill that ends with a fantastic trail full of berms and predictable corners before completing the ride back at the dam.
The views of Table Mountain are unrivaled
Trail fee R30
Access times (November – April / 6am – 7pm) (May – October / 6:30am – 6pm)
GPS Co-ordinates 33°48.167’ S 18°35.0’ E
As Contermanskloof is a working farm, no dogs are allowed.
How to get there From the N7: Head up Tikiedraai (Tygerberg Rd) towards Durbanville from the Bothasig circle. Turn left onto Contermanskloof Road. You will pass three quarries on your right and on the first sharp left hander turn right onto the tar road to the farm. Look out for the Contermanskloof MTB Trails signs. The entrance to the farm is about 1km up the road on the left.
The trails are rideable all year round but are plagued by devil thorns during the summer months so tubeless tyres are recommended.
Beware of snakes during the summer months.
Originally published in the January/February 2013 issue.