This year’s De Hoop Vlei MTB Experience is set to take place at one of Cape Nature’s prestigious nature reserves known as De Hoop Nature Reserve from November 20 to 22.
The event will take the format of a three-day guided mountain bike ride, without the racing and timing element.
“The most wonderful thing about De Hoop is the peacefulness,” said De Hoop Collection events co-ordinator Nini Stephens.
“Guests can roam around in nature alongside the bontebok and eland in a beautiful nature reserve. There’s also a stunning vlei with flamingos and pelicans.”
Stephens added that riders could also look forward to experiencing a ride in and out of the picturesque fynbos.
“Apart from that, they can experience cycling on the flat rock and then down to the beach – the area is so diverse.”
Besides the spectacular scenery and routes, there are also wonderful accommodation that caters for all budgets, as well as a restaurant that serves delicious meals.
“We’re offering a 40 per cent discount on our accommodation for the weekend and an extra 10 per cent if guests book and pay before the end of September.”
Stephens added that there were a lot of fabulous activities available for families, who were not cycling, to get involved in.
“These include guided bird walks along the vlei where you can learn about the birds and otters, nature drives in an open vehicle, or a trip to the endangered Cape Vultures.
“Best of all is the guided marine walk along the rocky shores at low tide – learning about the incredible marine life and tiny creatures living down there that you normally walk past without a second thought.
“Children can also bring their bikes and ride around to their heart’s content.”
Stephens’s husband William, who is a director of the De Hoop Collection, added that the World Heritage site offered world-class whale watching and was a paradise for bird enthusiasts with its more than 260 species.
“De Hoop is a nature lover’s paradise of unparalleled tranquillity in what may be one of the Cape’s last unspoiled gems.
“It’s also the perfect holiday destination for families, couples, groups, honeymooners and wedding parties, family reunions, birthday weekends and an ideal stop-over en route from the Cape Winelands to Plettenberg Bay.”
Niel Neethling, a farmer in the area and creator of the Potberg MTB Challenge trails, feels the nature reserve lends itself to hosting a mountain bike event such as this due to the size of the park.
“You really never have to ride the same routes again.
“There are easy, open roads for the more leisure type of rider and nice technical parts for those who seek it.”
Neethling was also the developer of the famous Dennis the Menace single track climb, which goes back to Buchu Bushcamp, and is one of the most challenging, technical climbs to master.
“The history behind it is quite interesting.
“The previous owners of the farm had a caretaker that lived in the main house. His name was Dennis Swart.
“The trail was his path that he road with his horse to check the water level of the dam on top of the climb.”
Overall, he felt it was great to use a race such as this to introduce the area to visitors.
Another farmer in the area, who is a close neighbour to De Hoop and helps with the race and preparations for it, feels that it is a great event in a stunning setting.
“What can be better than to enjoy this beautiful area than on your bicycle?
“The big positive of De Hoop is the whales. The high sand dunes at Koppie Alleen provide an unsurpassed panoramic view of the sea and whales.”
He said his personal favourite was this entire unspoilt coastline from Infanta to Koppie Alleen.
“The De Hoop vlei with all the birdlife is also unique.
“The vlei is the final destination of the Salt River that has its origin in the Rietpoel area near Riviersonderend – without a river mouth.”
Regarding the trails, he said although they were not easy, they were still rideable.
“Trails can be bumpy at times, as most of the routes will cross limestone hard dunes. But, hey . . . this is mountain biking!”
Do not miss out on this weekend that will be filled with great fun, exciting riding and spectacular views.
Riders are encouraged to place their order in time for the Ciovita top, which is the official De Hoop Vlei MTB Experience jersey.
Race info: https://overbergmtbevents.co.za/
Accommodation info: https://www.dehoopcollection.com/