This year’s De Hoop Vlei MTB Experience will take place from November 20 to 22 at one of Cape Nature’s flagship nature reserves known as De Hoop Collection.
The 2020 edition will take the format of a guided mountain bike ride, without the racing and timing element.
“This is a magical breakaway from reality,” said event director Anneke Jacobs of Overberg MTB Events.
Mountain bike addicts, friends and families can get away and explore the hidden gems of De Hoop Nature Reserve, its untamed and vast open spaces, wildlife and terrain.
Whale watching, drives out to the beach at Koppie Alleen, as well as swimming and relaxing at the pool is what makes a visit to De Hoop Nature Reserve so much more attractive than a normal mountain bike riding weekend away.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions on events, Jacobs said it confirmed her decision to offer this relaxed format of participation to a limited field of riders.
This is the perfect time to support the local tourism and accommodation industry, and De Hoop Collection is extending a further discount to riders for the weekend.
The Weekend Entry fee package of R2 650 per person includes:
• Two dinners; 2 x lunches; 2 x breakfasts served at the Fig Tree restaurant at De Hoop Collection, and complimented by a bottle of Lomond wine.
• Goodie bag with nutrition supplies from Enduren and snacks
• One complimentary massage by EPT recovery
• Bike wash after each ride.
Excludes the Cape Nature entrance fee (payable at the gate) and a Ciovita rider jersey (optional extra) for those who want to look the part.
Exclusive accommodation specials at De Hoop Collection for this weekend
Accommodation at De Hoop Collection starts from only R375 per person per night.
Stay for a minimum of two nights in an equipped cottage that sleeps four, or at the De Hoop village that sleeps six.
Book and pay before the end of September and receive a further 10 per cent discount.
Bookings can only be made through email – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guided MTB ride format
Small groups of 10 riders will depart every 15 minutes apart – faster riders earlier and slow riders later.
Your names will be added to starting lists at reception when you book in for the weekend. The ride is limited to 50 entries in total.
Each group will be accompanied by a professional guide. They include a well-known UCI qualified coach, bike mechanical engineer and skilled mountain bike riders.
Guides have the mechanical knowledge to assist, but riders should ensure that they have a serviced bike with enough tire sealant in and necessary spares. White Stone Cycles will be at De Hoop with limited bike spares if needed to assist riders.
GPS downloads will be available and the routes will be marked for convenience.
A medical support crew will be assisting.
“All in all, it’s basically a self-supported ride,” said Jacobs.
“There are no waterpoints, so riders are responsible for their own water and supplies, but we are offering a small goody bag with nutrition supplies to each entrant.”
Route: Challenging but rewarding riding
The terrain offers a combination of jeep and single tracks.
Limestone and protected vegetation areas is what makes it challenging.
Three perfect days in the saddle
The weekend starts with a 19km Sunset Scramble fun ride on the Friday, which will loosen the legs and shake off any cobwebs ahead of the first stage.
The next day presents a 55km Flat Out on The Rock ride.
The 55km includes a new track to the north of the Vlei, build by the legendary team of Cape Trails which goes all the way up to Buchu Bush Camp, and is known as the Flatrock single track.
Riders can take in panoramic views of the entire Vlei, unparalleled and unspoilt sunrises over the Potberg area and open flood plains that stretch as far as the eye can see towards Arniston and Struisbaai.
The route will take riders through local farm land. Following some interesting cattle tracks and trails, riders will climb back over Denice The Menace, which is the most technical and steep climb of the day.
The plentiful local wildlife and bird species make the best recipe for resuscitating any tired legs.
A shorter option on the same day will be the 32km De Mond-Melkkamer Dash, which is a good alternative for relaxed, non-technical riders.
A lunch and bottle of Lomond Wine is also included in the entry.
The weekend ends on a highlight with a 62km Trails to Whales ride. Starting at De Hoop, riders will be heading out to Potberg side, and climbing back to De Hoop with the iconic Vaalkraens ascent. This is the signature and main Strava climb for the day.
On this final day riders are taken into the eastern half of the reserve where whale watching opportunities reign supreme.
This is a weekend’s getaway to one of the most prestigious and exclusive nature reserves in South Africa. Make use of the fantastic offering and join us for the ride.
CAPTIONS: At the De Hoop Vlei MTB Experience, which is taking place from November 20 to 22, riders will be able to explore the hidden gems of De Hoop Nature Reserve, its beautiful open spaces, wildlife and terrain. Photo: Jacques Marais