SWITCHBACKS AND PYTHONS
GREYTON TOUR PART 2
Day 2: Bakenskop & Luislang
Riding Time: 2hr20
ROUTE MAP: DAY 2
We had all seen the Absa Cape Epic and knew Bakenskop was pretty legendary, this was to be our “big” challenge for the weekend. Once again we had a nice easy start through the Forest section only this time we veered off following the arrows to Bakenskop. Lex, who not only is a Crank but also a local of Greyton, acted as our guide – which wasn’t necessary with the trails being well marked – but it was great to be given encouragement that we were nearly at the top and to be told: “this is the last climb” – did I mention Lex is a bloody good liar! But it did get us to the top and we appreciated having a “local” with us, just in case…
The climb to the top at Bakens isn’t that long, it is also a switchback which makes it a bit easier but this is the only consolation…. It is bloody steep! You also have a pretty clear view to the top which for some people is a carrot but for others disheartening – being of the latter group I kept my head down and took one switchback at a time. Of course what would an adventure be without some adversity – my chain started slipping about a quarter of the way up and I couldn’t change gears – I managed to get halfway up when at a group rest on of my mates noticed that the wheel had a large amount of lateral play – sure enough the rear through axle had come loose – not being a quick release it is something one can easily overlook and could potentially end in tears. Fortunately nothing serious, tighten up and off we went… up to the top. Pretty much all of us walked at some stage, it is really steep! But once at the top the sense of satisfaction is well worth the effort – not to mention the view. The single track down is smooth and fast but snakes along the side of the mountain and is not for the feint hearted. Keep looking ahead and make sure you have some space between you and the guy in front. Before you know it you are off the side and onto a fast, gnarly jeep track taking you back towards town.
Our good guide Lex however had a sting in the tail for us. We veered left and after a short bundu bash found the road and rode into the historic village of Genadendal.
Built on the oldest mission in South Africa the village is tiny and has a lovely local feel to it, with friendly faces smiling and greeting you as you ride through their town. We stopped at the impressive Moravian Church and Museum for a water bottle refill and although we were too dirty to explore it is definitely a little gem that deserves coming back to.
“the Luislang! A stunning piece of trail that has another big climb that slowly squeezes”
We snaked through some purpose built trails through the back of the village, still smiling and glad that the riding wasn’t that tough, only to run into the Luislang! A stunning piece of trail that has another big climb that slowly squeezes the life out of your enthusiasm, and despite being winter we hit a toasty 30 degrees on the “python” track, which ensured that some choice language was offered – mostly in Lex’s direction. Of course once at the top as you recover your breath is again taken away by looking back at the amazing trail you have just climbed and the majesty of the surrounding bowl of majestic mountains. The top also means you are nearing the end of the ride but with one bit of reward waiting – the Luislang descent! A magical, fun, fast snaking trail that flows all the way back to the town. It’s loose and rocky in places so ride within yourself if it’s your first time. What a jol!
Day 3 – 2nd Bench
Riding Time: 50min
ROUTE MAP: DAY 3
2nd Bench is normally a ride that you would combine with our prologue ride. Which would then make it a very pleasant 28-30km ride. We needed to leave just after lunch and being winter hit the trails after a leisurely breakfast – again served with excellent coffee and a bunch of smiles by the folks at the Post House – we were quite happy with a short ride.
Again the Greyton Trails delivered! Purpose built winding singletrack made sure you climbed the side of the hill overlooking the back of the town effortlessly. Up and down the route traverses the feet of the giant mountains around you and before you know it your at the 2nd Bench overlooking the town. The only desperately sad part was the sound of a massive sound system pounding out some reggae tunes that I’m sure could be heard all the way back to Genadendal. Great for a Saturday avvie but not so great for a Sunday morning way up in the mountains – hey each to their own I guess. Nothing however could stop the grin on our faces after we dropped into the singletrack called the R.I.P, berms and more berms, a smooth, fast piece of riding heaven that was the perfect ending to a wonderful riding weekend. Off to the Hub and Spoke to settle up for the weekend riding permits and a last cup of coffee and unanimously agreeing: Greyton we will be back.
+27(0)83 4570679 Steve - General Information
+27(0)78 5963433 Takunda - Trail Information
THE POST HOUSE
22 Main Road
Tel: 028 254 9995
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