Mountain Biking Trails

GreenRoute 130101

Trail review November 2012

At the Southern tip of the City of Joburg is a large piece of privately owned bush called the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve, complete with hills (that’s right hills!), grasslands, indigenous trees and game. Thanks to Wendell Bole, the guy who passionately built and maintains the Rietvlei Farm trails just a few kilometers away, Gauteng mountain bikers now have another safe, varied trail network to tide. The official opening was on Saturday 3 September 2012, and trail building is still ongoing.

Three trial options:

  • Yellow: Beginners/novices
  • Green: Intermediate level riders
  • Blue: Experienced or more advanced riders

This is a game reserve so don’t expect perfectly manicured trails, although the Yellow trails have a more gentle surface.  For Green and Blue routes, expect bush riding at its best – remember this, is mountain biking, not gravel-road cycling.  We like the hills at Thaba Trails because there isn’t that much gradient-rich trail riding elsewhere close to the city.  This gives you some properly challenging climbs and descent, some long and winding and others steep and sketchy, which members of our TREAD bike test team fell in love with!  Wendell has ensured that all levels (skills and fitness) are catered for at Thaba Trails so it’s great family riding destination.  Incredibly, it’s just 8 km from the Joburg city limits, but there are times when you are riding at Thaba that feels like you’re  far from the madness of the country’s biggest city.  There’s a coffee shop, a bike shop and arts and crafts stalls for non-riding friends or family to browse.  The Panorama Shopping Centre is also across the road should your non-riding spouse/friend/ partner want a more commercial environment to spend time in while you ride.

Distance:

  • Yellow 1: 6km
  • Yellow 2: 15km
  • Green: 22km
  • Blue: (Bitty at present, but under construction)
  • Novice: 8/10
  • Intermediate: 8/10
  • Advanced: 8/10

TYRES: There’s a mixture of rocky and soft trail surfaces – typical of Gauteng conditions.  A firm sidewall tyre is recommended.

BEST THING:  It’s close to Joburg and offers a wide range of trails with some decent distances among wild animals including zebra, wildebeest, impala, blesbok, springbok and more.

BEST SEASON: All seasons should be good here.  Because of the gradient, the summer rains should drain well.

Getting there:

From the N3 (around the East of Johannesburg) or the N1 (around the West of Joburg), take the N12 and hugs the head south (away from the city).

Travel 6.5km down Klipriver Drive.  On your left you will see the Panorama Shopping Centre, take the next right turn into the Thaba Trails gate.

COST: R30 per person per day (R5 of this goes towards buying more game).

SECURE PARKING: Yes