Stellenbosch is an outdoor lovers’ playground. Whether you want to explore our beautiful town and surrounds by foot or bike, there is so much to offer.
We sat down with Conrad Stoltz, retired 7x World Triathlon Champion who competed for 24 years and has experienced some of the most iconic routes in the world, why he loves mountain biking in Stellenbosch.
After Conrad retired from competitive racing, he began to create and build mountain bike trails. It was his passion – now turned full time job.
You helped create and build a flow trail at Jordan not too long ago, tell us a bit more.
A “Flow Trail” is a trail that uses the contours of the landscape to give a feeling or experience similar to surfing. If it’s done correctly, Flow Trails take mountain bikers on a terrain-induced roller coaster experience, with little pedaling and braking necessary. If you are feeling pretty risky and confident you can make use of the rollers to take a jump into the air and try out some tricks while up there.
Flow Trails are extremely popular with the younger riders. You don’t have to ride for hours on end and work up a sweat on mountain routes to have a good time. You also have great Instagram photo opportunities on the Flow Trails to showcase your style and tricks.
The hill just above Jordan’s cellar is perfect for a Flow Trail with amazing clay-like soil, no rocks in sight, and the most spectacular views of False Bay, the vineyards and the Stellenbosch Mountains.
These flow trails can be experienced and enjoyed as part of the Bottelary Hills MTB trails, for which you need a day permit to access. Day permits for 2023 are R70 and is available from The Cellar Door at Jordan Wine Estate.
They say winter is the best time for mountain biking. Is this true, and why?
Autumn and winter in the Winelands is definitely my favorite time for mountain biking. If the trails are a little clammy or moist, your bikes tyres have unbelievable traction. That means that taking the corners that are usually smooth in the summer time, now feel as if your bike sticks to the earth like Velcro.
Winter days typically have not a breath of wind, the air is clean and fresh and the fields are abundantly green and filled with flowers. The secret to mountain biking in the winter in the Winelands, is that you have to keep your eye on www.yr.no to make sure you catch and enjoy those perfectly sunny winter bike days, just as you would enjoy the perfect red wine in front of the fireplace.
The Bottelary mountain bike trail is one of the many amazing trails we have here in Stellenbosch. What would you say makes the Bottelary trail so special? What are some of the highlights that mountain bikers can look forward to?
The Bottelary trails are renowned for offering trails that mountain bikers of all levels can enjoy. It is not too technical, not too much climbing, and there’s a whole range of different trails to choose from. The highlight for me personally are the amazing views all throughout the routes. These views will take your breath away, of the trails that don’t already do that!
Think mountain biking is just for adults?
We also chatted to one of our young mountain biking fanatics here in Stellenbosch, Alex Serfontein. Here’s what Alex had to say about mountain biking in Stellenbosch! Watch the video here.