Celebrate the coming of Spring on your bike at Elgin Bikes2Blossoms, powered by Trail’s End. Though the season officially began on September the 1st, the weather has yet to really reflect that with sustained sunshine and warmer temperatures. Thus, October the 2nd and 3rd, are likely to be a better bet for mountain biking in one of South Africa’s singletrack hotspots, Elgin.

Hosted by Trail’s End, the country’s first bike hotel, the two-day event boasts something for everyone. For the fans of history and engineering the Elgin Bikes2Blossoms, powered by Trail’s End, coincides with the grand opening of Trail’s End Bicycle Museum. While mountain bikers will need little reminding that the trails of the Elgin Valley are truly world-class, and as such that the riding will be spectacular.

Off the bike the event encourages participants to make the most of Elgin’s fantastic hospitality. Accommodation can be booked at Trail’s End, in order to stay right at the start and finish of each stage, but other options abound, nearby. Meals, meanwhile, can be booked at Trail’s End or riders can venture out to the Elgin Railway Market, where a number of food stalls provide choices for vegans, vegetarians, carnivores and everyone in between. After each day’s riding Trail’s End will be serving a Burger and Craft Beer special, at R125.00 per person, with the choice of beef, chicken or vegetarian burgers.

The Elgin Valley, with its fynbos, vineyards and orchards is among the most picturesque venues for a mountain bike race in South Africa. Photo by Mark Sampson.

On the bike the 40- and 41-kilometre-long stages encapsulate some of the region’s best riding. Saturday, the 2nd of October, sees the route loop around the back of the Eikenhof Dam, along infrequently ridden but spectacular singletracks, before climbing towards the start of the A-to-Z trails. Heading back down towards the Dam and Trail’s End the alphabet trails thrill before Willie’s Trail leads the riders back to the finish.

Stage 2 explores a bit further into the Elgin Valley as it traverses Oak Valley and Paul Cluver estates. Though best known internationally for their wines both farms are historic fruit producers too. It was apples which initially put Elgin on the map and the fruit industry’s enthusiasm for mountain biking has facilitated the explosion in trail networks across the country’s fruit producing regions. The day’s riding highlights, back in Elgin, include Witklippies, Rietvlei Magic and Fish Eagle Dam. Though the opening day also takes in some of FNB Wines2Whales trails it is day two in particular which should serve as the perfect training for the three-day stage race, which is scheduled for a month later.

The riding during the Elgin Bikes2Blossoms, powered by Trail’s End, can be as relaxed or as competitive as each entrant chooses to make it for him- or herself. Photo by Mark Sampson.

“We [Overberg MTB Events and Trail’s End] are looking forward to welcoming mountain bikers to Elgin” event director Anneke Jacobs said. “Elgin is a fantastic place for a stage race and Trail’s End is really the perfect venue for a medium sized event. All the facilities are right on site and there are trails virtually out the front gate. The region is also home to a number of other great establishments, like the Elgin Railway Market.”

Trail’s End owner, Pieter Silberbauer is equally excited to welcome riders and guests to Elgin. “We’ll be hosting the grand opening of the Trail’s End Bicycle Museum on the Friday evening, the 1st of October, before the riding gets underway the next day” he reminded. “Tickets for the opening are sold out but the exhibit, which was curated by Mike Bruton, will be open for viewing all weekend. Additionally, there will also be displays by Omnico, Cannondale and The Hanger Bike Co. Trials rider, Dylan Victor will also be putting on a display of his impressive skills on Friday evening, as well as on Saturday afternoon.”

Entries to the Elgin Bikes2Blossoms powered by Trail’s End online, can be booked on  www.entryninja.com, while further information is available on www.overbergmtbevents.co.za. Accommodation booking can be made via www.elgingrabouw.co.za or directly on www.trailsend.bike.


Elgin Bikes2Blossoms powered by Trail’s End

Friday, 1 October, 17:00 Bicycle Museum Grand Opening
Saturday, 2 October, 08:00 Day 1: 40km
Sunday, 3 October, 08:00 Day 2: 41km
Start/Finish Trail’s End Bike Hotel, Grabouw
Entry Fee R1 100 per person
Website www.overbergmtbevents.co.za
Online Entries www.entryninja.com
Accommodation Options www.trailsend.bike or www.elgingrabouw.co.za