Written by Online Ed on November 18, 2021
Winelands Cycling Club, Stellenbosch Trail Fund (STF), MTO (Jonkershoek) and Winelands Trails are excited to launch the long-overdue Winelands Regional Permit that will allow its holders access to a multitude of world class trails in five iconic areas stretching from Grabouw, Somerset West, Stellenbosch, Jonkershoek and then over the mountains towards Paarl, Wellington and Franschhoek.
The Winelands Cycling Club (until recently known as the Wannabees Cycling Club, and chaired by Paul de Klerk) was founded in 2004. Over the years and as cycling has changed from being more focused on road riding to now being dominated by Mountain Biking, so the need to develop the mountain bike trails has also grown. Similarly trails have been developed in and around Stellenbosch (STF) and Jonkershoek (MTO) over the years. More recently, The Winelands Trail Network was formed in 2019 between the trail network managers of Wellington (Pieter Van Wyk), Banhoek Conservancy (Kim Lord ), Paarl (Darren Herbst) and Franschhoek (Eldorette Carinus). All of these trail networks have relied on membership / permit fees being paid in order to grow and maintain the trail networks. The result of this has meant that until now a mountain biker typically had to have numerous permits in order to access the different trail networks.
“Two years ago, like most trail networks, we were all developing and managing our own trails,” says Darren Herbst, Winelands Trail Network Partner. “Instead of purchasing a number of passes from various trail networks, it was clear that users would rather purchase one pass that allowed them access to all their favourite trails. It’s less hassle and costs less. We all got together and decided to do a trial run. The concept was exceptionally well received, becoming a very popular option for regular users. Having proved that various trail networks can indeed work together and that the system that we have in place is indeed effective, we decided to get more trail networks involved.”
“We started chatting to the team from the Winelands Cycling Club who were actually trying to achieve the same goal in their area,” continues Herbst. “Collectively, we’ve managed to put together a package that we believe is really special. The sheer number of trails is one thing, but the quality and variety of trails is what we believe makes the offering very special and something unique. Another really amazing part of offering an annual pass that covers so many trail networks is the cost. All parties have really sharpened their pencils to ensure that the cost of the Winelands Regional Permit is affordable.”
“For us its all about getting as many people out on the trails as possible, exploring and enjoying this spectacular part of South Africa,” adds Paul de Klerk. “Being able to offer members one membership to such a huge variety of networks at an affordable price is key. We believe that the Winelands Regioinal Permit ticks all those boxes and we are very excited about it.”
The vision of the Winelands Regional Membership and related trail access is to:
- Create a world class destination in Africa that can rightfully stand alongside other global mountain biking meccas (like Whistler, Utah, The Rockies, Alps etc) and will attract international adventure seekers.
- Continue to develop trails that locals can enjoy.
- Develop trail networks that are attractive and packed with variety and fun that cater for both a professional athlete as well as the weekend warrior wanting to do some training.
- Use the trail network to attract people to the area and in turn benefit local businesses from the coffee shops, bike shops, accommodation centres and beyond and in the process boost the local economy.
- Support the trails in and around Stellenbosch which are open free of charge to the general public.
- Use the trails as a tourist attraction for the area.
- Build the community of adventure seekers.
- Give back to the community by creating jobs and implementing skills development programs.
- Involve children and getting them outdoors exploring.
Each of the local trail networks will retain and sell their own local membership / permit offers for those that only want to ride a local network.
INFORMATION: Winelands Regional Permit
|Cost per year:||R1500.00 per adult (18-64 years) R1250.00 per person under the age of 18 or older than 65 years.|
|Trail Access granted:||*A to Z* Grabouw | Winelands Cycling Club Trails | Helderberg Trails | Stellenbosch Trail Fund Trails | MTO Jonkershoek | Banhoek Conservancy | Franschhoek Trails | Paarl Trails | Wellington: Wild Boar and Scouts|
|How to apply for the Pass:||www.winelandscyclingclub.co.za |
|Permit will be available from:||Wednesday 01 December 2021|