Time has flown. On 1st October 2018 South Africa’s first Bike Hotel, Trail’s End turned two. Apart from re-enforcing the Elgin Grabouw Valley as one of South Africa’s premier mountain biking destinations, Trail’s End is also establishing Grabouw as a major outdoor centre – within an hour’s drive from Cape Town.
With the Cape Canopy Tour 15 minutes away and the newly established Elgin Railway Market just down the line by steam engine, there is a new buzz of excitement in the valley.
Trail’s End is situated right in the heart of some of South Africa’s most famous mountain bike trails: A2Z (Wine2Whales), Paul Cluver, and Oak Valley to name a few. It is also a favourite venue for top mountain bike companies such as Giant, Scott, Silverback, and Specialized.
Growing in popularity is the sport of trail running and with so many beautiful trails on its doorstep, Trail’s End has become a favourite trail running destination. Landie Greyling and Meg Mackenzie are regular visitors.
“Look out for future coaching clinics at Trail’s End on our website and social media”, says Chad Gordon, top trail runner and Trail’s End partner.
When asked what stands out as significant in these past two years, founding member Pieter Silberbauer says, “For me and partner Chad Gordon, what has been most rewarding has been the gradual unification of the Elgin Grabouw Valley through sport. This was one of our goals when we set out to establish Trail’s End”.
Most recently they have established the Grabouw parkrun. This takes place every Saturday morning, starting at Trail’s End.
People from all walks of life are able to participate for free and receive their times, as with all parkruns, on completion of their 5km run. “This has been a great community builder and has introduced many of the locals to the sport of running, to each other, and to the many parkrun tourists who travel the country to try out different parkruns. The Grabouw parkrun is highly rated!” says Chad.
Another recent collaboration has been the partnership between Trail’s End, Bike Empowerment Network (BEN), Pedal Power Association (PPA), Qhubeka and Grabouw Beautiful. Trail’s End is a strong supporter of Grabouw Beautiful, a non-profit company that is committed to transforming Grabouw from “the inside out”.
Pieter explains: “BEN, PPA and Qhubeka were looking for a pilot project in Grabouw to assist those unable to afford bicycles in obtaining them through various financial or ‘sweat equity’ models. At the same time Grabouw Beautiful was in the process of setting up a Skills and Job Creation Centre in the midst of the Klein Begin community.
“Trail’s End brought the two groups together and the first project began. That was a year ago. The fourth project is already underway and nearly 100 bicycles have been awarded to deserving youngsters from Klein Begin, Rooidakke and soon, to students from the Umyeso High School”.
Bicycle beneficiaries have started river cleaning and recycling projects in order to ‘earn’ their bikes.
“This is a wonderful way to benefit our community and to introduce cycling as a green means of transport.”
The project is gaining its own momentum and youngsters are getting involved in trail building, participating in mountain bike events and learning about bike maintenance. “Keen beneficiaries Wally, Thumi and Ethan regularly join us for social rides and have already participated in their first mtb events. It’s rewarding to see their progress and to witness their enthusiasm for the sport. They often take young cyclists out on the trails to impart their newly gained knowledge on the ‘newbies’. They have truly empowered themselves.”
Trail’s End is becoming more and more of a family destination as the Elgin Grabouw Valley offering increases. It has also become a popular team building and conference destination being close to Cape Town but far enough away from traffic noise and other distractions to allow for total focus. A true breakaway.
Mountain bike skills training is an important part of the Trail’s End offering. Weekends with Biking in the Bosch, Daisyway Coaching and Trail Angels are very popular – not to be missed by those wishing to improve on their Epic times or novices wishing to take on this amazing sport with confidence! “To this end, we are building a new flow trail off the existing pump track to enable on-site coaching and skills training” says Pieter.
Make sure to book your next adventure at Trail’s End. Whether it’s a weekend away with your family, a skills training course, or a team-building conference with your company, you are sure to have a memorable time with the Trail’s End team.
Follow Trail’s End on social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @trailsendza