It was a slow start to the ride on Saturday once we finally departed on our bikes from Route 62 Cycles in the main road of Robertson. A few local farmers and business guys joined the ride after each of them had their fair share of pumpkins, berries and tax dealings for the week. Weekend rides are great to clear the mind of the weeks challenges. The slow start to the ride however was due to its own challenges with the usual delayed checks of lubing chains, pumping tyres and figuring out how cold it really is.
The perks of riding with some locals is obviously that the route and the navigation is sorted. Heading into a general direction riding options of distance, speed and technical terrain are mentioned, making you feel like you have walked into a bike shop with a blank cheque. A comfortable pace prevailed as the thought of my appropriate gear choice for the day is confirmed. Taking that jacket was the right thing. The challenge with gear in winter is too many layers can really make you uncomfortable, not to mention the possibility of increased dehydration chances and all the extra weight. The farmers are tough guys, use to the weather and so its best to follow your own head when it comes to gear choices.
With the recent rain it ended up being quite a muddy ride in some places, the bikes were really dirty by the time we arrived at the third farm gate. It's a pleasant break navigating the easiest route over a farm gate while other riders make minor adjustments to gear, bikes and drinks. It was a tough choice between heading to Saggy Stone for beers or heading to Roam Rooiberg to explore some singletrack. The singletrack of Roam Rooiberg proved to be a choice with even more choices of trails in various distances and technical ability as Jacques from Roam Rooiberg explained after asking "hou julle van klippe". The trails flow nicely while keeping the natural surrounding relatively untouched. There are quite a few bridges while the gradual climb to the top rewards you with a speedy descend back to the bike shop.
We needed Jacque's help twice, for minor yet essential items. It really makes a difference having the bike shop right there at the trail. We were surprised by what Roam Rooiberg has to offer, as it seems on the next visit we could just as well base ourselves at their modern accommodation facility.
The return ride back into Robertson was a pleasant gentle ride which felt much shorter than when we started earlier the morning. I had the biggest craving for something warm to drink and found a perfect cup of coffee and a fresh croissant at Strictly Coffee. They are almost across from the Route 62 Cycles the bike shop in the main road of Robertson.
Riding a SRAM Eagle drivetrain, I found the 34T front chainring perfectly suited for the short up and down terrain of the Robertson area- which hosted the first two days of the 2018 Absa Cape Epic. Apart from Roam Rooiberg, riders can also ride plenty of trails at Van Loveren which is home to the annual Java MTB race taking place on 13th October this year.
One of the best things I enjoy after a good mountain bike ride is a warm shower and the luxurious rooms of Galloway Guesthouse offer just that. This was a picture my wife took the morning we woke up at Galloway Guesthouse after a night of rain showers totalling close to 10% of the annual rainfall in Robertson. Robertson is a special place to us and if you take your bike along to Robertson you will certainly have plenty of riding options to indulge, not to mention the hospitality, wines and food.