Marico Mountain and Gravel Biking Weekend
January 24, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - January 26, 2020 @ 2:00 pm
Come and enjoy the smorgasbord of riding options available at this wonderful Marico biking destination. Bring your mountain or gravel bike, or both. Tell us what you are looking for and we will design a route for you. Popular options include the Water Wonderland tour (see below), which includes a swim at the Marico Oog, or the Langkloof Loop, for the intrepid MTB community.
Your guide, Mike Draper, has been riding the valley for many years and is keen to share its delights with you.
These events happen regularly, so if you can’t make it for one, join us on the following weekends:
24 – 26 Jan 2020
30 Apr – 3 May 2020
We will stay at one of TRC’s comfortable farmhouses, with access to a farm dam pool to cool off after your ride.
If you’d like to come with a non-riding partner, they are welcome to relax at the farmhouse or attend the retreat being held at TRC. For more information about available retreats, click here.
Cost and Booking
R2000 per person includes your guide, accommodation in twin rooms (shared bathroom), vegetarian breakfast and lunch, with an evening meat braai. For a double/twin en suite, add R250 (if available).
Please use our online booking form, which can be completed easily on a phone or tablet.
Water Wonderland Tour
A ride to the enchanted Marico Eye, pristine source of the Groot Marico river. This ride is all on district gravel roads and is suitable for families and those new to off-road riding. Warm up on a long, steady pull up from the valley, out into big sky country, then either roll down directly to the cooling delight of the crystal-clear Eye, or continue along the ridge, past the old slate quarry, followed by an exhilarating drop. Stop and enjoy the view if the shaking gets too much.
Now you will have some work to do, to return to the Source. Keep in mind the refreshing dip to come, as you start to climb. Finally, back at the Eye, its time for that reward. Put on swimming goggles and paddle amongst the lilies while swallows and dragonflies skim the surface nearby. Dry off in the sun and then flop down under the willows for a sumptuous picnic. Time even for a nap perhaps, before its back on the bike. A small climb sets you up for a wonderful freewheel back to the start.
Various options on this ride all require a reasonable level of skill. A combination of jeep track and cattle paths comprise a grin-inducing ride. Start with a climb out of the valley for a gentle introduction to the rugged terrain. If you top out without walking, hats off to you! A short zoom on the wide protea-studded plateau ends with a sharp down. The loose surface calls for a cautious approach.
Once on the valley floor, it’s time to open up through the acacia forest. A few bumps on this gradual down will disappear with decent attack velocity. After 7km of beautiful flow, it’s time to pay the piper. Pain is its name! This climb is tough but rideable. Steep to start and gradually leveling out, a few last undulations return you to the plateau. The next down is steep and rocky. Full suspension pays dividends here, and on the next section along the valley, criss-crossing the river. A foot-down may have you backing up for another go.
Up on the other valley edge, the foot-down turns into hike-a-bike for 300m. Then it’s back into some flow on cattle paths and across rock slabs, followed by a loose rocky down. The bottom is concreted. Trust me, you’ll be relieved! Time for a well-earned lunch. What’s next? Leg assessment will determine. There are plenty of gems left. Maybe even a hammock?