A ride in our back garden

Karen, me and Cath. Photo: Vaughan
We always seem to stick to our immediate back door rides so today we decided to start our ride out a little further away from home (10km). Starting off at the Karkloof Polo Club things were a tad bit nippy even though it was 9am, just above 0 degrees to be precise as frost iced the way. But hey what could we complain about with winters like this – blue skies all round and none of us riding in winter kit. We chose to combine some of the Karkloof Classic bike race route so that we could re-ride some of the fabulous single track. This together with undulating jeep tracks and secondary roads passing through grasslands, plantation and indigenous forest ensured we got all the best scenery in. Enjoying crystal clear views of the Drakensberg and the rolling midlands, what more could we ask for ….
Here’s Cath cruising up the biggest climb on the 57km loop – she flattens Lebanon pass the 6km climb notching us up another 700m in altitude. My new bike may be light but that doesn’t replace the legs, just can’t quite keep up with Cath.

A snack stop at the lake, things got a bit chilly so we hit the single track.

Here’s cath, once again showing us how its done….followed by Morewood hand built bike mechanic Leon and Vaughn (mtbiker extraordinaire) in a blurr! (Note: our ‘licences’ to ride in the SAPPI plantations).

Now for the rocky stuff Karen shows Leon, Carlos and Vaughn show how it should be done!

Grassland cattle tracks abound. Speedy Gonzalez in action and Cath whizzing by…


  Some muddy sections too

 The fire season has started: black, orange, blue – a stunning contrast.


Karen breaks a chain……..Leon fixes it and checks to see whether he has broken a nail


Meanwhile Vaughan refuels and Carlos decides to remove his kit  (it’s toasty in the sun, although a chilly wind keeps us riding on.)


Passing through one of the few settlements en route,  I meet Lindela and friends who is riding ‘sans’ tyres!


Leaving the Karkloof valley, although there’s lots of exotic plantation is still looks really pretty, kind of  ‘Alaskanesque’

Heading home after almost 4 great hours on the bike!






6 thoughts on “A ride in our back garden
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  • Cath

    B, u wax lyrical - wonderful to re-live the ride from my armchair. I'm off to patent my multi-tool with bulit in nail file, camoflague colours for the boys...

  • Luke

    Hiya! Looks like a good combination of rides and terrains. 57 km in 4 hours if I understood right? I think that seems like a good pace, especially on blended terrains, or was it mostly gravel roads? Nonetheless - Nice! Hope to get out on my bike this weekend too. Cheers Bridget and fellow Riders! -Luke

  • AWESOME ...called and left a message on your mobile ...HAVE A GREAT RIDE ...keep safe

  • Sarah Drew

    Hey Bridg & Carlos Words forgo me! Those pictures are all having us turn slightly green...well actually a shade more brown (in wintery Howick). Looks ABSOLUTELY amazing! Those passes are breathtaking, but also damn hardcore! No guessing who the hill demons are going to be on our social rides. We missing you loads...cant wait to see the whole photo abum! Lots of Love Sarah & Matt

    • blondeonbike

      HI Sarah and Matti We have already decided that you HAVE to do at least 3 week trip here next year - you will sooo love it (europe can wait for you when you are old and cranky) - thanks for your enthusiasm! Love bridg