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17 Jun, 2015

A Weekend at Lindani

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Anton from JMBC crossing a bridge.

The Johannesburg Mountain Bike Club (JMBC) recently organized a fun-filled trip to Lindani to ride the trails there. Modern Cyclist asked the club’s Sonja Uys to tell us about it.

It is a smooth, three-hour drive all the way to Lindani, as long as you follow the instructions of the Lindani personnel and don’t rely on your GPS.

We stayed at Motseng, which is a collection of cottages designed for groups of about 20 people. Most of us were mountain bikers and the trails are what we wanted to explore, but we were delighted to find the cottages well equipped with ample fridge space and even a dishwasher. The owners thought of everything, even paper towels and bugspray.

We were a mixed bunch, ranging from two pre-teen girls, who wanted to sleep in a tent, to a few “racing snakes”. In-between, we had non-cyclists, walkers, beginner cyclists and seasoned mountain bikers. We all had a piece of the Lindani cake.

On our arrival, Sam the owner, visited us to discuss the trails. A recce team from our MTB club had been there in November last year and covered 99% of the trails during a hectic riding weekend with Sam’s son, Allan.

But they had had heavy downpours since then and some of the most challenging trails, notably Three Amps, had become even more challenging. Bridges had to be rebuilt and detours constructed where the same route was no longer viable.

Night rides are not permitted at Lindani, but Sam agreed that we would be able to have a night ride as long as it was along Easy Rider. Three of us decided, on the day of our arrival, to check out the route.

The following day, a Saturday, saw everyone up bright and early and eager to get onto their bikes. The strong riders tackled Three Amps; the not-so crazy rode Topsy Turvy and the non-bikers went for a walk.

The hikers, about six of them, including the two girls, returned after a couple of hours, but two decided to continue. After all there was plenty of game to see, including giraffe, warthog and a variety of buck. The two got lost. In spite of Sam having given us plenty of maps of the various routes, they had none with them. They had a difference of opinion on which way was “home” and ended up doing a six-hour hike.

Warning: the mobile signal at Lindani is erratic regardless of the service provider. The long hike turned out to be ideal for one of the hikers who is preparing for a walking pilgrimage to Spain in July.

We also had some amateur photographers who wanted to interact and so they went on a photography tour.

Day two, Sunday, saw the serious bikers getting even more serious. The challenging technical, rocky tracks had them racing each other like beasts possessed. The tracks included Roller Coaster, As Good as it Gets & Down and Out. The names say it all.

Unfortunately Nico took a bad tumble. He lay on the ground for a while until he had caught his breath but then noticed his finger was bent the wrong way. Without hesitation this “tough boertjie” bent back the dislocated finger, rubbed his bruised ribs and got back on his steed to finish the ride. Fortunately there were no other serious mishaps.

The night ride that evening was uneventful.

One just cannot get enough of the tracks at Lindani and so before departure on Monday everyone had another quick ride. The end of April turned out to be an excellent time to visit Lindani where we had no rain while it was pouring down in Johannesburg. The tracks were superb and catered for all levels of riders and we certainly made use of them.

For more information on the Johannesburg Mountain Biking Club (JMBC), check out the website on www.jmbc.org.za. For more information about Lindani, check out the website www.lindani.co.za.