26 Nov, 2015

Family trail time

For those who enjoy berms and sharp turns, Huddle will certainly make you happy.
Huddle Park is perfect for morning social rides and the crew from Complete Cyclist Bedfordview have already made this their destination every Wednesday morning.
Huddle Park has a strict “no helmet no ride” policy.
Screens have been erected between the golf fairways and the trail to protect the riders against flying golf balls.

Imagine this? A mountain bike trail situated within Johannesburg within minutes of suburbs like Edenvale, Bedfordview and Houghton. This has become a reality at Huddle Park.

The first mountain bike wheels hit the trail at Huddle Park late last year.

Families in particular enjoyed the relatively short, nine-kilometre, single track trail as it was reasonably easy to ride without too many “technical sections”.

And at R20 per rider, entrance to the trail was – and probably still is – one of the cheapest trail experiences in the country (apart from free trails like Braamfonteinspruit). The bonus of this is, of course, that the trail is on an established golf course with secure parking, a restaurant, showers and change rooms and even a shop.

The trail itself winds its way around the golf course’s various fairways and greens. In places where the trail builders have seen there might be possible danger to cyclists from flying golf balls, they’ve erected tall nets which will hopefully prevent nasty mountain biker vs golfer “confrontations”.

Now, after a year has gone by, the trail is improved and pretty well marked. And the die-hard Strava-ites have already added a few sections to the route.

A firm favourite section of the route is discovered after a little over four kilometres where riders hit a wooden bridge, followed by a sharp wooden drop off into a forest section. This single-track then winds its way through a forest with tight hairpin corners and almost-berm-like bends, ending in a fast wind up towards the final serious single track climb of the course.

Although this is clearly marked on Strava as the “Final Climb”, racing snakes will probably see it as a “false flat” and times for this 500 metre-section will probably tumble below the one minute barrier fairly soon.

The trail then turns to the right and heads downhill. And this 1.5-kilometre downhill is pretty fast, but it does turn here and there and there are a few bumps and ruts, so don’t attack it too hard otherwise it could bite you.

A short pedal after that, again protected by screens, takes you through the fairways and back to the clubhouse where a world of opportunities await you. You could sit down for a beer/lunch or more beers, or you could haul out the dusty golf clubs and go and hit a few balls on the driving range. Or, you could go and ride the trail again.

At present, Huddle Park’s mountain bike trail is definitely suited to novice riders, children (of all ages), families and even experienced riders who want to feel the pain of high intensity riding as training for maybe their next XC race.

Although Huddle Park is one of those places where you either know where it is or you don’t, you can get there easily by taking the Linksfield Road offramp from the N3, turning west and then driving until you see the signs on your right hand side.

Watch this space!

Modern Cyclist and Modern Athlete magazines have taken over the management of all the trails at Huddle Park. And there are big plans to increase the trail distance to over 20 kilometres, which will give experienced trail riders a little bit more of a challenge. All efforts will however be made to keep the trail’s unique atmosphere. Watch this space for developments!

Raymond Travers

Raymond Travers

Modern Cyclist Editor |