Review Date: May 2011 Updated on:
Dirtopia sits just outside Stellenbosch and is one of the few real bikeparks in the Cape, and by bikeparks, we mean a trail centre that has decent facilities for a rider, and not just a network of trails. Dirtopia came into being with the Dirtopia festival, and eventually found a home on Delvera wine farm, where in 2004 the trail centre was established and began to grow to what is now a great facility for bikers of different types.
The site now offers three trails for out rides, as well as a fun 4X track with some North shore style stunts. There is also a pump track, which is great for a bit of larking about and good for your bike skills too. There is also a kiddies track and go-cart rides, in front of the restaurant, for the youngsters to play about on and various craft type shops, making it a good family stop. The trail centre itself is a cosy place and there is plenty of gear and spares if you have forgotten anything at home, which is great. To top it all off, there are nice toilets and showers, which make this an all round excellent facility and a very convenient place to ride.
On a very cold, slightly wet and windy morning we chose to ride their 15km Porcupine Trail, which is a Blue route, where blue refers to the level of riding difficulty, according to the International Mountain Biking Association standard, which we applaude. More parks and trails would do well to adhere to this standard thereby helping us riders know what to expect. There is also the option of doing an additional Black loop, ie, harder, loop off of the Porcupine trail, as well as an easy Farm Trail, rated Green.
Knowing the terrain you are going to ride in is really important because you can prepare your bike and gear accordingly. Sometime websites don’t always give you enough info, but if you read a bikeparks review that says its rocky, we say that for a reason. Riding the Dirtopia Black loop is so much more fun on a full suspension trail bike instead of tip toeing down on your carbon hardtail. Tyre choice is really important too and with most people having a choice of tread hanging in the garage, its worth loading on something a bit more beefy for the rocks and loose gravel of Dirtopia.