Review Date: May 2013 Updated on:
The Spruit is a small river that runs through a green belt that starts around the Sandton area, passes through Delta Park, Emmarentia, Greenside and ends up in the Melville area at the foot of the Melville Koppies. The green belt is public land and therefore yields no cost to ride on the trails at any time you desire.
The Spruit is surrounded by residential units on either side for most of the way and is a common place for these residents to jog or take their dogs for a walk.
The whole belt is well maintained by private companies and overgrowth or litter is not an issue at any point along the trails. The trail fairy, Neil Evans, is constantly adding new single track sections for all to enjoy.
The route we chose to ride started at the northern end of William Nicol Drive, through to Greenside in a southerly direction for a cup of coffee and then back. A distance of about 40 km in total.
There are many extra loops that one can ride to add in some distance such as going to Albert Farm or an extra loop in the Botanical Gardens at Emmarentia Dam.
The trails are mostly smooth and fast flowing with nice fast corners and tight sections through some trees. Over all there is not a lot of climbing so if you are not at your fittest or just starting out as a Mountain Biker this would be the perfect place for you. There are not many technical sections along the way but if one were to feel uncomfortable at all it is always an option to just walk a section and then get back on and ride. At some sections there are some ramp jumps built up by local riders for the more extreme type of riding if you are that way inclined, but these are easily bypassed if ramping is not your desire.
There is a lot of respect amongst the riders a on the trail and one can usually get past riders coming in the opposite direction without too much hassle.
There is a safe area to park at Fratelli on the corner of Conrad Drive and Hillcrest Avenue in the Blairgowrie area. This is a nice place to start as it is not too far to Greenside and back for a nice social ride. The general theme amongst riders on The Spruit is an out and back type ride where you come back on the same trail you went out on.
Safety along The Spruit has been an issue before with some riders having their bikes and belongings stolen. If one is alert and rides in a group or even just a pair and stays away from any dead ends or seemingly dangerous areas there should not be any issues.
Along the ride you are required to cross a few busy roads where there is no traffic light close by. This was the only real negative I felt with the trails but if one is aware and does not take any chances there should not be an issue. It seems that commuters along these roads are aware of cyclists crossing and often slow down to let you cross.
This is a great place to bring the family and friends. Not to long a ride and not technical at all. Ride it as fast or as slow as you like a great time can be had by all on The Spruit. So dont hate The Spruit and get on your bike for a quick burst and coffee. If your friends and family get excited to ride, it gives you more chance to ride. Do the math!!