Cyclist havens in paradise

The scenic George, Wilderness, Uniondale area is home to a maze of mountain bike trails weaving through the region, showcasing all its treasures. It is, in fact, a very popular bicycle destination for all kinds of cyclists. There are also plenty of bike-friendly lodgings to choose from, providing rest and comfort after a long day in the saddle.

Featured Image: George Lodge International

Great accommodation can be found at the George Lodge International, a well-known, family-owned business in the heart of town. It’s safe, clean and bike-repairing shops are close at hand. Proudly South African icon of outdoor adventures and promotor of the country’s national pastime, Jan Braai, has used this lodge in the past during his famous Tour de Braai excursions. No further endorsements needed!

Featured Image: Die Lentelus Guest House

Another great option is Lentelus Guest House on the outskirts of George. This beautiful smallholding at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains sports converted horse stables for accommodation. There is a huge common green area where cyclists and their families can light braai fires (with complimentary wood and Blitz) around which to share tales about their two-wheeled adventures. The parking area is equipped with security cameras, covering your iron horse. They also offer bed and breakfast accommodation and a laundry service on request.

Featured Image: Arendsrus Country Lodge

In more or less the same neighbourhood, lies the four-star Arendsrus Country Lodge. In addition to comfortable and stylish lodge accommodation and two self-catering cabins, they have a lovely camping terrain. The site is well secured with electrical fences and conveniently appointed with white and brown water taps – the latter can be used to wash bicycles and vehicles. On the premises there are various mountain bike trails to explore and bikes are for hire.

Each of the following lodgings are officially bike-friendly certified by Bicycle South Africa, a venture founded in 2012 that has since grown into South Africa’s leading resource for cycle tourism and adventure:

Featured Image: Acorn Guest House

Acorn Guest House is a popular George-based establishment that welcomes cyclists. Often the host of cycling tour groups, they offer five percent discount to visitors arriving by bicycle, public transport or foot as well as a free transfer service from local rail or couch stations. Cyclists can fuel up with their hearty South African breakfast.

Featured Image: Oakhurst Farm Cottages

Oakhurst Farm Cottages near Hoekwil, Wilderness, is a haven of rural bliss at the forest fringe. It is a perfect venue for training camps. Mountain bikers will enjoy the 16km forest single track presenting its own share of challenges. At night, their bikes can be safely stored on the verandas of the various comfortable cottages.

Featured Image: Over the Mountain Guest Farm

Tackling the steep but breath-taking Montagu Pass, cyclists will pedal their way to the sleepy 19th century hamlet of Herold situated on Route 62. There they can take a break at Over the Mountain Guest Farm. Not only will they get the chance to relax around a great pool and braai area while absorbing a dose of history, but they can catch some restful zzz’s in the revamped Old Poskantoor with its four en-suite bedrooms. These are big enough to accommodate the bicycles too and ensures safe overnight storage.

Featured Image: The Schulteheim Hotel

Continuing on into the Klein Karoo awaits Uniondale. The Schulteheim Hotel with its spacious rooms and wooden floors is a great place to alight for the night. They offer a whole range of biker-related amenities and services such as secure overnight bike storage, a laundry service, a bike-cleaning area, early breakfasts or hampers, deals for cyclists and is enroute for crossing the Karoo.

Featured Image: Die Skoolhuisie

Die Skoolhuisie can be found in De Vlugt, a tiny little dot at the bottom of the Prince Alfred’s Pass. The beautifully restored historical cottage was built in 1864 and is a great place to soak up the solace of nature. This venue provides a list of comforts and services to gladdens the cyclist heart. First-aid kit, bike storage, groceries and snacks, and even wireless internet; you name it and they’ve got it. Besides the self-catering cottages, sleeping four people, there are also camping grounds with their own ablution facilities as well as a restaurant serving light meals.