Greg Vogt, Knysna & Partners CEO is excited about future plans for mountain biking in the Great Knysna. He foresees Knysna & Partner incorporating the astronomical changes happening at Barrington's Garden Route Trail Park, bringing all disciplines of mountain biking into close proximity of one another.
The Garden Route Trail Park nestled at the very foot of the Outeniqua Mountains and the Karatara River Gorge, midway between George and Knysna already offers several of these disciplines. Besides the latest addition of dirt jumps (step-ups) the park offers a pump track for juniors, as well as designed routes to provide riders of all levels with an over-supply of adrenalin, excitement, scenery and amazing views.
It is not unknown for mountain biking enthusiasts to hang up their bicycle in the garage while they raise their young family. Vogt has a vision of incorporating neighbouring land into the bigger picture that includes having mountain biking disciplines such as downhill and free riding, dirt jumpers and cycle routes within close proximity to each other.
“We have just seen the world’s best dirt jumpers in action at the Garden Route Trail Park. At the entrance of the park were young children having the same amount of fun on a cycle pump track as the professional riders were having just a little way away. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could have mountain bikers entertained throughout the day with different mountain biking disciplines,” smiled Greg. His enthusiasm is infectious as he speaks about a possible mountain biking festival during 2017. This festival will attract world-renown mountain bikers that will show off their skills on the massive 20m step-up.” Conditions for these riders need to be perfect, so should the weather not be optimal, the riders could share their knowledge with others. The children could play on the pump tracks while their parents tackle a more difficult cycle route. “There are so many options. At the end of the day musician can set up and take over from where the mountain bikers left off.”
Now that the dirt jumping team has left the park having achieved their goal of constructing the 20m step-up, Garden Route Trail Park owner, Rob Dormehl and Greg can start planning how to incorporate the jumps into the bigger picture.
"These trail builders have expressed their poetic license to create two nuances of jump: a series of jumps that both challenge them in a number of ways as well as providing them with a new approach. It is now up to Knysna & Partners to capitalise on this ‘masterpiece’ and continue creating a world class scenario for our destination,” said Greg.
What is emerging at the trail park is really exciting and pushing Knysna & Partners as destination managers to think beyond stage races, making them think out-of-the-box. This new project at the Garden Route Trail Park is just a beginning. In time the concept of how this fits into the bigger picture of Knysna as South Africa's trail town would become much clearer.
The park already has over 20km of hand built single-tracks with flowing turns, berms, rollers and river crossings. Incorporating neighbouring land will turn this already great experience into a world renowned experience.
“I can’t wait to see how the Knysna & Partners team will embrace this vision and make it a reality by 2017,” concluded Greg.