Cheese and Wine MTB Weekend – Oct 2020

Image gallery is at the end of the article

This past weekend, 23-25 October, we had the pleasure of hosting Scotty and Frans, Riding buddies from Ballito bru, on our Cheese and Wine Adventure in Stanford. The boys had a pretty serious drive to get all the way up the N2 from KZN. They broke their journey in half, stopping in Sedgefield first, to check out the amazing riding on offer at the Garden Route Trail Park.

The Boys arrived late afternoon on Thursday, and as soon as they had settled into their accommodation, they enjoyed a quick ride around town. It didn’t take them long to find their way to Table 13, where a mandatory couple of beers were enjoyed. The Capes late sunset caught us all by surprise, and before we knew it it was nearly time for dinner. So after a quick shower, we all met at Stanford Kitchen for a bite to eat, before calling it a night early, and getting some rest in for the day that lay ahead.

In the morning, a quick coffee and rusks got everyone’s day started, before heading off to enjoy some of the amazing trails of the Hemel & Aarde Valley. After a lekker morning of riding, the guests headed off to go meet up with Family for lunch in Kleinmond, while we headed back to “Die Ruskamer” at Inn the End, to make sure all the rest of the weekend’s preparations were in place. We all got back together for dinner at Stanford Harvest, overlooking the Klien River Valley – which we would explore by bike in the morning.

Saturday morning came along, and coffee and rusks again fuel our bodies, as we kitted up, and headed out through the vineyard, and into the streets of Stanford. We did a quick lap of the town, enjoying a little bit of single track, and even worked in a lap of the kiddies BMX track, before heading out past Stanford Hills, to up and over the infamous Strava segment known as Kotsbult, and then enjoyed the descent down towards Bluegum Estate, where Roeter and his team prepared a stunning breakfast spread for us.

After Breakfast, Roeter joined us, and lead us around the single track they have recently put in on the property. The first lap went well, but unfortunately, on the second loop, Frans took an interesting line through a bit of a tricky uphill rock garden and ended up falling onto some freshly cut stumps. Initially, Frans soldiered on, but it was evident he was feeling a little uncomfortable, so after a couple more KM, and realising the footbridge over the Klien River was washed away, and we needed to double back a bit anyway, a consensus was reached, that we would cut the ride short. We took the tar road back towards Stanford, and had to fight a bit of a headwind most of the way. Scotty did a sterling job leading us in most of the way, and helped set me up for a fun little sprint finish (if you can call a medium effort from a podgy guide a sprint) into Birkenhead Brewery, where we enjoyed a beer tasting, and the boys could stock up on some beers to take home to KZN.

Cutting the Ride short in no way meant we were going to skip out on the cheese and wine though, and as soon as we had cleaned up, and doctored Frans’s wounds a bit, we hopped into the Land Rover, and took a drive back up the Valley, enjoying the sights as we made our way up to Stone House Cheese. We all agreed that it was not so bad doing this by car instead of by bike (But don’t tell anyone we said so). After Stone House, we dropped a few km down the valley to Boschrivier Wines, sampled their collection, and then carried on a little further down the valley and did the same at Stone House. Unfortunately, being a weekend, Lockdown regulations do not allow off-sales of the wines, but luckily, both wineries are happy to courier any wine you buy after the tastings, to your home, anywhere in the country.

We finished up the wine tasting just after three….pretty much the same time we should have if we had done this by bike, and made our way back into the village. The team from Inn the End prepared us a lovely basket of snacks, and we took that, and a cooler full of beers, as we then headed off for an afternoon sundowner cruise on the Klien River Lagoon on the Lady Stanford. The Skipper, Peter is not only an expert birding guide, but also extremely knowledgable about the region, and kept us entertained with stories in between describing the abundant birdlife in of the region.

We finished the evening off with a Pizza night at Inn the End. Paul kept the gourmet pizzas coming, till none of us could even think of eating another bite….. but when the final two pizzas of the night, a Gorgonzola and green fig, and a Nutella and Marshmallow creation came out of the oven, we all found a little extra space for dessert.

By this point, we were also decidedly a little tired, and all settled in for a good nights sleep. For those that had the energy left, there was still some riding at Paul Cluver to be done, before finally calling what was truly an awesome weekend, complete…

We look forward to hosting you on the next one… Click here to book your spot now.