For travellers looking for an unconventional way of travelling, why not try bikepacking? This fairly new concept is taking the travel world by storm and has allowed riders to venture out to scenic spots on their bike.
Bikepacking.com describes the phenomenon as “the synthesis of mountain biking and minimalist camping.”
Werner van der Sandt from Bikepacking.Africa, a company that markets bikepacking in South Africa, said the trend was relatively new in South Africa.
“Bikepacking has been quite popular in the US and Europe for almost a decade. It has since gained a lot of momentum in South Africa, with many travellers visiting the country to experience bikepacking,” said Sandt.
He said travellers would have to determine the type of trip they would want to do.
They can either stay in luxury hotels along the selected routes or camp in designated areas.
“Bikepacking encourage people to have adventures with their bike in an affordable way.
“Riders get to see a country and make incredible moments along the journey,” he said.
Getting started is easy. People will need to hire or buy a mountain or gravel bike. If you are into camping, you can carry along a tent, sleeping, mattress and other essentials.
These can be kept in a bikepacking bags which can be strapped onto your bike.
Sandt said food, money, clothing, tools, water and medicine will be determined by the type and length of your planned ride.
There are many routes within the country where one can start their journey.
Great overnight routes include The Iron Line, which starts in Heidelberg and ends in small town Val in Mpumalanga.
Other longer routes include the Big 3 Route in Mpumalanga and the Cross Cape Route in the Western Cape.
According to Bikepacking.com, there are some tips to consider before the journey.
Among the essentials that riders should have in their possession include a tool and repair kit, first aid kit, cellphone, a spare battery and a Spot Tracker.