Stellenbosch is a mecca for cycling in South Africa. However, for local business owner Morné van Rensburg, something is missing. Van Rensburg wants to build the biggest free communal bike park in the Boland right here in Techno Park! But he needs your help.
Stellenbosch – A Cycling Utopia
Over the last decade and a half, cycling in South Africa has been experiencing a boom. From cultivating outstanding competitive road and off-road racers to building a community of health- conscious weekend warriors and eco-minded commuters, cycling has become more than just a sport in South Africa – it has become a lifestyle.
Stellenbosch is a proverbial utopia for cycling. The second-oldest town in the country boasts around 8 official cycling routes of varying length and difficulty, and a network of over 500km of mountain bike trails that dissect historic wine farms and pristine nature reserves. With guided bike/wine tours and world-class cross-country and downhill trails, Stellenbosch is not only a playground for cycling afficionados at various stages of development but a central node in the global network of sports tourism.
While the picturesque town of Stellenbosch has made its way onto the global cycling map, its offering may not be as comprehensive as one may think. According to retired mountain bike professional and local bike business owner Morné van Rensburg, cycling in the Boland is missing a key ingredient – a bike park that acts as a cross-over between longer cross-country trails and short, aggressive downhill excursions. Not only does he want to build such a park, he wants it to be completely free for the public to use.
A Project of Passion
Van Rensburg is the owner of Techno Guide, a boutique bicycle service and repair workshop in Techno Park, Stellenbosch. With almost 14 years of experience in the cycling industry, a decade of which was spent on the professional mountain bike circuit, his love for the sport has seen him want to make a real contribution, especially in terms of youth development.
My dream is to create a fun, safe, outdoor experience for riders of all ages and skill levels by building the biggest bike park in the Boland area in Techno Park.
On the one side of the spectrum, Van Rensburg envisions a space where children as young as 5 years old can come to have some safe fun, with their parents in close proximity. On the other side of the spectrum, a developed and environmentally integrated track will allow for the introduction of more elaborate routes and even pave the way for cyclocross – a sport where riders navigate a short course (2.5-3.5km) consisting of pavements, wooden trails, grass and steep hills.
While all of this sounds amazing, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and a key ingredient of this pudding is funding.
Let’s Back a Buddy
As the saying goes, nothing in life is free – not even a community bike park in South Africa’s wealthiest town.
While the work that needs to go into this project is relative to its scale, funds are necessary to pay trail builders, install signage, plant trees and hire equipment. Van Rensburg has taken to crowd-funding the operation, encouraging the public to contribute as little as R10 to his cause.
Donations can be made via his backabuddy page or at his workshop in Techno Park. So if you would like to contribute to the development of cycling and public space in Stellenbosch, why not check out Van Rensburg’s page and give this Stellenbosch resident some support.