We headed north out of Middelpos on the R354 taking a left onto an unmarked track a few kilometres out of town. We’d had a lovely time, hooking up with old friends Bruce, Sharon, Angus and Cindy, and getting in just one rather awesome ebike ride (read about it here) and staying at the Middelpos Hotel. We were now on our way to Loeriesfontein in search of flowers, fun and riding routes. Angus, as is his want, saw this track and thought it may meet up again with R354 and Calvinia – our route to Loeriesfontein – and sure enough it did, but that’s not the point of this. It would make a wonderful out and back ride from Middelpos!
The track (more like a narrow gravel road) is smooth and flowing as it climbs up to a ridge some 28km away from town, the views to the west and south just lovely. This is the Roggeveld, a great swathe of land that stretches from Sutherland, across the Roggeveldberge Escarment to Calvinia in the north. It’s tough country this. Searingly hot in the middle of summer and bitterly, numbingly cold on frost bitten winter mornings. It’s not really the sort of place that one expects to come across the delicate beauty of flowers but, in spring, in amongst the dry scrub, flowers in their thousands peep out, occasionally a Katstert (one of the Bulbinella species) popping a yellow tuft skywards. This is not the place for huge expanses of colour (that we’d come to later) but, take the trouble to stop and look, and you’ll find a plethora of flowers and colours and shapes.
As I said, we didn’t do this on our ebikes (I wish we had) but it would make a lovely ride. Outbound, the track climbs almost constantly – nothing hectic, just a gentle pull that will have you battery indicator dropping quite quickly. The ride back though would be gorgeous. We have to do this one next time!
Have a look at some more of our mountain biking and ebiking photographs.
Route Length: 56km out and back. Of course, there’s nothing to stop you riding further if it appeals.
Route conditions: The road conditions when we were there were excellent. Remember though, this place can get unbelievably hot, so if you are going to be doing this at any time other than mid winter, ride early, ladle on the sunscreen, and take and drink plenty of water.
Middelpos Hotel: S31° 54.347′ E20° 13.837′
The “turn back point”: S31° 45.412′ E20° 03.809′