If you’re looking for some outdoor fun this April and you’re an avid cycling enthusiast, make sure you don’t miss the Cradle Cycle Festival on 12 and 13 April, taking place at Maropeng, the official visitor centre to the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site.
And while you’re in the area, why not stay over and sample the luxury of the Maropeng Hotel, with its views of the Witwatersberg and Magaliesberg mountains – a guaranteed antidote to aching legs.
Run in partnership with Gauteng Tourism and the Leverage Corporation, the cycle festival takes place in conjunction with the Cradle Mountain Trophy, a two-day mountain-biking extravaganza that attracts more than 900 cyclists.
The Cradle Mountain Trophy offers an ideal final training event for cyclists planning to compete in the Sani2C or Joburg2C. It also incorporates the Rainbow Challenge, the last-leg qualifier for riders keen to compete in the World Championships in Pietermaritzburg in June 2014.
Leverage Corporation CEO Rob Jackson says that the Cradle Cycle Festival, now in its fourth year, has been tailored to cover “all things cycling”.
“We realised that a festival dedicated to cycling is really a logical extension to capture the growing cycling trend in the greater Muldersdrift area and the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, which has become one of the most popular on-road and trail cycling destinations in Gauteng,” he says.
“The area already attracts thousands of cyclists on weekends and is still growing as more trails are made available by private facilities in the area and local tourism authorities create new cycling trails. We [believe that] a festival that talks directly to these cyclists would hold much greater appeal than previous wine and food festivals.”
A number of hoteliers in the area who offer cycling trails and benefits will be exhibiting at the festival, as well as a host of big-name brands, including Trek, Bontrager, Craft clothing and the Bike Basement.
Cycling events are nothing new to Maropeng, with bikers’ breakfasts, the first Cradle Festival, the Honda Mountain Trophy and a 24-hour mountain-biking challenge having previously been hosted at the venue.
“This year we’ve also introduced a special 3km area to test the mountain and road bikes, which should be popular,” says Jackson.
“At the end of the day we want to show cyclists some different products and services and give them a unique experience they would not get from their local bike shop.”
There will also be a fun kiddies’ area to keep the youngsters entertained, and a number of food and beverage stands, including Mogallywood craft beer.
Use this opportunity to educate your children about their ancestors by treating them to an interactive and enjoyable tour of the Maropeng exhibition.
The Cradle of Humankind offers many other worthwhile attractions, including small game reserves, zip-lining, quad biking and bungee jumping for those with a wild spirit of adventure.
The Cradle Cycle Festival will run from 9am to 3pm on Saturday and Sunday. Entry is free. To find out more, visit www.cradlefestival.co.za.