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Hillside dams

Average Rating:    (3 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 1

LOCATION From Byo CBD go S on Parerinyatwa to Hillside Rd for 5km Turn L @ lights on Cecil Ave 500m & turn R @ Banff Rd 300m turn L FACILITIES Public toilets @ car park Restaurant “The Boma” 10am-5pm Thu–Sun BIKE HIRE Ross Elkington “Chicks on 14th” cnr Mugabe St/14th Ave) SPARES Oriental General Supplies 12th Ave btwn Silunduka & Fife Sts TERRAIN Undulating & granite outcrops called kopjes Sandy with many rocks Tall grass with few trees esp acacia thorns WARNINGS Wear long sleeves Thorns ripped my forearms Take spare tubes puncture repair kit & pump TRAILS Not purpose-built MTB track but network of interlinked walking paths So not wide or flowing & no berms custom jumps or switchbacks Challenging as they twist & turn thru bush erratically narrow & closely skirt thorny trees Many rock gardens - from beds of small rocks & rock-paved paths thru rock faces & drop offs to downhill bits with 0.5 to 2m boulders Also “rock pinches” very narrow (8-20cm) between rocks up to 0.5m high Some paths worn 20cm into ground Singletracks narrow (~30cm) with long (1m) grass concealing rocks LOOP No marked trails Leave carpark, go N toward boom gate turn R to BBQ area L onto indistinct track Skirt kopje & cross dam wall thru rocks to dirt road climbing great rock garden Take R fork & 20m turn R onto singletrack with rock drop offs & pinches Cross road & wind thru grass (hidden rocks) Cross road onto red dirt track Couple of rock gardens most rideable Track ends @ steps to Upper Dam wall Just before turn L Ramp over rock ledges to edge of Upper Dam Follow along stone wall Join double track 20m then turn R onto singletrack. Follow until it joins double track Turn R Pass picnic & fishing sites Appears to end at back gate of a house Turn R onto singletrack just before. Curve R & climb 30-40m rock garden up & 30-40m down All singletrack from here Follow thru rock pinches & small step climbs. Take L forks to more & bigger rock pinches for 1-2 km to fork Go R along river bank on well-worn path Leads to ford & rock garden climb Many paths but all turn N thru couple of tall & daunting rock pinches & up onto rideable rock face Carry bike up 1st climb to rideable (trust me!) downhill. Follow path 150m to 2nd climb Navigable downhill section then more climbing over rock faces & large buried boulders to short downhill rideable on R side Couple step climbs to fork Turn L Climb v difficult rock garden Skirt a kopje & turn R Follow root- & rock-ridden path to W end of Upper Dam wall Go 5m & turn L onto 1st rock path down Follow round sharp R curve & down steps to wide, straight path lined with trees and onto road back to car park Real excitement was exploring virgin MTB trails plus the diversity of intricate interwoven network of tracks not exhausted after 2 months So don’t stick to loop Explore! RULES OF ROAD Pedestrians made paths They have right of way Met very few but most surprised so go easy Stop & pull over or call out (Remember thanks!) Otherwise hit it hell for leather!
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Latitude
-20.19551285210007
Longitude
28.61586570739746
Trail Length
7
Trail Level
Intermediate
Trail Type
Singletrack
City/County
Bulawayo
State/Territory/Province
Bulawayo
Country
ZW
Web Address
Information Added By
   


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Reviews 1 - 1 (1 Reviews Total)

Review Date
January 10, 2010

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a week

Visitors rate this review
5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: granke ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
The Hillside Dams Conservancy Area is a park in the southern suburbs of the city around two dams (Upper and Lower) built in the late 19th century. To get there from the CBD, travel south on Parerinyatwa St. It will become Hillside Rd. Keep going until the traffic lights on the intersection with Cecil Ave (there is a small sign saying “Hillside Dams” at that point) and turn left. Travel about 500m and turn right into Banff Rd travel a further 300m and turn left at the Hillside Dams Conservancy sign. There is a boom gate some 150m down this road. If you’re in a car they is a small entrance fee (ZAR5.00 or US$0.80 at the time of writing). There is a car park a little further down the road next to the Lower Dam.
For me the real excitement was exploring virgin MTB trails. Few of these trails are ever ridden (only walked) – in fact a couple of the few times I encountered people on the trails they expressed surprise that anyone would/could ride them. It is clear they are not made for MTB: you can be zooming along a clear sandy track when suddenly are presented with a nasty rock pinch, a set of rustic stairs or it just ends at a vertical rock face next to what appears to be a fishing spot. But it was just that unpredictability which provided the excitement plus the diversity of the intricate interwoven network of tracks that I am not sure I exhausted after 2 months of riding there 3-4 times a week.

Recommended Route:
As per description in the front page. That’s my workout track, but if you take my advice… do not stick to it. Explore the network and ride some really interesting and untouched trails.



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Reviews 1 - 1 (1 Reviews Total)
 


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