The annual Rooibos2Muisbos event takes place on Saturday 14 November. Join Carmién as we welcome mountain bikers to Piekenierskloof.
Written by Seamus Allardice
The second edition of the Rooibos2Muisbos mountain biking event is excited to have Carmién Rooibos Tea as title sponsor for the 2020 event and is set to showcase the hidden beauty of Piekenierskloof. On the western edge of the magnificent Cederberg Mountains a fertile region perfect for cultivating award-winning old-growth Grenache bush vines and the world’s best rooibos tea. The unique terroir of Piekenierskloof is not just perfect for grapes and tea however, it creates the ideal environment for mountain biking too.
Winding trails, scenic jeep-tracks and undulating gravel roads characterise the Carmién Rooibos2Muisbos route. Tracing the vineyards and tea fields the 107-kilometre ride is untimed, to ensure riders take the time to absorb the stunning scenery; rather than racing past it. For the less fit riders there is also a 38-kilometre route, which showcases the West Coast in all its glory.
Both events are set to take place on Saturday, 14 November 2020. The longer route starts at the Carmién Factory on Bergendal Farm, in Piekenierskloof. While the short route begins in the small town of Graafwater, at the local high school. The 107-kilometre distance includes a very manageable 1 100-metres of climbing on its way from Piekenierskloof to Lambert’s Bay. Four water points ensure riders will be well hydrated and nourished throughout.
The shorter distance features just 140-metres of climbing on its way from Graafwater to the coast. Making it perfect for less fit riders looking to experience the joys of cycling. Given the non-technical nature of the terrain, which the rides cover, gravel bikes and E-MTBs are welcome too. Carmién Rooibos Tea and the Friends of Carmién (Piekenierskloof Wines, De Tol Farm Deli and Namaqua Olives), together with the event’s sponsors, would like to ensure that as many cycling enthusiasts as possible visit the region for the rides.
“We’re excited to share the beautiful Piekenierskloof region with mountain-, gravel- and e-bikers” Mientjie Mouton, founder of Carmién Rooibos Tea, said. “The Carmién factory is situated on the farm Bergendal where I grew up, on top of the Piekenierskloof Mountains, off the Paleisheuwel Road. This area is not only known for growing fantastic rooibos tea but also as a producer of some of the world’s best Grenache wines – Piekenierskloof Grenache Noir as a world-class wine and on par with best Grenache from Priorat region in Spain and Rhone in France.”
“My father, Carel van Zyl, started farming here in 1958” Mouton continued. “The old bush vines – of Grenache Noir, Cinsault, Chenin Blanc and Pinotage – were planted by him in the early 1960s and are still steadily rooted in African soil today. They are an irrefutable part of our heritage and his pioneering spirit as well as the unique landscape, inspired the foundation of not only Piekenierskloof Wines but also Carmién Rooibos Tea.”
“As the farm is off the N7 highway it’s easy for adventure travellers to miss out on this wonderful region” she added. “To lure cyclists and other outdoors enthusiast into lingering in Piekenierskloof we have established a Carmién Rooibos and Piekenierskloof Wines experience at De Tol. Constructed in 1864 the historic building was, as the name suggests, the old toll house at the summit of the Piekenierskloof Pass, but has since been converted to a farm deli as well as the tasting room where visitors can discover, and enjoy, the exciting wines and tea produced by Piekenierskloof. Registration for the 107- and 38-kilometre rides will take place at De Tol Farm Deli on Friday, 13 November, as we kick-off a weekend of celebrating the area’s attractions.”
Visitors will not only be treated to a day on their bicycles in an idyllic rural setting. They will also get to experience some of Carmién and the Friends of Carmién’s fantastic products. “Carmién Rooibos Tea recently launched a range of Cold Brew Rooibos Teas” Marketing Coordinator Michalene Theron revealed. “We’ll be sharing those with the riders, in goodie bags at registration as well as on the route. The Cold Brew teas are specially developed to be used in cold water; thus, extracting more of the flavours, over a longer seep to produce a smooth, less bitter, cleaner tasting tea.”
“We believe our teas in general and the Carmién Cold Brew Rooibos Teas, in particular, are perfect for people, like cyclists, who enjoy an active lifestyle” Theron emphasised. “Rooibos tea is packed with natural anti-oxidants; helps to alleviate allergies; has anti-spasmodic qualities; it’s hydrating; good for the immune system and supports the body with the replacement of essential minerals, iron, potassium, zinc and sodium. It is also suitable as a fluid replacement for athletes”
“Namaqua Olives and the production of extra virgin olive oil fits in with the Carmién philosophy of promoting an active lifestyle” Theron added. “The health benefits align with the benefits of rooibos and the rides’ routes will pass olives groves and finish at the Muisbosskerm, near Namaqua Olives. Riders and their supporters will also be able to sample some of the Piekenierskloof Wines’ award-winning vintages. Recently the 2019 Piekenierskloof Cinsault was awarded a Gold Medal in the Michelangelo International Wine and Spirits Awards. While the 2019 Piekenierskloof Grenache Noir and the 2018 Heidedal Cinsault OV were both adjudged National Winners in the Novare SA Terroir Competition.” Piekenierskloof Wines have also recently released a red and white de-alcoholised wine under the Six Hats label. These wines have less than 0,5% alcohol and are low in kilojoules, making it an ideal wine for those with active lifestyles.
Together with the Friends of Carmién – Piekenierskloof Wines, De Tol Farm Deli and Namaqua Olives – Carmién Rooibos Tea is excited to welcome mountain bikers to Piekenierskloof. “We also welcome BEN, Citrusdal Toyota, Wesgro, Squirt Cycle Products, Cederberg Municipality and PowerBar to the team of sponsors for the second Rooibos2Muisbos” Theron concluded. Entries to the rides are available online, via Entry Ninja, and more information can be found on the event website: www.rooibos2muisbos.co.za