3Rivers Trails really offers something for all types of riders. With limited time (and fitness) I usually opt for the adrenaline fuelled Black Mamba trail – a short 6km singletrack loop which I reviewed here. When it came to the Yellow Monkey however, I always thought the trail was purely aimed at beginners. Man oh man was I wrong!
Tyrone Kindness from Custom Bikes contacted me one afternoon wanting to know if I’d like to join him and his wife on a scout ride at 3Rivers Trails. The aim was to find a nice location for social rides which the St Francis Bay Cycling Club is planning on doing. First thing that came to mind was the Yellow Monkey trail. It was an easy to moderate trail and under 14km in distance that started and finished at Crossways Kitchen. It was the perfect trail for a social ride.
So that Thursday morning we loaded up the bakkie and took the 45min drive from St Francis to Crossways. Not long and we had our trail permits from Crossways Kitchen and we were ready to explore the Yellow Monkey. The trail starts with some easy farm roads and jeep track. Nice way to ease into the trail. We were mindful throughout the ride that the aim was to see if social riders would enjoy the out ride. Easy start with beautiful farm landscapes – check.
This, in fact was what made the Yellow Monkey such a great trail and not just for beginners but even for the most skilled riders.
After about 15mins into the ride we’d reached the first singletrack section. Fun and flowing trails ensued underneath the green canopy of the trees. This was a nice introduction into singletrack riding with not any long descents or climbing. There were one or two rocky sections that needed to be negotiated but for those not confident, it was just a matter of getting off and walking. Non of us had any problems there. After the first singletrack loop through the forest you link back to the farm roads.
For those that always wanted to, you get an opportunity to see the Crossways Farm Village as you make your way to the next section of singletrack which forms part of the route. After a casual ride through the streets observing all the interesting homes you duck back into the forest. You’re instantly greeted with smooth trails which just get more and more fun the faster you go. This, in fact was what made the Yellow Monkey such a great trail and not just for beginners but even for the most skilled riders. Tight, twisty and fast flowing trails that just become more interesting at high speeds. The trail feels never ending as you traverse underneath the trees making you’re way to the edge of the valley where you get to glimpse the Van Stadens Bridge from afar.
1h and 15min later we were back at Crossways Kitchen swiftly ordering three of their Nutella Milkshakes where consensus was reached – the Yellow Monkey and Crossways makes for the perfect social ride experience.
For more info on 3Rivers Trails go to their website at www.3riverstrails.co.za
If you’d like to find out more about the St Francis Cycling Club and their social rides you can contact Custom Bikes at 042 294 0349 or check out the clubs Facebook Page.