(Add note: I did this trail rating a few months ago but I did not have pictures, so I did not publish. I cycled Big Red Barn again 22 November 2015.)
We cycled Big Red Barn on 7 August 2015. Unfortunately each time I cycled there recently I did not cycle big distances so I cannot give stats such as altitude etc, also the layout is a bit confusing, I seem to cycle a different way each time I go there. The first time I cycled Big Red Barn was in a race, I have not found most of the trails that I cycled in the race again.
From a personal perspective Big Red Barn is my favourite. I love Bertha’s big guns which consists of mounds that go up and down like a roller coaster. It is a very interesting trail with a great deal of variation. I do find Big Red Barn’s layout confusing, I heard that the trail guy keeps adding and changing the trails that is perhaps why I never seem to ride the same trail when I go there. Big Red Barn has become so popular that when I went to cycle there on the weekend I thought a race was happening. It is great to get there during the week as it is not so busy. We go to cycle tracks midday as most people have left by then but this did not work at Big Red Barn as it was still packed.
The last time we cycled there we took my daughter and her boyfriend with us. We hired a bicycle from Big Red Barn and they were so friendly and accommodating.
Big Red Barn is a great place for children, not only do they have a bmx type track for children but they also have acrobranch.
The facilities at Big Red Barn are good but the service is terrible on weekends as the restaurant can barely keep up with the demand. We ate there mid week and the food was delicious. I ate there again 22 November and I had a simple toasted sandwich with side salad again it was delicious.
Big Red Barn is easily accessible as it is close to Midrand.
Big Red Barn is a teeny bit more than the average, R 50, the average being R 40. (edited up to R50 as at 22 November2015)
Security on Trail
Fun & Variation
The Trail Itself:
Security on trail:
I don’t know if there have been any incidences but on the weekend the trail is so packed that I think it is fine to cycle alone. I would not cycle alone during the week as the Big Red Barn is in a bit of dodgy location.
Traffic and obstructions:
There are places where you do go on the ground road which vehicles drive on, it is not very busy but be cautious.
Fun & Variation :
As I said earlier, I loooooveeee Big Red Barn, it is my favourite trail. I had a bad fall a few months ago, since then I don’t want to be scared witless but I do want to be entertained. There are a few sections that I find a bit hair raising but most of the blue trails that I have cycled are extremely fun. The variation is good, there are windy bits in the forest with long downhill sections, making it fun speeding along down those twists. Bertha’s Big Guns is my favourite section the feeling that I am riding a roller coaster is exhilarating.
There is a bit of everything. At the beginning of the Cat Walk section there is a bridge that scares me silly, I walk it, but then I have a fear of bridges, that I am trying to overcome since a big fall. There are steep climbs, steep dips, rollercoasters, berms, rock gardens, bridges and much, much more.
The main area is attractive but sadly this is the least attractive trail, it is not bad in summer but in winter it very dusty and bleak. The forested section is not bad but the part that makes the scenery unattractive is that there is soo much litter. Add note: much prettier after rains but the amount of litter in the stream is horrible.
Maintenance & Trail Marking:
The trail guy is constantly building new trails and maintenance seems to be reasonable. Trail markings are often missing, I chatted to a guy, I think his name was Johan, who told me that people steal the boards as mementos and metal boards get stolen for scrap metal. We did find that parts of the trail marked green (beginner), should have been marked blue (intermediate), (there is a steep loose drop into a circular almost mini bmx track that is definitely beyond the skills of beginners marked green) and a few boards were missing. I do like that there are boards that show you how to get back to the Big Red Barn, this helps a great deal in an emergency.
I don’t know about there being any hill climbing at Big Red Barn, I have cycled there 4 x times and I have not encountered any.