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Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve – Yellow Wood Park

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This cycle does not leave fond memories, which is rather unfair, as it was extremely humid and I was not in the best of moods.  The park is stunningly beautiful and my negative view of it is rather unfair.  I would like to try it again mid winter.

We cycled Kenneth Stainbank Reserve (Yellow Wood Park)  on 12 March 2016.  It was extremely hot and humid.  I have read online that certain parts of the park are not safe and that cyclists have been attacked.  We were rather late and should have started earlier taking the heat into consideration but I was surprised when signing the register that no other mountain bikers were signed in for the day at all.  Considering that this is the only trail in Durban itself the next closest being Goba, I thought there would have at least been a few cyclists.  Durban unlike Johannesburg, does not allow mountain bikers into most of their public parks.  Most Durbanites seem to cycle along the promenade or go to Goba or further. Once we started cycling we realised why there were no mountain bikers.  The humidity up the steep rough hills was insane.   We passed zebras and they did not even move away.

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The venue:

 

Child friendliness:

The park is very child friendly there are guided tours but the cycling trails are a bit rough and not that child friendly the easier roads also have vehicles on them so not a good idea for children unless being closely supervised.

 

Facilities:

The bathrooms are delightfully clean for a government run institution.  Another thing that impressed me is that there is a wheel chair trail.

 

Accessibility:

This park is easily accessible, the road leading to the parking is decent.

 

Cost:

I think we paid either R40 or R30 each pretty much the going rate.

 

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The Trail Itself:

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Security on trail:

I read online that there have been cases of cyclists being attacked at a certain part of the trail.  They do advise people not to cycle alone.

 

Traffic and obstructions:

Be alert you do get onto roads that vehicles access.  There are also hikers on some of the same trails as the cycling trails.

 

Fun &  Variation :

The single track that we cycled on was quite exciting and through a beautiful thick forest but the heat and humidity was so extreme that it felt as if we were doing a 50 km route.  So we were not having a lot of fun which is unfair because in the winter I would probably enjoy this trail a lot more.

 

Technicality:

The climbs are quite tough with a lot thick roots. To be able to navigate some of the single track uphills without stopping you need bunny hopping skills, but if you are unskilled like I am it is easy enough to get off and push.  The descents are also a bit tricky not hectically technical but still a challenge.  The single track is more demanding on strength than skills though.

 

Scenery:

The park is very beautiful, most of it has dense vegetation, you expect to see Tarzan swinging by on a vine any minute.

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Maintenance & Trail Marking:

The map and trail markings are very confusing we kept going around in circles and missed half of the park.  Maintenance seems to be good but they definitely could improve on trail markings.

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Hill Climbing:

The hills are absolutely killer, this is a very good place to train.

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