The Sappi mountain-biking (MTB) exhibition stand at the 2014 Standard Bank Africa Cycle Fair proved very popular among the 6,000 visitors attending the event. In my opinion, the Sappi stand was the best at the fair," commented TREAD magazine editor, Sean Badenhorst. "It was very impactful and very interactive." The fair was a great opportunity to showcase the Sappi brand as 'inspired by life'. It brought home the message that the company's sustainably managed plantations are not only a useful fibre source for pulp and papermaking, but also add value on a recreational level.
For Sappi, its close involvement with SA mountain-biking is a purposeful choice. As a committed landowner of some of the most pristine natural spaces in South Africa, it has a vested interest in promoting the multiple use of its forest land among the public.
To this end, Sappi has partnered with local MTB clubs like Karkloof and Howick in KwaZulu-Natal, and Mankele and Tranquilitas in Mpumalanga, to provide safe worldclass mountain-biking trails for competition and recreational purposes. All trails on Sappi land follow the International Mountain Biking Association's rules and regulations. Any club or trail venue that is a custodian of trails on Sappi land is also required to be an Amarider affiliate.
The Sappi-sponsored Mankele and Karkloof MTB trails are rated among the best in the country. Several popular cycling events are also hosted on the company's landholdings each year, including the Sappi Howick Classic, Sappi Karkloof MTB Festival, Sappi Mankele Challenge, Isuzu 3 Towers Stage Race, MTN Barberton Classic, SANI2C and Joburg2C and DCSR Misty Valley Challenge.
Most of Sappi's recreational trails are open throughout the year.
Download the Sappi mountain-biking trail app
For more detailed information on the Sappi-sponsored Karkloof and Mankele MTB trails, download this useful app at http://mtbtrailguide.cloudapp.net/
. Or from the Windows 8 App Store. It serves as a planning tool to enhance riders' experience of these trails, and also includes additional information on restaurants and accommodation. Ongoing development will see more trails added in future.