Joanna Dobinson Passes the Biking in the Bosch Baton to Jèdi van der Merwe

biking the bosch
Specialized Bicycles have been long-term partners with Biking in the Bosch and have not only helped grow the business but have also provided Dobinson with spectacular bikes which made coaching even more of a pleasure.

Biking in the Bosch has been a fixture in the South African mountain biking community for nearly a decade. While founder Joanna Dobinson is moving on, and emigrating to the United Kingdom in January 2022, the baton has been passed to Jèdi van der Merwe. She will be hiring skills coaches to provide the essential technique training sessions which Biking in the Bosch was built on, while also expanding the number of MTB Camps the company presents.

Biking in the Bosch will continue to provide mountain biking skills coaching to all levels of riders, but will focus on children and beginners in the Stellenbosch and Somerset West regions. Photo by Chris Taylor.

“The business is absolutely flying, and seven years after conception, I would never have dreamt that I would have trained close on 9 500 riders” Dobinson reflected, with a smile. “I even took a few World and Epic Champions, as well as Tour de France legends for training sessions. I’ll never forget witnessing the power of Jasper Stuyven and Marianne Vos, in particular.”  

“Many people think I train mostly ladies, but in fact 70 percent of my clients are men, and many advanced men at that, who value skills-based training” Dobinson continued. “I’m really fortunate to be able to hand over the baton, so to speak, to one of my clients and friends, Jèdi van der Merwe. Jèdi sees the potential in what I have created, and will be adding her mark in the form of unique monthly mountain bike getaways for women. She plans to hire two skills coaches, with the focus on training young and beginner riders in Stellenbosch and Somerset West, come January 2022.”

Joanna Dobinson has been a mainstay of the South African mountain biking community since she founded Biking in the Bosch in 2014. Photo by Chris Taylor.

“I know Jèdi will add value and continue to build the mountain biking community with her hospitable approach” she added. “I feel extremely blessed to have been able to sell my business to in her as I know my clients, many of whom became good friends over the years, will be in great hands. I look forward to watching Biking in the Bosch grown from strength to strength under her watch.”

“As for myself, I have loved every moment of building up rider confidence over the years; but the opportunity to immigrate to the UK, on an ancestral visa, feels like the right choice at this moment in time” Dobinson explained. “My partner, Kasha Dickie, has taken up a lecturing post at Chichester University and we plan to remain in the UK in order to secure second passports. That said I am obviously sad to leave our beautiful country and my dear family.”

Jèdi van der Merwe has purchased Biking in the Bosch and will take ownership of the mountain biking skills coaching business on the 16th of December 2021. Photo by Joanna Dobinson.

“I’d also like to say a massive thank you to each and every one of my clients, who trusted me to provide them with skills training over the years,” Dobinson concluded. “I also need to make special mention Biking in the Bosch’s sponsors, particularly Specialized Bicycles, who supported me from the very beginning. Being able to ride such incredible bikes helped make every day of coaching an absolute pleasure.”

Specialized Bicycles have been long-term partners with Biking in the Bosch and have not only helped grow the business but have also provided Dobinson with spectacular bikes which made coaching even more of a pleasure.

“’My goal is to tighten the current mountain biking community, with ladies of all ages getting the opportunity to enjoy our local trails together” Van der Merwe said. “Teaching all levels of skills to both adults and children, so that they feel confident on their bikes and can join us on adventures will remain essential to the Biking in the Bosch business model.”

“We will be hosting everything from quick afternoon post-work rides, to weekend morning rides and weekends away. Not only are these great opportunities to enjoy our beautiful natural surroundings, but we will also have the benefits of ‘safety in numbers’” Van der Merwe pointed out. “My goal is to give you, as a mountain biking enthusiast, the opportunity to ride as many of the Western Cape’s fantastic trail locations as possible. I’m looking forward to hosting weekends away. We’ll be camping, glamping, and staying in stunning guest houses. And going out for fast-paced training rides, aimed at riders preparing for major stage races, or just exploring the scenery and even pushing our limits on singletrack tours. Whatever your riding level there will be a place and a trip for you!”

Biking in the Bosch’s first weekend trip, under Van der Merwe’s proprietorship, will take place on the 28th to the 30th of January, 2022. Hosted by Trail’s End Bike Hotel in Grabouw the weekend will feature outrides on Elgin’s spectacular trail networks and focus on preparing riders for stage races later in the year. For more information on Biking in the Bosch, the skills training sessions they provide and the trips they organise visit www.bikinginthebosch.co.za. To stay updated with the latest news follow @biking_in_the_bosch on Instagram and like the Biking in the Bosch Facebook page