What does PPA do for MTB?
The PPA has been instrumental in off-road cycling since the early eighties, when ROMP (Responsible Organised Mountain Pedallers) was incorporated into PPA as the Association’s mountain bike arm. Today the PPA still views off-road cycling as a major cycling discipline and not only ensures an equal split between road and off-road events on the PPA calendar, but also actively sponsors and encourages the building and maintenance of off road trails.
TRAIL CODE OF CONDUCT
>> Ride on open [approved] trails only
>> Yield to pedestrians and horseriders
>> Never, ever litter – leave only your prints behind
>> Ride responsibly and do not destroy trails
>> Keep left!
>> Follow the acknowledged trail direction, if specified
CURRENT MTB INITIATIVES
The PPA has had several meetings with SANParks and have put forward a proposal to establish a continuous MTB trail from Cape Point to Cape Town. This initiative (working title: Table Mountain MTB Project) is driven by PPA executive committee member Gary Kruger and aims to link established trails and gravel roads between Cape Point and Deer Park and, where necessary, build new trails. At the time of writing we are waiting for a follow-up meeting with relevant role players and, while it is a slow process to get the buy-in from all parties concerned, we have great hopes that this project will become a viable proposition and assist to turn Cape Town into the MTB capital of the country.
Following recent deforestation, PPA sponsored the rebuilding of tracks in the Lower Tokai Forest. This project is outsourced to ex-committee member Meurant Botha and his Amarider team.
Still with Amarider, PPA in the past three years sponsored Amarider/Dirtopia to build/repair several new trails, amongst others in Jonkershoek after recent fires destroyed existing single track.
We are also very pleased to see that the MTB trails initiative in the Durbanville Hills area is taking off after PPA provided the initial funding for this project to the Tygerberg Mountain Bike Club; the aim being to eventually have 120km of linked MTB trails in the area.
Further afield, PPA is sponsoring trail upgrades and MTB initiatives linked to the Freedom Challenge near Molteno – more information under Project Funding.
One last MTB trail that needs mentioning here is the new Schapensberg MTB trail in the Hottentots Holland area. This trail, portions of which were used in the 2010 Wines2Whales MTB Challenge, was built with PPA providing the bulk of funding for this project. Once completed, PPA members will be able to ride the trail for a discounted permit rate of R20, upon presentation of their membership cards.
MTB FUNRIDES & SEEDED NUMBERS
More than 25 MTB events are annually accepted onto the PPA calendar. These events all conform to certain minimum safety standards, and we have several meetings with the event organisers in order to ensure that their route marking and other logistical issues are up to scratch.
Following numerous requests from PPA members, since April 2009, the MTB starts have been seeded. At this stage, four combined groups are used, with eg A-G seeded riders in the first start batch.
This means that you need to remember to bring your PPA seeded number to funrides, to allow you to start in one of the seeded start groups. If you forget your seeded number at home, you’ll have to buy a temporary number at the event. You can either choose to ride in the seeded groups and purchase a temp seeded number according to what has been issued to you (R30), or purchase an unseeded start number (R5) and start in the temp groups at the back.
What if you are not a PPA member, but a member of a club or other CSA affiliate: Where will you start? Seeding is a specific benefit of PPA membership, so PPA members will be allowed to start in the seeded groups in front of non-members. If you want to start in the seeded groups, you’ll have to become a PPA member.
PPA GETS DIRTY IN LOWER TOKAI
Pedal Power Association staff members got their hands dirty on Friday 20 May 2011 to plant indigenous trees alongside the new MTB/walking path, sponsored by the PPA, that is being built around the perimeter of Lower Tokai.
To date, some 4,5 km of the path has been completed.
With the plantations in Lower Tokai currently being harvested and replaced with fynbos, Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) has embarked on a process of planting indigenous trees alongside the path to provide (eventual) shade to users of Lower Tokai. The path is already proving to be very popular with cyclists and walkers/dog walkers alike; the meandering flat route being ideal for kids and newcomers to cycling.
In all, some 600 indigenous trees were donated by Just Trees, including white stinkhout and karee. TMNP provided fertiliser, compost and water, while members of the public provided the manpower. Some 150 trees were planted on Friday.
“While membership fees cover many of the actual running costs of the Association, the profits we receive from the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust (in which we have a 50% share) assist us to do all the ‘extras’ and to put money back into various cycling projects,” PPA Chairman Steve Hayward explained.
In 2009, PPA allocated funding of over R50 000 for the building of MTB paths around Lower Tokai. These paths are now finally nearing completion.
So – take your kids and/or friends who are new to cycling, and enjoy cycling in Lower Tokai. No day permits or entry fees are payable.