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From the CEO’s desk (Dec 2017)

December is upon us and I am sure most of you are looking forward to a well-earned break and time to recharge the batteries in preparation for 2018. 

The office activities are slowly winding down and this year’s event calendar closes off with the family-friendly Twilight Ride on Wednesday evening. The 5km event is free for PPA members and we hope to see many of you at Anura. Remember to get dressed up and decorate your bicycle. Your efforts may be rewarded with a prize! 

Survey 
Please set aside a few minutes to complete the survey and help us to get a better understanding of our members and the cycling landscape in general. Feel free to send us your comments on any points or issues we don’t address with the survey questions. In 2018, you can also expect to see post-event surveys, which will help us to understand what you thought of the event, while it is still fresh in your mind. 

Click on the link below to access the survey: 
Survey 

Chapman’s Peak 
I have received many emails and phone calls from members, expressing frustration, concern and disappointment with the chip & spray surface on Chappies. I have been speaking to Entilini, MEC Donald Grant, MEC Alan Winde, as well as a number of engineers and road builders since the new surface appeared on the road. Alan Winde, as a cyclist, has become the go-to politician for any cycling-related issues. However, in this case, he has no direct influence and can only advise his colleague, MEC Donald Grant. He has done so and is keeping a keen eye on developments. Here is the latest update. Once the contractor has completed the resurfacing, MEC Donald Grant will conduct a site visit and his office has said that PPA will be invited to attend. MEC Grant has the final say in the matter and I am waiting for his final decision on whether the surface remains as is. But, to be quite honest, I wouldn’t really know what steps PPA could take to improve the road surface. Fixing roads falls outside of the PPA mandate and nobody is faulting the workmanship. We are questioning the appropriateness of a chip & spray surface on Chapman’s Peak. It is an iconic road, in the middle of a city and attracts tourists in vehicles and on bicycles alike. The mix of motor vehicles, runners and cyclists would have made a Premix Overlay surface (what there was before) a better choice. Entilini have selected a surface that fulfils contractual requirements with the Province (Chappies is a provincial road). Once the site visit has taken place, I will let you know what the MEC decides. Between PPA and the Cape Town Cycle Tour, we are working behind the scenes and representing the interests of cyclists as best we can. 

In the meantime, please take care on Chappies and wear glasses to avoid any loose debris causing serious injury! 

Membership 
Since our membership renewal started on 1 July, I have been pleasantly surprised by the steady increase in Gauteng-based members. We have gained over 1000 members in Gauteng, which probably has a lot do with an increased visibility of our Safe Cycling activations and campaigns. In 2018 I will be spending more time in Gauteng, to see how we can better support our members & cyclist’s interests and hopefully grow the membership at the same time. I look forward to receiving input & suggestions from Gauteng cyclists and learning more about the Gauteng cycling environment. 

Bike4all 
We have been busy in Masiphumelele, bringing bicycles and training courses to Ukhanyo Primary School. We handed over 20 Bike4All and some Buffalo bikes recently and spent the whole of last week taking over 100 learners through the Cool Kid on a Bike safety training course. 2 deserving learners were selected from the group and each given a Bike4All BMX and a helmet on Friday. The handover was made possible by the generosity of PPA members that have bought Bike4All bikes and asked us to donate them to deserving recipients. 
We will have Bike4All BMX bikes available for purchase at the Twilight Ride on Wednesday, if you’d like to buy one for a Christmas present. 2018 is going to be a busy year for utility cycling and I am pleased with how our partnership with BEN keeps getting stronger. The 3-way partnership with Qhubeka is becoming more defined and will begin to bear fruit in 2018. 

PPA League 
The Vida League prize giving was held at the Jack Black Brewery on Wednesday evening and by all accounts, the league was a success. The feedback received from riders was positive. The inclusive process in the run-up to the first event seemed to have worked well and cleared up a lot of misconceptions. I’d like to thank Vida e Caffe for their sponsorship of this year’s league and I hope they will stay with us as we build on this year’s success in 2018. 

Safe Cycling 
Our new stickers are being delivered in time for the festive season, so keep a lookout for them at bike shops and selected service stations. You will notice that we have made some small changes to the design. 2 new, limited edition jersey designs are available for pre-order in the PPA online shop. 

I wish everyone a restive Festive Season with friends and family. I would like to thank you for your continued support of PPA, our events and campaigns. I look forward to seeing you at our fun rides and activations in 2018.

Cycle & drive safely and lead by example.

Warm Regards 
Robert