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From the CEO’s desk (end-Oct)

Chapman’s Peak
The new road surface on Chapman’s Peak has started a fierce debate and there is still some confusion as to whether this is the final product or not.

After speaking to members on Tuesday, I took my road bike and cycled up Chapman’s Peak and had a look for myself.

It looks like an incomplete job and I sincerely hope it is. The road is rough and the stones look like they will cause some serious damage if a cyclist takes a tumble. The rubberised bitumen was soft like old chewing gum and I could easily pick out the stones. As I cycled on the new surface, a stone wedged itself between my caliper and rear wheel, causing it to lock. It could have happened anywhere, but the new surface hides the loose stones and you don’t see them.

There seem to be better road surfaces, more suitable for a road with a high concentration of cyclists. The current surface might also not be able to withstand the stresses applied by heavy-duty vehicles – there are a lot of tour buses on Chapman’s Peak Drive.

I have seen and received a number of opinions about the type and suitability of the road surface. However, I have no official correspondence from the concession holder or the owner of the road, the Western Cape Government.

I have sent emails to Entilini, who forwarded the request for information to the contractor. I have not received a response yet.

I have been in touch with Alan Winde, who is investigating. I have also received correspondence from the MEC for Transport, Donald Grant. His team is meeting with the Entilini management and he has promised to report back once the facts have been established.

It does look like there is a sense of urgency from both MEC’s to find out exactly why this surface was chosen and whether what we are seeing now is the end product or not.

Bike4All
BEN and PPA delivered Bike4All’s to 20 children in the Klein Begin community in Grabouw last month. The children are part of a rubbish collection and recycling initiative, managed by a senior community member, who is teaching the kids about responsibility and teamwork.

Also in October, we delivered 20 Bike4All and 2 Qhubeka bikes to Ukhanyo Primary School in Masiphumelele to be used by their newly-formed cycling club. This was a joint initiative between Rotary Claremont, the Cycle Tour Trust, Qhubeka, Masicorp and Vince van der Bijl’s sports initiative.

On Friday, a further 15 road bikes will be handed to Songezo Jim’s Cycling Academy, also in Masiphumelele.

We are busy planning holiday cycling activities for the kids in Masiphumelele and Ocean View.

Our new Bike4All BMX bicycles arrive at the end of the month. Apart from slotting these into our distribution projects, the BMX is also well-priced Christmas gift for any energetic youngster. All our bikes are available for sale and come with a helmet pump and patch kit. You can also pay for a bicycle to be donated to someone who needs transport, or simply contribute towards the cost of a Bike4All utility or BMX bicycle. Read more.

Club Rides
Our PPA “Club Ride” takes place every Saturday morning, starting at the Life Cycle (TLC) bike shop in Tokai. Rides start at 6am. Please get in touch with the shop directly for more information – the contact details are provided in our weekly email to members.

Cyclosportive Series
The fifth and final Cyclosportif for 2017 takes place on 19 November. We have tentative plans for a 7-event series in 2018, running throughout the year, and are busy looking at route and venue options.

Medals
The Enjoy One Tonner was the first PPA-own event where we gave riders the option of declining a medal. The medal is a major cost to the event and factored into the normal entry fee, and many cyclists told us that they have stopped collecting medals.

By declining a medal, the entry fee was reduced by R20. If you want a medal, you simply pay the normal entry fee.

We will again be offering our riders the option of a reduced entry fee if they choose to not take a medal, and are working on a better system for collecting medals for those who had opted to take one, at the finish.

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Rider representatives and commissaires agreed to the league rules before the start of the Vida Spring league. The appointed commissaires (officials) are now responsible for the fair and consistent enforcement of these rules.

If there are any queries or disagreements about the application of the rules at an event, riders and managers should please direct these at the commissaires, and not at PPA. We all agreed to a clear separation between the league organiser (PPA) and the officials.

Warm Regards
Robert