Cradle Gateway 2 Gateway MTB trail update

MTB Trail construction progress report

The entire Gateway 2 Gateway mountain bike trail (18 km) is nearing completion, with the tread having been roughed in, and then smoothed where appropriate.

First to be finished will be the 5 km section (the easy “Green – beginner” trail from the Kloofzicht Gateway to the entrance to the Rhino and Lion Reserve). A wooden link bridge has been added, and once the dedicated mountain bike bridge crossing the Bloubank River is completed, this section will be ready for action.

The remainder of the trail (13 km) from Rhino and Lion Reserve along the D 540 road to the Lanseria Gateway is also nearing completion. The trail corridor has been cleared of most vegetation, the tread has been roughed in and recent use by some “impatient” riders managed to define preferred rider lines along this section of trail. Trails need to mature over time, and it is expected that this trail section will require a season or two of weathering and riding before it will be relatively free of bumps.

This more technical trail section, the “Blue – intermediate” section, requires limited trail route modifications, safety considerations as well as additional signage before it will be ready for use. Limited maintenance activity will still be undertaken periodically along the length of the trail to address user concerns.

Men at Work

Riders are requested to obey signage indicating

”Construction work in progress”.

 

 

Signage and trail direction

Trail and directional signage has been provided along most sections of the trail, and the design and manufacturing of further information signage is underway. Trail information is planned for the Kloofzicht and Lanseria Gateways with possible further information signage along the trail at suitable venues.

The trail has been designed as a “single direction” trail primarily for safety, user enjoyment and management reasons.  The direction of flow is clockwise around the existing road system, known by cyclists as the “Cradle loop”. The trail can be accessed along its entire length and hence it is important for riders to be guided by trail signage. Observations during the last few weeks along the trail have shown that riders often ignore the trail signage and cycle the trail in the “wrong” direction. This behavior is unacceptable and riders are again reminded of the following:

  • The trail was designed to flow in a clockwise direction – riding in the opposite direction will result in a trail that does not flow well.
  • Trail signage has been provided to be visible to riders approaching from one side only. Signage will not be visible to users riding the trail in the wrong direction.
  • The safety and enjoyment of riders on this trail is a design and operational priority. Riding the trail in the wrong direction is highly irresponsible, unacceptable and selfish and a threat to the safety of fellow trail users, property owners and visitors to the area.

No Entry - Turn Around

If you need to return to your starting point along any section of the trail, just move off the trail, get onto the dedicated cycle lanes on the road and return to your start destination in a safe and responsible manner.

Please take note: When you see this sign you are riding the trail in the wrong direction. 

 

 

Trail test period

Due to the high visibility and accessibility of the trail located within the provincial road reserve, it is impractical to try and prevent some riders from “testing the trail” or sections of the trail once considered “ride-able”.

The new trail, existing gateways and cycle lanes are part of a government cycling and tourism project aimed at safe and responsible cycling. The new mountain bike trail, gateways and cycle lanes will be formally launched at event planned for the end of October 2014.

It is anticipated that trailhead signage (information boards), trail signage and the bridge over the Bloubank Spruit will be in place by the end of July 2014, and a “trail test phase” is then planned. Riders will be able to ride the trail and inform the Management Authority (MA) of trail-related issues that may require attention. Riders will be asked to complete and submit a “trail report card”, which will be available online.  The necessary follow up and trail improvement will be undertaken where possible between August and October 2014. The intention is to obtain rider and adjoining property owner/stakeholder input prior to the official launch of the trail.

 


 

Please don’t hesitate to CONTACT US with any queries or requests for further information:

Gail Jennings (gail@gailjennings.co.za) or Hein Pienaar (hein@gauteng.net or 0824546617).

 

Route 66 riders try out the work-in-progress Cradle MTB trails

Riders participating in the Bridgestone Route 66 MTB Experience over the weekend of the 14-16 February 2014 got to try out the still-under-construction MTB trails in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site.

They made use of a section of the new Cradle Gateway-to-Gateway trail on the last day (16 Feb 2014) of the three-day event, from Maropeng to Kloofzicht Lodge. The trail is still a work in progress, and the event was used to gain insights into how the trail would function when in use.

Photos courtesy The Leverage Corporation and Jetline Action Photo

Please note that the MTB trails are still under construction and not yet open to the public.

Trails to host first riders this weekend in Route 66 MTB event

This weekend the Bridgestone Route 66 MTB Experience gets underway in Gauteng.

Exciting news is that they will be using a section of the new Cradle Gateway to Gateway trail on the last day (16 Feb 2014) of the 3 day event, from Maropeng to Kloofzicht Lodge

This is the first time the 4km work-in-process section of the COH MTB trail will be used, and should provide the team with great feedback regarding events, and general mountain biking on the new trails.  It is important from a trail design and construction point of view to get some riders on the trail to see how the trail copes (trail tread material, alignment etc) with numbers of riders, and equally to see the ride lines chosen by riders as this indicates to what extent the trail design and route chosen is appropriate for the terrain and slope.

Riders will most likely be riding on that section of trail (from the circle at the bridge over the Bloubank river – towards Kloofzicht Lodge)  from approximately 10:00 on Sunday morning till about 13:00 – 14:00 in the afternoon.  Pop into the trail gazebo at the end of the event, and ask Hein Pienaar for more info.

Next week we will post the first pictures of mountain bikers on the trails – so be sure to take a look!

Find out more about the Bridgestone Route 66 MTB event here

Please note that the MTB trails are not yet open to the public.

cycling Cradle of Humankind

cycling Cradle of Humankind

RideYourCity:

Cycling in the Cradle of Humankind – via @McCharles

Originally posted on RickMcCharles.com:

Cradle of Humankind is the most popular cycling area in JoBurg. One of the few places with dedicated bike lanes.

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The Cradle of Humankind is a World Heritage Site first named by UNESCO in 1999, about 50 kilometres northwest of Johannesburg …

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… it contains a complex of limestone caves, including the Sterkfontein Caves, where the 2.3-million year-old fossil Australopithecus africanus (nicknamed “Mrs. Ples”) was found in 1947

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We had a drink at the Neck and Deck rooftop restaurant.

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Thanks William!

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View original

First section of Cradle of Humankind MTB trail nearing completion

After a short break over the festive season, the mountain bike trail construction team is back on site at the Cradle of Humankind.

The team has begun constructing the next section of the trail – from the Bridge over the Bloubank Spruit past the Rhino and Lion reserve further up the trail. The Working for Fire team is once again assisting with the trail corridor clearance along this next section of trail. The first 4 km of the trail along the D 374 road is nearing completion.

And more good news: an event organiser has asked the Cradle of Humankind Management Authority if they can use part of the first 4 km trail for a mountain biking event in February. This event will help the team form a better picture of what would be required if we are to consider permitting events on this trail in future. Every safety precaution will be used at the event, including marshals at the major road intersections to manage traffic and riders. We’ll keep you posted.

Thanks to everyone who respected our call to stay off the trails thus far. For safety reasons please continue to heed this call, although you are welcome to visit on foot to inspect the trail work and discuss progress with the trail crew.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any queries or requests for further information:

Gail Jennings (gail@gailjennings.co.za) or Hein Pienaar (hein@gauteng.net or 0824546617).

Trail building on hold for festive season

Our trail building activities in the road reserve in the Cradle World Heritage Site are on hold until early next year – while our team takes a festive season break. Although sections of the trail may appear to be ready for riding, the mountain bike trail is not yet ready for use. Trail structures still need to be put in place, such as trail signage and information, and other sections of the trail still require design and construction input.

Signage and hazard tape have been placed at various points along the unfinished trail sections requesting riders not to use the trail while under construction for their own safety as well as the safety of trail builders and officials involved with the project.

The trail building crew is looking forward to on-going trail work early next year, so please be patient. We need your cooperation and support until the trail and associated infrastructure is completed and the trail is officially opened for use. If you see riders using the unfinished trail, please alert them to our request and ask them to leave the trail.

Your understanding and co-operation is appreciated.

Have a wonderful festive season

Trail crew

Trails aren’t ready to ride just yet…

We have had several inquiries from riders keen to try out the new mountain biking trails in the Cradle. However, please note that at present the mountain biking trails are still under construction, and may not be used or ‘tested out’ by riders for the following reasons:

The trails are still under construction; workers are on site using machinery, vehicles and hand tools that are potentially dangerous to cyclists and trail riders. Riders could damage trail sections that have not been completed due to the rainy conditions, and this adds more work to the construction teams’ load.
We would rather you enjoyed the final, enjoyable trail, not an incomplete work-in-progress.

This project is training a team of trail builders from the local community and it is important to teach them best practice – riders should not be on trails under construction or repair. Adjoining property owners demanded very specific measures be put in place before riders take to the trails – we had agreements with these property owners regarding design and safety precautions. Please respect the wishes of these property owners.

The trails (first 17 km section) will probably be open toward the end of April 2014 at an official launch event. So before that, please stay clear of the trails while they are under construction, to allow the trail designer, trail builders and officials an opportunity to construct the trails in a proper way.

If you would like to discuss the trail, design features and issues while out riding on the roads and cycle lanes in the Cradle WHS, please engage with the project trail crew on site or contact Gail Jennings (gail@gailjennings.co.za) or Hein Pienaar (hein@gauteng.net or 0824546617).

Finally, if you or any other rider disregards signage on site and this request to stay off the trails while under construction, you will be riding at your own risk. Please remember that this trail is constructed within a provincial road reserve (public land) and liability issues cannot be taken lightly.