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.
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.
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:
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.
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 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.
The Cradle of Humankind is a World Heritage Site first named by UNESCO in 1999, about 50 kilometres northwest of Johannesburg …
… 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 …
We had a drink at the Neck and Deck rooftop restaurant.
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 (email@example.com) or Hein Pienaar (firstname.lastname@example.org or 0824546617).