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 Post subject: Re: Riverbed cycle challenge: Union's End to Nossob
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:49 pm 
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:doh: Do they allow Cycles with V8 Engines :naughty:
:clap: Well goodluck to all :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Riverbed cycle challenge: Union's End to Nossob
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:58 pm 
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How do we stop this

There must be something we can do about it. :cry:

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 Post subject: Re: Riverbed cycle challenge: Union's End to Nossob
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:19 pm 
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This topic will be locked awaiting an official response that is going to be forthcoming.

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 Post subject: Re: Riverbed cycle challenge: Union's End to Nossob
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:11 am 
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Quote:
The SANParks Honorary Rangers wish to acknowledge the questions raised regarding the Kgalagadi Desert Classic Riverbed Cycle Challenge, and we appreciate the honest concerns some people expressed.

The Desert Classic is a new event and it is understandable that people can be concerned about the possible impact of the event. Similar and established activities in many of our parks, such as guided day walks, marathons, 4x4 trails, mountain bike trips and walking trails do not elicit the same reaction. People have come to realise that these types of activities have minimal impact on the environment and adds value to our parks in a sustainable and environmentally sensitive way.

Mindful of the fact that this is a new idea, the organisers of the event held an initial recognisance trail. The aim of this was to investigate the practicality of such an event and to ensure that environmental and safety concerns can be addressed before it is launched. This also offered the organisers and authorities the opportunity to evaluate and make an informed decision on the viability of such an event. The people involved in this initial recognisance are all people with a passion for the park and would not allow an event which brings damage to the park. One indication of how seriously this is taken by SANParks and the SANParks Honorary Rangers is the fact that it was decided to move the proposed date of the event, to ensure that there will be no impact on the breading of the Bateleur eagle population.

The first image one may have when one hear of such an event, is that of a large crowd of people destroying the environment and driving everything to dust. The opposite is however true. The organisers have limited the event to fifty cyclists, which will be organised in to groups of ten and ride as a unit accompanied by an armed ranger. This is not a race, but a cycle trail. Support vehicles and supporters will also not be allowed to run riot but will use the existing public and management roads. Camping takes place in existing facilities.

We wish to assure the public that the event will have a minimal and fleeting impact on the ecology of the park. Impact on visitors will also be limited since a very small portion of the park will be used on any given day and any traffic will be managed in a controlled way.

A list of measures put in place includes the following:
1. Vehicles will only be allowed to drive on established roads and no persons may exit vehicles except in the demarcated areas.
2. Groups of cyclists and motorists will be monitored by honorary rangers and medical assistance will be available. Communication will be by radio.
3. Water tanks, toilet and other facilities will be of the mobile type so as to be taken away afterwards.
4. Only existing game paths will be used unless none is available in a specific spot.
5. What is taken in will be taken out. A clean up team will ensure 100% compliance.
6. Should it rain more than 10mm immediately before the event, it will be postponed or cancelled.
7. Nesting raptors will be avoided and nests have been mapped on a GPS. An advance team will ensure that the route avoids any nests.
8. The advance recce has shown that cyclists had minimal influence on the animals.

The Desert Classic event will offer a unique opportunity for cyclists to experience the Kgalagadi while at the same time benefitting the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. The Kgalagadi is, while it is one of our foremost parks, also at the same time a park with many challenges which needs public support to thrive. Promotion of and fundraising for the park is an important part of the SANParks Honorary Rangers involvement.

Any profits derived from this project will be ploughed back into conservation projects within the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Projects we have supported in the past have included the provision of fibreglass water tanks, replacement of windmills with solar panels and pumps, providing Ranger field support equipment including special trailers, camera traps and snake catchers and the provision of a predator monitoring vehicle. These projects are determined by SANParks in the establishment of their strategic initiatives.

We believe that this event will greatly benefit the park and provide benefits long after the wind cleared the last bicycle track.

Statement compiled on behalf of the SANParks Honorary Rangers
Louis Lemmer
SANParks Honorary Rangers
N.E.C.

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 Post subject: Re: Riverbed cycle challenge: Union's End to Nossob
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:16 am 
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Dear Members,

This topic will now be open for discussion as per the previous post by the moderators.

We urge everyone to closely observe the rules of the forum as this topic will be strictly moderated.

Thank you in advance.


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 Post subject: Re: Riverbed cycle challenge: Union's End to Nossob
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:50 am 
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Thank you for the comprehensive reply. :clap:

I take it the rainfall qualifier is in place so as to keep any bike tracks from doing permanent damage? And yes, I understand that might be a stupid question. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Riverbed cycle challenge: Union's End to Nossob
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:36 am 
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Has anyone done a detailed study as to how long it would take the eco system (dry riverbeds) to recover from all the cycle tracks run through it, and if so who and where are the results of this scientific study?

What about all the underground creatures that this will effect?

There has to be better ways of raising funds, if that is what is needed, rather than allowing a sporting event such as this to invade a beautiful and remote conservation area. Destroying/damaging a revered place such as this in order to raise funds in counter-productive to the wildlife/eco system.

If this HAD to take place at all, then why not start it at Twee Rivieren and use the roads South of the park to continue the race?

I am so pleased I have not booked to be in the park at this time and pity those that have and have not been forewarned. It costs me a lot of money just to fly out to ZA from the UK and I would be gutted if the peaceful area of Nossob were to be invaded during my stay there.

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 Post subject: Re: Riverbed cycle challenge: Union's End to Nossob
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:37 am 
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A reminder: SANParks Terms of Use

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 Post subject: Re: Riverbed cycle challenge: Union's End to Nossob
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:53 am 
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Where will the group camp at the start of the event? There is no camping facility at Unions end.


Quote:
The first image one may have when one hear of such an event, is that of a large crowd of people destroying the environment and driving everything to dust. The opposite is however true. The organisers have limited the event to fifty cyclists, which will be organised in to groups of ten and ride as a unit accompanied by an armed ranger. This is not a race, but a cycle trail. Support vehicles and supporters will also not be allowed to run riot but will use the existing public and management roads. Camping takes place in existing facilities.


My other question is on the support to the group and the tracks they will follow. In the video one can clearly see the group stopping for a break off road and not on an existing road. Also very few game paths were followed on the video. Isn't this the opposite from what was said in the feedback. Multiply this number to get to 50 cyclist plus support team the impact will be more than seen on the video.

Quote:
4. Only existing game paths will be used unless none is available in a specific spot.


The last question: What will the risk of this event be on veld fires. This September a huge area of the park burned and even although natural it can not be afforded a second time in a year.

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 Post subject: Re: Riverbed cycle challenge: Union's End to Nossob
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:03 am 
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My 2cents:

1) It was surely very hush-hush this trail, so the question stands, who was the "competitors" goin to be, was it a closed invite? :hmz: It does remind me of a fishing comptition that was organised at Reenvoel dam 2 years ago, also by the HR's. :twisted: These 2 events had various similarities but 2 stands out: a)It was not common knowledge, and only a "Selected group" seemed to have known and, b)It was known as a compitition, but was spinmastered into 1)A fundraiser with scientific :whistle: undercurrents and 2)An ecotrail and not so much a cycle race.

Cent No:2) Well, you did do a recce with peeps in the park visiting, spending their hard earned bucks for the tranquility that would now be broken, without anyone the wiser. So obviously the impact on fellow holidaymakers was minimal(Except offcoure of the lack of any sightings in the area ridden by the bikes) :whistle:


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 Post subject: Re: Riverbed cycle challenge: Union's End to Nossob
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:09 am 
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Location: Cape Town
Thanks for for the official response at last. However, the main argument that this will be a 'cycle trail' and not a 'race' doesn't really seem relevant to me; does it really address the issues? I would have preferred to see scientific evidence from an independent study of how much/little effect the 'trail' will have on the environment, plants, animals, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Riverbed cycle challenge: Union's End to Nossob
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:36 am 
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Posts: 184
Location: Plettenbergbay
Is the "Forum Indaba" thread,which is visible only to forum members,the right place for this discussion?

There will be many non forumites visiting this website when planning their trips to KTP and they should be made aware of any planned sporting events which may be taking place during the time they wish to be in the park.
Particularly if these events are to take place in the game viewing areas of the parks as opposed to the confines of one of the camps.

Is there any information on the Sanparks website where dates of major sporting events to be held within any Sanparks is available?
By major sporting events I mean marathons,cycle races,etc and not social get togethers like the cricket at Skukuza which has minimal if any impact on the game viewing areas of the parks.

I have searched the site extensively including media releases and can find no such info.
Reservations could also not furnish me dates of such events.
Such info would be of benefit to me in planning my visits to Sanparks as I personally would like to avoid these events.


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 Post subject: Re: Riverbed cycle challenge: Union's End to Nossob
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:52 am 
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Hi enrico

The public are welcomed, and encourged, to join the forums - it is a simple and very quick procedure, and then they are able to read here, and are most welcome to debate the issue at hand.

There is a notice on the Kgalagadi home page on this website - see under Important Notes. link.

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 Post subject: Re: Riverbed cycle challenge: Union's End to Nossob
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:59 am 
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Hi Dinkybird.
Many thanks for your prompt reply and info.


Last edited by enrico on Sat Oct 13, 2012 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Riverbed cycle challenge: Union's End to Nossob
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 9:00 am 
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Quoted from the official response:

Quote:
The Desert Classic event will offer a unique opportunity for cyclists to experience the Kgalagadi while at the same time benefitting the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. The Kgalagadi is, while it is one of our foremost parks, also at the same time a park with many challenges which needs public support to thrive. Promotion of and fundraising for the park is an important part of the SANParks Honorary Rangers involvement.


Quoted from Scipio:
Quote:
It was surely very hush-hush this trail, so the question stands, who was the "competitors" goin to be, was it a closed invite?


Yip, I agree Scipio, hush hush. Seems like some of the Honorary Rangers work (I have not said 'all'!) is done this way. I just question why, if they say as quoted " Promotion of and fundraising for the park is an important part of the SANParks Honorary Rangers involvement." WHY it was not promoted here on this wonderful forum?? :hmz: Perhaps they knew they would get the responses they are receiving!!! :twisted:

Gosh, how I would prefer to see the sponsorship and funds used towards the much needed maintenance of the Nossob Hide. Seen someone fall through those rotted planks..... not a pleasant experience! I believe that is an Honorary Ranger Project? Just asking.... :hmz: (if maintenance has taken place and the hide is in good nick since March this year, I retract my comments and apologise for accusations that the hide desperate need of attention)
Letting it off my chest gently although my heart palpitations right now don't feel that gentle :cry:

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