Revised EMP for Mountain Biking and Road Cycling in TMNP

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MATTHYS
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Revised EMP for Mountain Biking and Road Cycling in TMNP

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Re: Revised EMP for Mountain Biking and Road Cycling in TMNP

Unread post by AstroMatt »

Thanks for providing this document, it is interesting to read. I do have a couple of questions/points that I would like to raise.

In section 4.4 Code of Conduct it states
"All cyclists must carry a valid permit to cycle in the TMNP in the form of a ‘My Activity Permit’ or other approved permit, or a day permit."

I enjoy road cycling and I enjoy visiting the Cape of Good Hope, I've been a Wild Card Holder for many years and because of this card I visit the park regularly. I've also wanted to cycle round cape point on my road bike on the roads. Last time I was there I enquired with the gate officials about cycling in the park and they said that I needed to have a "My Activity Permit" or to pay the cycling fee. I pointed out that I had a Wild card but was informed that I couldn't use the Wild card to enter and cycle....I'd have to pay the full fee (I can't remember the price but it was more than a standard entrance fee, something like R170).

On your website (https://www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain/tourism/access-cards-permits.php) it states the following
"Can you enter the Cape of Good Hope (COGH) section of Table Mountain National Park to cycle on a Wild Card or My Green Card?

No you need to present a level 3 activity permit or you need to purchase the daily cycling permit."

A level three activity permit is R500
"Level 3 – Horse-riding, mountain biking, line fishing and transport (R500) "

This is the same price as a single person SANParks cluster wild card, or R15 cheaper than a single person all parks cluster.

Now I find this completely baffling. When I visit the Cape of Good Hope I can enter using my Wild Card and use my car and drive all day around the roads, but should I wish to enter the park instead on my bike and cycle around the exact same roads, which has a lower impact on the roads and on the environment, I'm suddenly told that i must pay an additional fee! Equal to the fee I've already paid for my years access to all the parks!

I can understand (although I don't actually approve of it) that should I wish to utilise some of the cycle specific trails, that the park has to maintain then I would be required to pay an additional fee. But even this is a bit odd, I don't see additional fees being levied against walkers, these trails often require similar levels of high maintenance and or construction.

I would also like to point this out. Section 1.6 describes the approach to preparing this document. You describe a series of meetings with various stake holders (Annexure C) and then that these inputs were discussed with TMMTB (Table Mountain Mountain Bike Forum) and they were invited to all meetings, in fact they are listed as an author. But no where have you described any decision with any representative of a road cycling group, yet you state in section 1.4 that this is one of two user groups!
This document is titled "Environmental Management Programme for Recreational Road Cycling and Mountain Biking: Table Mountain National Park (TMNP)". It seems to me that the views of road cyclists should have been considered.

Finally, as I see it SANParks is basically saying to me that should I decide to visit their park using my environmentally unfriendly car then I am welcome, but should I wish to use a environmentally friendly method, which simultaneously improves my health, then I must pay an exorbitant fee.

I would like to hear from someone with in SANParks/TMNP as to why these decisions have been taken.
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Re: Revised EMP for Mountain Biking and Road Cycling in TMNP

Unread post by MATTHYS »

SANParks and the TMMTB Forum did invite comments from the public in April 2016, AstroMatt.

I will forward your request to the Cape Region PR Officer.
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Re: Revised EMP for Mountain Biking and Road Cycling in TMNP

Unread post by AstroMatt »

Thanks Matthys :thumbs_up:
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Re: Revised EMP for Mountain Biking and Road Cycling in TMNP

Unread post by mikewor »

Well, after the first weekend of bikers in Newlands Forest, something drastic needs to be done. We have hiked here for over 20 years and never been subjected to the outright anger and fear as we encountered yesterday (Sunday 2nd). Cyclists barrelling downhill two abreast yelling at everyone to get out the way, frightened dogs running off and their owners trying to catch them while cyclists just keep coming at high speed. Fortunately there were no family groups with toddlers at this time, but I've no idea what may have happened later.
I would have no problem with the cyclists if they rode with care taking into account all the users on the road, but this flagrant disregard for other peoples safety cannot be allowed.

And by the way, there is already erosion on the portage from the bikes - I guess it would need some serious attention before the winter rains

All in all, I think there is a disaster waiting to happen.
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Re: Revised EMP for Mountain Biking and Road Cycling in TMNP

Unread post by MATTHYS »

Welcome to the forums, Mikewor.

I think you should contact the TMMTB forum (contact details to be found on page #3 of this document and please also forward your observations and concerns to [email protected] .
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Re: Revised EMP for Mountain Biking and Road Cycling in TMNP

Unread post by AstroMatt »

MATTHYS wrote:SANParks and the TMMTB Forum did invite comments from the public in April 2016, AstroMatt.

I will forward your request to the Cape Region PR Officer.


Just wondering if there is any word from the PR officer yet?
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Re: Revised EMP for Mountain Biking and Road Cycling in TMNP

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Nothing yet, AstroMatt.
Will follow up :thumbs_up:
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Re: Revised EMP for Mountain Biking and Road Cycling in TMNP

Unread post by AstroMatt »

Anything yet?
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Re: Revised EMP for Mountain Biking and Road Cycling in TMNP

Unread post by MATTHYS »

Yes, AstroMatt.

The Public Relations Officer: Cape Region contacted the TMNP Tourism and Hospitality Manager and got this imformation for us :
Thanks to both of them :gflower:

Response on Cycling at COGH

In terms of the TMNP cycling Environmental Management Programme, if cyclists enter to cycle in the COGH Section of TMNP an activity permit level three is required. Cyclists that do not have an activity permit are required to pay a day fee for cycling. All the tar roads in the COGH Section have been designated cycling tracks as per the EMP and thus all cyclists are deemed to be carrying out an activity when they enter the COGH section of the park on a bicycle. The above EMP (including the activity permit and day cycling fees) is implemented park wide eg Silvermine, Tokai and Table Mountain. The same system (i.e. Activity Permit and day fee) applies for horse riding, dog walking, sport climbing and paragliding in TMNP.

A wild card allows entry to braai, picnic and site see but it does not allow entry to carry out specified activities. A wild card is includes entry for an individual regardless of the individuals mode of transport. The wild card rules specify that activities in Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) are excluded from the use of a wild card meaning wild cards cannot be used for specified activities – see wild card website http://www.sanparks.co.za/wild_new/tour ... -cards.php

The SANParks website indicates that entry with a wild Card to cycle at Cape Point is not permitted http://www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mou ... ermits.php
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Re: Revised EMP for Mountain Biking and Road Cycling in TMNP

Unread post by AstroMatt »

That reply doesn't address any of the points that I raised. It just states the rules as they have been decided.
I think it is outrageous that you can enter the COGH in a car and use a wildcard...but to cycle into the park using exactly the same roads as a car suddenly counts as an "activity" and you can't use your wild card.
This is not a very green and environmentally friendly policy and frankly it is a disappointing attitude from SANParks.
Kgalagadi Leopard Project
http://www.ast.uct.ac.za/~schurch/leopards/

Please use the online form or download the spreadsheet to report leopard sightings.
You can also download a free copy of the identification guides for KTP and Augrabies.
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