DECEMBER 2016

Hi

From the Chairman's Desk

Hi Guys and Girls

Wow and that’s a wrap! It’s the end of 2016, with just a couple of days now until Christmas.

Where did the year go? … And, what a big year for Fat Tracks! We ended our biggest ever year with our membership count just over 470. That is a huge achievement and one we just couldn’t have done without our 2016 title sponsor, Continental Tyres! What’s more, they are in for 2017 too… and that means more great things are possible, with some of them already in the pipeline.

We have to, at this point also give a huge round of applause to our trails team, headed up by Andrew Rist, for sterling work in the Valley, making it the jewel in our crown! The trails are riding incredibly well and the additions and improvements have been renewing interest from the likes of Pros, amateurs and Families.

There are just so many highlights from this past year, that it is nearly impossible to list them all. But if I had to name just 3, it would be the opening of the PEGC trail along with the very successful “Take a break Tuesday series", the partnership with Norm Hudlin Trails and the revival of the trail head there and then the phenomenal crowd funding of the Upper Baakens Kragga Kamma trail.

These have been instrumental in the clubs growth and the addition of new trails is something that is very important to us in 2017 and is currently at the top of our committees task list.

Getting back to recent issues of which there are two I would like to quickly discuss with you:

  1. Fees

    We are aware that the fees for 2017 are quite a significant increase from previous years. An enormous amount of thought and budgeting went into this calculation to try and keep the price down, but in real terms our fees are by far the lowest in what is a very expensive sport.

    If you do the very simple math in your head quickly with me, R250 * 470 members = R117,500. Divide that by 12 months = R9,792 to operate the club. I know it sounds like a vast sum of money, but it really isn’t, it is a drop in the ocean that is maintenance, trail fees, bike boards, membership cards, website maintenance, insurance etc.

     

    Running a club and delivering the quality trails, infrastructure and events that we do, R9000 a month is a relatively small amount of money and makes the club incredibly dependant on our Sponsors and Partners to make the magic happen. This is still very much the case at R390 per main member.

    Think about riding PEGC and Norm Hudlin once a month each and paying the honesty fee of R20! That’s R40 and for the year R480 which is significantly more than R390 membership fee and then you ride free – and we are talking here about two rides a MONTH!! …

    Join Fat Tracks, it makes sense :)

    Again our thanks to our Main Sponsor, Continental Tyres and all our partners. Please support them it really makes a huge difference!

  2. Search and Rescue

    Whilst robustly deliberating the fees trying to convince ourselves that this club is in fact a great club and one that should be worthy of fees (other clubs ask in the region of R550 (Masters and Ladies) or R650 (Tygerberg MTB in Cape Town)… something incredible happened that made me realise, Fat Tracks really is the best MTB club!

    We got an innocent query through our whatsapp comms channel asking if anyone had seen their son, who had gone out earlier in the morning and hadn’t yet made it home.

    Our entire club mobilised and started a huge search through the Baakens; over 50 members and friends got involved and also other emergency services with even a helicopter on standby.

    Without any specific information available on which routes were taken, the search was difficult to coordinate. The end result is that the search wasn’t successful as a call came in later in the evening that the person had found his way home safely.

    While the specifics of this incident aren’t important, what is important is that this is an awesome club, made up of awesome people joined together through their passion for our great sport and the caring for another human being.

    Looking back at this whole case that night, I realised two things:

    1. We really need a coordinated plan to handle these kinds of scenarios… Gary Schewitz from Atlas security (and a Fattracks Committee member) was tasked to draw up an emergency plan and viola a SAR (Search-and-Rescue) plan was born… the club now has a process to deal with managing an incident like this in the valley. This plan co-ordinates with Search and Rescue professionals to handle the search in a more deliberate and structured way; and

    2. The fee structure was just right. It isn't completely unsustainable and it isn't too expensive and gives us all something much more important… A club that not only creates trails but provides infrastructure and support for its members (and friends).

    We will be publishing the club’s SAR process on our website shortly.

In closing, I would like to thank all the “fatties" that have made 2016 an incredible year. Thank you for all the laughs, support and Wednesday rides! Without your support it would be impossible to continue doing what we do, to grow this great sport in and around our beautiful city.

Wishing you all a safe and festive season!

See you in the Bush!!

Johan

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Trail Report

Greetings trail hooligans, sedate pedalers, newbies and ...... and Father Christmas,

Does anyone smell fire?

We certainly seem to have had our fair share of it, and until recently not much rain either. The result was that our trails started to resemble the surface of the moon, the only difference being that it was still speckled with happy mountain bikers by the dozen.

Fire is a natural phenomenon and something that can only be held off for so long. The uncomfortable truth is that despite the descimation, the fauna and flora in our valley are likely to benefit in the long term from these occurences. What we have learnt from this experience is that our trail network acted very successfully as a firebreak and meant that the burning was limited to pockets. Invariably, the areas that didn't burn will do so at some stage in the future but our network allows for the untouched pockets to offer refuge to fauna during the burns and as such there is not a complete wipeout. We will be making use of the opportunity afforded by the fire to collect the hundreds of glass bottles that are now exposed. These of course will then be recycled through our Interwaste sponsored bins, which are located at the containers. Could those riding Mayhem please deposit cut cable ties into the recycling bin.

Next year's trail development

will see two new sections being opened, one graded as a blue which will afford slightly more technical skills development, the other graded a red which we hope can be used in racing going forward. We'll also be adding a newbies loop near the containers that will allow the honing of basic trail skills with regards to small drops, jumps, riding across diagonal rooted sections and the likes. The intention is to also fully demarcate and map the trails from Target Kloof to 3rd Avenue Dip and across toward the containers.

I'd like to thank all Fattracks members for being part of our club, without your subs and the participation of Continental Tyres we would not have managed to develop the trails to the extent we have over the past year. I ask you to encourage friends, family and strangers you meet on the trails to sign up, your subs along with sponsor funding are helping us build a legacy. We can't do it without your support. I'd also like to thank Paul, Jerran, Shaun, Llewelyn, Steve, Chris, Bruce and Andrew for your involvement in the trails. Your blood and sweat is appreciated.

Stay safe and have a spectacular Festive Season.

See you on the trails!

Cheers

Andrew & The Trail Crew

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Quick Links
Caution

No Helmet No Ride!

No Bike Board No Free Ride!

Ride within your limits!

Check your equipment regularly!

Tell someone where you are going & what time approx. you will be back!

Next years Fee Structure

 

FATTRACKS 2017 FEES

  Benefit 2017 Fee
STANDARD Main member R390
Spouse R160
Dependent (under 18) R120
FAMILY Family Membership (Includes Main member, spouse and 3 dependents under 18 years of age) R650
Additional Dependent (under 18) R120
PENSIONER Main Member (over 60) R260
Spouse (over 60) R120
  • We have done away with the premium membership. Everything is now standard and included in the Main Member subscription to Fattracks. 
  • Spouse and Dependents are add-ons to the Main Member.
  • We have introduced two great new options: The Family Membership for large MTB familys as well as a Pensioner option for those over 60s that are still out there challenging themselves and putting most of us to shame :)

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