FatTracks – the first MTB club in SA
Fat Tracks was the first Mountain Bicycle Club in South Africa!
FatTracks is the first MTB club ever established in SA. Initiated in 1989, the Club is a leader in the growth of Mountain Biking in South Africa and has seen substantial growth in the last few years.
As a club we recognise the importance of catering for all mountain biking needs, irrespective of levels of discipline, fitness or skill. We believe that mountain biking is suitable for all ages, and is a great way to get out into nature, and enjoy the spectacular outdoor areas that our city has to offer.
The importance of a healthy lifestyle to sustain us through stressful times cannot be over-emphasised. During the hard lockdown, the FatTracks members still managed to have some fun in their yards – building their own tracks and sharing the videos with the members to help keep spirits up.
Over the past several years, FatTracks has been building, maintaining, and rehabilitating a number of trails around the Port Elizabeth area. In total, the club is the custodian of around 26km of single-track MTB trails. This is all made possible through the investment and sponsorship of Continental SA.
FatTracks employs two permanent trail builders who have honed their skills in building, maintaining, and strategically planning new trails for the MTB members as well as the wider community. The trail builders are supported by FatTracks committee volunteers who assist in some of the bigger projects, and ensure that the trails have very little environmental impact. There is a lot of thought and planning that goes into establishing each route – ensuring that the trail does not have an impact on erosion or the plants and trees that it goes through.
We also recognise the importance of encouraging young people to participate in outdoor activities. Over the last three years, FatTracks has worked on building up the area around the Containers (Trail Centre) as well as the Pump Track which is situated prominently on the William Moffett Expressway.
During late 2020 and early 2021 we saw a huge increase in family memberships – a sign that the lockdown period had encouraged families to spend more time together. To facilitate this, FatTracks focussed on building up the Pump Track and the surrounding area to make it a fun, safe, family-friendly MTB space.
The various obstacles at the containers are designed to encourage moms, dads and kids to hone their skills. It has become a favourite family gathering space over weekends. To this end, FatTracks has invested in lighting at the Pump Track, as well as fencing and other security measures to ensure the trails and obstacles are not tampered with after hours.
Our plans for this year include more detailed mapping of the trails to make them easier for all users – MTB, hikers, trail runners – to follow.
We have also opened up memberships to trail runners who would like to contribute towards the work that the club is doing including building and maintenance of the trails.
FatTracks Fast Facts
Over the past number of years, FatTracks has been building, maintaining, and rehabilitating a number of trails around the Port Elizabeth area. This is all made possible through the investment and sponsorship of Continental SA.
Here are some of our achievements:
- 26 km of trail developed / maintained
- 3072 trail hours of labour and supervision
- 120 litres of fuel
- In excess of 270 metres of weed eater cord used
- 150 km of grass trimmed
- 220 tons of ground moved / reworked
- 1.2 tons of wood used to contain erosion
Beating the Lockdown Blues:
During the 2020 hard lockdown, our members showed off their skills while staying safely isolated at their homes
#FirstTryFriday: Some of our members share their new tricks on the tracks