29 April 2022
Dear Fellow FatTracks (FT) Club Member ,
Greetings to you on behalf of our great mountain bike club. Can you believe it, it is almost six months since our AGM in November 2021!
Sitting here typing, I think of how blessed we are to have the Baakens FatTracks trails on our doorstep (courtesy NMBM, with special thanks to Luthando Crab of the Parks Department). I for one – and, I believe, you too – appreciate it every time I set wheels in the valley! It makes my heart sing to see individuals and families enjoying our Baakens Valley trails. We can all be very proud of the way we take hands in appreciating and taking care of this great gift from nature!
Please encourage fellow mountain bikers – anybody enjoying our trails and is not an FT member – to kindly sign up as club members. Our membership details can be found on our website at www.fattracks.co.za. Our very affordable membership fees help us a great deal with keeping our trails in good condition.
It is thanks to the continued generous support from Continental and that of our new corporate supporter, Waudcray, that we as a committee can breathe a little easier in terms of day-to-day trail maintenance costs.
Having said that, we still need all the help we can get from corporates as well as from more individual FT members to keep our club going forward.
Many thanks to Steel Pipes & Fittings for the steel plates at the Dodds Farm weir crossing, which is now much safer to cross, and for the metal bridge donated and installed by Project Solutions (at the corner of the Little Walmer golf course on your way down to Dodds Farm). In addition, club member attorney Rayno Peo stepped in – without hesitation – and updated our club indemnity form for free. We appreciate it, Rayno!
The call for your assistance in any other way that you can give, over and above paying your membership fees, can help us a lot. For example, giving time, or contributing towards a project, like sponsoring new trail marker posts or fixing existing gabions and installing new ones …
(Gabions – the wire mesh baskets filled with stones that you find at river crossings on some of our trails – are quite expensive to install and maintain – details of gabion-related costs are available, should you be interested).
We are happy to let you know that everything is coming together nicely with regard to the installation of new marker posts to mark our trails. Club member Andrew Rist of Loop Solutions donated a lot of decent pipes that we will use as trail marker posts.
Keep an eye out for these on the Conti Loop (for a start). Installing these posts is costly and time consuming. The estimated cost per post is around R500 (material and labour to install and mark each post). We will need ±15 such posts for the Conti Loop alone. Any assistance to get the marker post job done will be much appreciated. (Sponsorship of a trail marker post is up for grabs – please contact me to find out more, should you be interested.)
We also have on our wish list a roof for the FT containers (to cover the rusting tops/roofs of the containers, and at the same time harvest rainwater to take better care of the trees we’ve planted near the containers. We have received a quotation, unfortunately way above what we can afford).
Our annual FatTracks Baakens Bash is scheduled for 31 July. This is our premium club event of the year, which takes place in the valley (on our existing trails). Should you want to be involved in any way to make this great event happen, please contact committee member Vicki at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss possible options. Individuals, corporates and organisations are welcome to join us in making the Bash the best one yet! You can also give me or any other FT committee member a call, or private message us via Telegram, or send an e-mail to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and we will gladly follow up with you.
Many thanks to our FT trail partners Norm-Hudlin Trails, Hayterdale Trails and Crazy Dave’s Bike Park. All of these are great facilities to be enjoyed by FT club members. Important note: Please always be sure to register with any of these partner facilities when riding there, as we need this information for FT member subsidy purposes.
Your ongoing participation and contributions are received with gratitude. To quote our previous chairman Andrew Rist: ‘Let’s keep the momentum going. If FatTracks does not keep maintaining the large portion of the Baakens Valley that we currently do, nobody else is going to’.
Finally, many thanks to my fellow committee members as well as to our very reliable trail men Nedson and Joseph. Your dedication and hard work are appreciated!
Here’s to mountain biking!