First quarter newsletter 2024 – Latest news, ride pics and future plans!

EC XCO Dates
Sponsors and supporters
FatTracks ➡️ Latest news, ride pics and future plans!
Dear fellow FatTracks members, sponsors, and donors,

Your head is probably spinning as much as mine thinking that we have seen the first quarter of 2024 come and gone. Unbelievable!

We are happy to report that we have made great strides in repairing the trails following the big rains/floods in 2023.

You have probably also cycled the new stream crossings on the Guinea Fowl trail going all the way to Broken Stairs at Dodds farm.

Below: the new Wendy Street gabion link bridge as well as the new Toby’s bridge (bottom Thomas Road).
Above: Our amazing trails team and the new Guinea Fowl trail bridge

We are in the process of upgrading the Yovuta/Kovuta trail.  The original trail builders said that it was a difficult trail to construct, so it was called Yovuta or Kovuta, meaning “difficult” in the Malawian Chichewa language.

Yovuta is part of our ongoing trail improvement initiative. Keep a lookout on our channels to see updates on the ongoing work.

FatTracks trail maintenance:

  • We are working on growing our relationship with NMBM and the persons involved in the upkeep and safety of the Baakens Valley trails. It is a slow process, but you have probably noted some improvements on the maintenance of the Settlers Park trails from time to time. We are scheduled to have a meeting with officials later in April.
  • We maintain more than 26 km of trails, including the cutting of grass and keeping trails, berms, ramps etc. in good repair. We will be looking at incorporating another potential trail later this year (more info to be shared as it happens).
  • Our trail builders have worked an average 288 hours over the past three months. We also sincerely appreciate the number of hours that committee volunteers have put in over the past few months. We do not log our time as committee members as we do this for the love of mountain biking and sharing that love with fellow club members.
Above: Our new trail map at the Containers – FatTracks member Llewelyn Tait did a great job updating the map once again!
  • Our annual memberships (which cost an average R70 per month per member) help buy/pay for fuel, weed eater cord, material for constructing bridges, tool maintenance/repairs, wages, trail maintenance etc.
  • Hats off to club members who step forward for maintenance days – bringing their own tools too!


We would not be able to do what we need to do on the FatTracks trails with membership fees only.

So, we are incredibly grateful to all the corporates and businesses contributing financially to help upgrade and maintain the MTB trails in the valley…  

We have installed some signage at the Containers to acknowledge their commitment to the people of Gqeberha and MTB.

Please support our donors and sponsors!

And don’t forget to encourage fellow riders to join our club.

FatTracks club outrides

Above: Some of the riders who joined the Norm Hudlin to Windfarm outride and back on Saturday 6 April.

This year, our committee has made an effort to organise more social outrides for our members. So far, we’ve enjoyed a coffee ride, a social ride at Crossways, a weekend getaway at Hayterdale and most recently, a ride from Norm Hudlin to the Windfarm and back.

If you want to join us on the next ride, keep a lookout for notifications on social media. You can also check out the planned rides HERE and save the dates in your calendar!

Hayterdayle getaway

An enjoyable weekend was had by all. It was a real pleasure to ride the Hayterdale Trails and enjoy the great company and spectacular scenery.

The trails are open to the public, but please remember to always make a payment in the honesty box when you ride at Hayterdale.

Hope to see you at the Hayterdale weekend next year.
Take a look at the photo gallery here.

What else have we been up to?

Tree planting

FatTracks helps eradicate alien plants in the valley, and replace them with indigenous trees where possible. We thank committee members and individuals who regularly donate trees for planting.
New trail maps, trail markings and QR codes

Check out the new trail map at the Containers. We are also in the process of re-marking the trails. Don’t forget to point walkers/hikers/birders/runners in the direction of the QR codes and invite them to donate towards FatTracks maintenance.
Thursday Crit-X rides

60 minutes of Mayhem has changed over to Crit-X in conjunction with Madiba Bay Youth Cycling Club. It takes place every Thursday at 18h00, starting at the FatTracks containers. Results are shared online, click on the images below to see more info.
The Herald Cycle Tour Water Point Award!

FatTracks set up and manned waterpoints at both the Herald MTB event and the road event. The FatTracks Continental waterpoint at the Herald Cycle Tour MTB event won the floating trophy as the best waterpoint of the year! Well done to all involved!

STRAVA for newbies

If you’re a newbie rider and you want to get to know the trails a little better, check out the STRAVA app (visit Google Play or Apple App Store and search for the STRAVA app).

STRAVA is a very handy, free (at entry level) app on your phone for recording rides and a great tool for measuring your growth as a mountain biker. STRAVA also allows one to follow and connect with other riders and friends, to see where they are riding as well as get to know new trails.

We have mapped our FatTracks Trails on our FatTracks STRAVA account here.

Bike maintenance

Proper bike maintenance is crucial for safety reasons. A poorly maintained bike can lead to accidents, injuries, or costly repairs. Check out the following YouTube videos as a start (there are many YouTube videos on the topic).

Trail etiquette

If you’re a Newbie rider, or you just want a refresher on trail etiquette, please check out the link on our website where you’ll also find our code of conduct and WhatsApp group policy.

Visit local trails

If you haven’t visited these awesome local trails,
then do yourself a favour and check them out:

Norm Hudlin Trails  
Hayterdale Trails
3Rivers Trails  
Thank you for being part of the FatTracks MTB club for 2024! We appreciate your support, participation in social rides, and building the MTB community in the Eastern Cape.

See you on the trails!

Pieter Labuschagne
FatTracks Chairperson
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