Kgalagadi Desert Classic Riverbed Cycle Challenge





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  1. #1
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    Default Kgalagadi Desert Classic Riverbed Cycle Challenge

    "The Kgalagadi Desert Classic Riverbed Cycle Challenge is due to take place from 21 - 25 September 2013 from Union's End, 155km down the riverbed to Nossob."
    Mindful of the fact that this is a new idea, the organisers of the event held an initial recognisance trail. The aim of this was to investigate the practicality of such an event and to ensure that environmental and safety concerns can be addressed before it is launched. This also offered the organisers and authorities the opportunity to evaluate and make an informed decision on the viability of such an event. The people involved in this initial recognisance are all people with a passion for the park and would not allow an event which brings damage to the park. One indication of how seriously this is taken by SANParks and the SANParks Honorary Rangers is the fact that it was decided to move the proposed date of the event, to ensure that there will be no impact on the breading of the Bateleur eagle population.

    The first image one may have when one hear of such an event, is that of a large crowd of people destroying the environment and driving everything to dust. The opposite is however true. The organisers have limited the event to fifty cyclists, which will be organised in to groups of ten and ride as a unit accompanied by an armed ranger. This is not a race, but a cycle trail. Support vehicles and supporters will also not be allowed to run riot but will use the existing public and management roads. Camping takes place in existing facilities.

    We wish to assure the public that the event will have a minimal and fleeting impact on the ecology of the park. Impact on visitors will also be limited since a very small portion of the park will be used on any given day and any traffic will be managed in a controlled way.

    A list of measures put in place includes the following:
    1. Vehicles will only be allowed to drive on established roads and no persons may exit vehicles except in the demarcated areas.
    2. Groups of cyclists and motorists will be monitored by honorary rangers and medical assistance will be available. Communication will be by radio.
    3. Water tanks, toilet and other facilities will be of the mobile type so as to be taken away afterwards.
    4. Only existing game paths will be used unless none is available in a specific spot.
    5. What is taken in will be taken out. A clean up team will ensure 100% compliance.
    6. Should it rain more than 10mm immediately before the event, it will be postponed or cancelled.
    7. Nesting raptors will be avoided and nests have been mapped on a GPS. An advance team will ensure that the route avoids any nests.
    8. The advance recce has shown that cyclists had minimal influence on the animals.

    The Desert Classic event will offer a unique opportunity for cyclists to experience the Kgalagadi while at the same time benefitting the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. The Kgalagadi is, while it is one of our foremost parks, also at the same time a park with many challenges which needs public support to thrive. Promotion of and fundraising for the park is an important part of the SANParks Honorary Rangers involvement.

    Any profits derived from this project will be ploughed back into conservation projects within the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Projects we have supported in the past have included the provision of fibreglass water tanks, replacement of windmills with solar panels and pumps, providing Ranger field support equipment including special trailers, camera traps and snake catchers and the provision of a predator monitoring vehicle. These projects are determined by SANParks in the establishment of their strategic initiatives.

    We believe that this event will greatly benefit the park and provide benefits long after the wind cleared the last bicycle track.
    I'm very much in two minds about this, it would be interesting to hear what you guys think.

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  2. #2
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    Kgalagadi is not the place for this event. I have bookings for Mabua and Kgalagadi in September in 2013 and will be very P$$ed off when I see bicycles instead of animals in the Nossob
    Last edited by Krummelpap; 2012/10/16 at 06:35 AM.

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    Do you know if any of the cyclists were eaten Jen? Just mauled maybe?

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    Oh I see this is 2013. There's hope then!

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    Don't think you can see Nossob from Mabua tho.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fanatic View Post
    Do you know if any of the cyclists were eaten Jen? Just mauled maybe?
    Hehehe.... Not yet but they might be on the menu?

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    KTP is nearly fully booked every month of the year. Why do they need this?

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    I just hope the lions don't choke on those nasty tights they wear!

  9. #9
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    Well, they say to market the park and to give it a huge cash injection.

    The cost would be R 4000.00 per cycler = R 200 000.00
    plus R 1200.00 per supporting guest so I recon about R 300 000.00 will go to conservation in KTP at least?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fanatic View Post
    i just hope the lions don't choke on those nasty tights they wear!
    lol! :-x

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    Quote Originally Posted by JennyB View Post
    Well, they say to market the park and to give it a huge cash injection.

    The cost would be R 4000.00 per cycler = R 200 000.00
    plus R 1200.00 per supporting guest so I recon about R 300 000.00 will go to conservation in KTP at least?
    I must say, that is a lot of needed cash.

  12. #12
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    Eish , they have taken over the highways and secondary roads You see them everywhere , now the parks aswell
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  13. #13
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    I think there is other ways to promote the park
    and to raise the much needed cash for rangers etc.
    The fun at such a trail is surely not to crawl behind a ranger,
    every cyclist has his own pace.
    Also the fun at such an event is that
    relatives spend the day at the finish,
    make a picknick etc.

  14. #14
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    I don't want to spoil anybody's fun, but what's the point of having a cycle race in a Game Reserve? Maybe the leader might see something but the backmarkers will just see dust and sweat - this is something they can see anywhere... Maybe some cyclists have positive comments?
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    I would love KTP to have a cash injection of R300 000 but this is not the way to do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krummelpap View Post
    Kgalagadi is not the place for this event. I have bookings for Mabua and Kgalagadi in September in 2013 and will be very P$$ed off when I see bicycles instead of animals in the Nossob
    Ditto!

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  17. #17
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    I just can't see the rangers controlling all those support vehicles and ensuring they don't go off the designated roads!!!
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  18. #18
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    I've participated in about 5 mountain bike races through iMfolozi game reserve over the years and it definitely is an interesting experience. Game viewing is not exactly at its best but just the experience of riding through a wilderness area is really great!

    In saying that the iMfolozi ride takes place away from the public on management roads along the boundary so has little impact on park visitors even though there aren't many in the park that weekend as most accommodation is booked by cyclists. It is a great fund raiser for conservation with about 250 cyclists riding.

    I would however be bleak if I was in the KTP as a tourist if I saw cyclists trundling down the riverbed, it just seems so much more of a wilderness area than iMfolozi. I must admit though that I would love to experience it as a cyclist and nature lover...

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  19. #19
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    I think its brilliant idea, so what if visitors see cyclists for 1 day. If Umfolozi can do it why cant the rest, Skukuza has a marathon.
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  20. #20
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    This is another case of "My Experience" and what it is going to do to destroy "my experience". If the park needs money all well and fine as long as it does not interfere with "my experience".
    No one has ever complained about a serious game viewing damper in the form of the grader used to smooth out the ruts. After that baby has been through you might as well go and sit in the pool for the rest of the day because the only game you are going to see is the noughts and crosses you will be playing to kill time. Fact is every one welcomes the sight of the big yellow monster and its square box like company, they know tomorrow they can speed again

    There was a proper trail run done and no visitor even knew about the trail or saw any cyclist in the river bed, with the park being close to capacity most times I just think it is a case of jumping the gun. A project like the Birding Big day has a much greater chance of impacting on visitors as the twitchers are out before dawn and use the tourist roads causing traffic congestion, no one has ever cried about this practice I think most people are not even aware of it happening.

    I can not for the life of me see why anyone would get on a bicycle and pedal through a desert and call it fun Going through lion country might add some incentive to race and get it over with but as far as I am concerned there is something wrong about this kind of activity, but .....there are folks who would pay large sums of cash for the privilege of doing so, so who am I to deny them their crazy activity.

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