The entire Gateway 2 Gateway mountain bike trail (18 km) is nearing completion, with the trail having been roughed in, and then smoothed where appropriate.
First to be finished will be the 5 km section (the easy “Green – beginner” trail from the Kloofzicht Gateway to the entrance to the Rhino and Lion Reserve). A wooden link bridge has been added, and once the dedicated mountain bike bridge crossing the Bloubank River is completed, this section will be ready for action.
The remainder of the trail (13 km) from Rhino and Lion Reserve along the D 540 road to the Lanseria Gateway is also nearing completion. The trail corridor has been cleared of most vegetation, the trail has been roughed in and recent use by some “impatient” riders managed to define preferred rider lines along this section of trail. Trails need to mature over time, and it is expected that this trail section will require a season or two of weathering and riding before it will be relatively free of bumps.
This more technical trail section, the “Blue – intermediate” section, requires limited trail route modifications, safety considerations as well as additional signage before it will be ready for use. Limited maintenance activity will still be undertaken periodically along the length of the trail to address user concerns.
Signage and trail direction
Trail and directional signage has been provided along most sections of the trail, and the design and manufacturing of further information signage is underway. Trail information is planned for the Kloofzicht and Lanseria Gateways with possible further information signage along the trail at suitable venues.
The trail has been designed as a “single direction” trail primarily for safety, user enjoyment and management reasons. The direction of flow is clockwise around the existing road system, known by cyclists as the “Cradle loop”. The trail can be accessed along its entire length and hence it is important for riders to be guided by trail signage. Observations during the last few weeks along the trail have shown that riders often ignore the trail signage and cycle the trail in the wrong direction. This behavior is unacceptable and riders are again reminded of the following:
- The trail was designed to flow in a clockwise direction – riding in the opposite direction will result in a trail that does not flow well.
- Trail signage has been provided to be visible to riders approaching from one side only. Signage will not be visible to users riding the trail in the wrong direction.
- The safety and enjoyment of riders on this trail is a design and operational priority. Riding the trail in the wrong direction is highly irresponsible, unacceptable and selfish and a threat to the safety of fellow trail users, property owners and visitors to the area.
Riders are requested to practice caution and adhere to signage indicating ”Construction work in progress”.
Please take note: When you see this sign you are riding the trail in the wrong direction.
If you need to return to your starting point along any section of the trail, just move off the trail, get onto the dedicated cycle lanes on the road and return to your start destination in a safe and responsible manner.
Trail test period
Due to the high visibility and accessibility of the trail located within the provincial road reserve, it is impractical to try and prevent some riders from “testing the trail” or sections of the trail once considered “ride-able”.
The new trail, existing gateways and cycle lanes are part of a government cycling and tourism project aimed at safe and responsible cycling. The new mountain bike trail, gateways and cycle lanes will be formally launched at event planned for the end of October 2014.
It is anticipated that trailhead signage (information boards), trail signage and the bridge over the Bloubank Spruit will be in place by the end of July 2014, and a “trail test phase” is then planned. Riders will be able to ride the trail and inform the Management Authority (MA) of trail-related issues that may require attention. Riders will be asked to complete and submit a “trail report card”, which will be available online. The necessary follow up and trail improvement will be undertaken where possible between August and October 2014. The intention is to obtain rider and adjoining property owner/stakeholder input prior to the official launch of the trail.
Please visit the project website to see the map of the proposed trail, construction updates, meeting report backs and more.