Pietermaritzburg – The thicket of the Msundusi and Mngeni Valleys has once again provided no match for the men and women of the Durban Green Corridor as they cut the track for riders for the second instalment of the BSi Steel dusi2c that starts at Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg on 21 June and finishes at Blue Lagoon in Durban a day later.
Having been tasked with clearing a path for the inaugural race in 2013, Trails Manager Ewan Cochran and his team at the Durban Green Corridor (DGC) have been working tirelessly to provide riders with some exciting trail as they follow the Msundusi and Mngeni Rivers from Pietermaritzburg, through the Valley of a Thousand Hills, to the Indian Ocean.
“Durban Green Corridor is responsible for preparing and maintaining the trails well before the start of the dusi2c,” Cochran said. “This is our second year of doing so and we are really excited to be involved again!”
A large part of the Durban Green Corridor’s model is incorporating the local community and over the years they have not only managed to help a number of the local people in the Valley of a Thousand Hills find sustainable employment but have given other members of the community temporary employment as well.
“We work with communities all along the Msundusi and Mngeni River Valleys to recruit and up-skill local people to work on the trails around this time of year when we have to focus specifically on the dusi2c route.”
“DGC exists in order to create jobs and other economic development opportunities for the communities living along the river valley, therefore sustainability of employment is very important.
“This is why the majority of the trails teams are employed throughout the the year to work on the DGC trail network.
The members of Cochran’s team have been given specific sections of trail to maintain throughout the year and they are also involved in guiding people through the area whether it be by bicycle or on foot, opportunities Cochran hopes to continue creating.
“These guys have been here from the beginning of the initiative, far longer than I have,” he chuckled.
“They were brought up here in the valley and know the landscape really well so we have tasked them with coaching the kids at Inanda Dam which makes them important members of this community and giving guys like that a chance to succeed is something that we pride ourselves on.”
With a number of initiatives rooting themselves in the Valley of a Thousand Hills, Cochran, a keen rider himself, has been given the opportunity to ride alongside a few of his trail builders at this year’s race which he and race organiser Glen Haw hope will give the developing riders a chance to grow and gain invaluable experience.
“Some of the team are also keen mountain bikers and have developed this interest through working with DGC over the years with four even participating as part of the DGC race team at this year’s dusi2c!” an excited Cochran added.
More information can be found at www.dusi2c.co.za
Source: Gameplan Media