UPDATED | Advocacy: Crowdfunding initiative to rebuild rain-damaged trails

11 october 2023; cape town, south africa | images of the rain-detroyed trails in the city of cape town as published on bike network by myles kelsey

UPDATE as of 12 March 2024: It’s been a busy month on the Missing Link and the Lobotomy trails. To date, we have put another R23 500 of the crowd-sourced funds into repairing these trails.

UPDATE as of 26 January 2024: This week the maintenance work on the Belgian Waffle — which is the trail on the City side of Signal Hill — was completed. In total, R15k was spent on the maintenance work on Signal Hill.

The remaining funds (R44k) will be channeled into repair work on the Missing Link and the Lobotomy Trails — the trails below the 12 Apostles. Work is scheduled to begin on Monday the 29th.

UPDATE as of 8 January 2024: The “Steek….” trail running down from Signal Hill was repaired late last year. Some smaller fixes will be taking place along “Waffle Trail” soon.

Regarding the Glen rebuild: SANParks is now querying our plan to restore the trail. Advocacy is ongoing. If SANParks continues to obfuscate regarding the Glen, an idea would be to rather do some maintenance on the Missing Link & Lobotomy above Camps Bay – it’s private land.

In terms of funding; the total raised to date by the Back-a-buddy platform is R62 414 (thank you everyone!) and we have spent R10 000 of that on the Signal Hill Trails.

We will be closing the Back-a-buddy campaign soon and holding funds in an interest-bearing account until we can secure official permission from landowners to continue digging.

UPDATE as of 8 December: We have met with professional trail builders and work on Signal Hill will begin next week. It’s a total of three days we have booked the team for and the majority of the work will be on the line that leads from the tar road down to the Waffle. R10k will go into this.

Regarding the Glen Trail, a re-routing of the trail is no longer being pursued. The financial costs are prohibitive and the projected timeline for approval by SANParks, is years. The current plan is to fix the existing route and we are in the process of submitting paperwork to SANParks to do this. – Myles

UPDATE as of 28 November: SANParks has ‘okayed’ the maintenance plan we submitted for the Signal Hill area and today we received the permits from them to begin the work. We will use a portion of the funds contributed so far to begin work asap. In other news, a private donor has come forward and it looks like the Pats Track trail will soon undergo maintenance. Permits for this have also just been received.

Regarding the Glen Trail, a re-route plan has been submitted to SANParks and we are waiting for their feedback. It could be a long process so patience is required. We are chasing the problem, HARD. We will hold some of the crowdsourced funds in anticipation of this work but will still need more donations as this will be a massive job. So please share this article with individuals and businesses and let’s continue to drive the funding. – Myles

ORIGINAL ARTICLE – 6 October 2023

The devastation on Cape Town’s Trails is shocking

As you might well already know, the recent heavy rains have had a devastating impact on the trails in and around the City of Cape Town. Some trails are more impacted than others but as you can see from the below images, there is a lot of damage and many kilometers of trails need repairing.

The bad news is, the word around town is there will be no funds coming through from the provincial or national government entities to repair the damage. That situation, as I understand it, is highly unlikely to change. We all have to get involved.

11 october 2023; cape town, south africa | images of the rain-detroyed trails in the city of cape town as published on bike network by myles kelsey
An early cost-estimate to remove the fallen trees, on this trail alone, is over R100,000.00

The good news is that great advocacy and fund-sourcing efforts are already underway by other non-governmental and non-profit parties to begin to tackle this gigantic issue. However, such is the scale of the damage that right now the more funds we can raise collectively, the larger the scope of repairs will be.

11 october 2023; cape town, south africa | images of the rain-detroyed trails in the city of cape town as published on bike network by myles kelsey
The Glen Trail has suffered significant damage and will likely remain closed for many months and as I understand it, a rerouting is potentially on the cards.

To add to the pool of funds, we have created a crowdfunding effort named Cape Town City MTB Trail Maintenance and set a target of R100,000.00 to go towards the problem. In reality, we probably need closer to R500,000.00 to fix everything. At this stage, every penny counts. We are coordinating with Table Mountain Bikers, local bike shops and riders from the area so that once funds are available they are put to use both urgently and for the collective good.

All the repair work will be done by professional and established trail-building teams. If you use the trails, are a concerned individual or are part of a brand or business that is interested and able to donate – here is the link Cape Town City MTB Trail Maintenance

| WORDS: Myles Kelsey | IMAGES: Supplied |

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