OPEN! Tokai MTB, The Heartland Of Cape Town Mountain Biking Reopens

Tokai MTB, the heartland of Cape Town mountain biking reopens on Friday the 3rd of July.

After an enforced shutdown due to pandemic regulations the crew of Tokai MTB have announced the trails will officially reopen as of tomorrow. This is everything you need to know, as published by Tokai MTB.

The reopening comes with a set of fairly strict terms that if not complied with, could lead to the same fate Lion’s Head suffered because some people wouldn’t listen. Its so simple, abide by these points and enjoy the Tokai trails again. The plan revolves around leveraging the SANParks Activity permit and limiting contact between staff and public, so in addition to Level 3 lockdown regulations, i.e. social distancing, masks, personal hygiene, etc., you are hereby advised to:

Ride to Tokai but do not drive. The usual Picnic site parking will be closed as the Picnic hut that usually sells day permits will not be in operation. There’ll be nobody to let you into the picnic site. If you must travel by car, park in the Tokai suburb, there is plenty of space around the Total garage or around Bootleggers. The trails are open from 8am to 6pm with the last entry at 5pm.

Do not park on the Tokai entry road that starts at the Swaanswyk turnoff. Keep this road clear for emergencies and access for SANParks and Chrysalis Academy staff and residents. It goes without saying that if this road is blocked with vehicles, any emergency response to an incident in the mountain will be delayed. Please assist us in keeping Tokai open and advise any motorist you see parking in the road, to please park somewhere else.

Ride with your Activity Permit – no permit, no ride! Since the Picnic hut won’t be open, it will not be selling any day permits. TokaiMTB has given reassurance to SANParks that we, as a cycling group, can be trusted. Random Activity Permit checks will take place, so please be sure to show your Activity Permit if asked.

If your Activity Permit expired during the lockdown, you can apply for a 3-month extension at no extra cost. This actually applies to anyone with a card that was still valid before the lockdown, SANParks are giving a free 3-month extension to everyone under the following conditions. 1. The extension is free and you will not be required to supply more photo’s but this offer is only valid at the Tokai permit office. 2. The permit office will be open from the 6th of July. 3. If your card expired before lockdown, no extension will be granted.

Masks are a contentious topic when it comes to exercise. Be responsible and bring one, end of story! Nobody is going to police you, we trust you but be sure to show consideration for your fellow riders and cover your nose and mouth when passing, or if in close proximity to others. There will be nothing worse than hearing that Tokai was closed, “due to non-compliance.” It happened on Lion’s Head, it can happen here.

We have been working on the trails to get them ‘ready’ for Friday. The amount of vegetation growth reaching into the track came as a shock, especially on the lower reaches of the mountain around Fairie Garden and the Roots trails. Three months of lockdown and the smell of approaching winter rains clearly sends Australian trees into a wild growth frenzy. We’ve been able to take care of the worst around the mountain but it will need a serious cut-back as we head into Spring. The trails have been trimmed and patched but there have been more storms. We suspect the trails have held up to the elements but there’s always the possibility that some areas have taken a beating, add to that the risk of fallen trees in these heavy winds. Please ride with caution on your first lap and report any damage to

Patrols will start up slowly, we’ll be present on this weekend during peak times but during the week, for now, please rather avoid riding to the Mast – and if you must, ride in a group.

The Donkey trail is closed. It was first opened in summer and was still due to receive the “winterizing treatment” of water management and the addition of rollers acting as both trails features but also as water diversion. Lockdown pretty much broke our plans to install preventive measures and subsequently, it’s sustained enough damage that warranted a full closure. For your safety, the trail is closed and due to it’s remote location, we advise all riders to steer clear until we can get the worst of the damage repaired.

The Bridal/Switchback trail has been closed. This was a difficult call as the trail is fine but the risk of being taken out by one of the trees on the jeeptrack below is real. Fallen trees that require riders to crawl under are currently being held up by aliens, so it’s precarious to say the least. Continued strong winds place people at further risk as the last few standing trees in the same pocket could also fall into the track. The stems of these dead trees have rotted at the base and there is no way around this problem, so we’ve had to mark the trail as closed. SANParks are aware of the issue.

We need you! Join Tokai MTB..

What we’ve been able to achieve over time is largely due to our dedication to the sport/activity/recreation we all love but above all, your support! Please consider joining our club which directly supports the trails as well as our efforts as representatives of cycling in the Table Mountain Nation Park. More information is available on TokaiMTB. See you on the trails!

| IMAGES: Gary Perkin |

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