Both the dusi2c and the Durban Green Corridor play an important role in promoting adventure tourism in the Valley of a Thousand Hills which assists in creating a sustainable environment for the local community to benefit from financially.
‘Farmer’ Glen Haw has fashioned a model that he uses across both his hugely successful KAP sani2c, as well as the more relaxed BSi Steel dusi2c, where all service providers that are employed are paid for their services which is a notion that DUCT’s Bart Fokkens appreciates.
“The race is great for us in that it gives us the opportunity to employ some of the local people, even if it is only on a temporary basis,” he mentioned.
“We have gone into a contractor’s agreement with the race which means that we are able to then help some of the local Valley residents out with employment as they help us prepare the trails and build bridges for the race.
“There are existing trails along the route but we are responsible for clearing these trails for the race.
“DUCT is involved in the entire route while the Durban Green Corridor takes responsibility for the stretch of trail from the overnight stop, roughly, to the finish at Blue Lagoon,” Fokkens said.
“We have definitely faced some challenges this year in getting the trails ready and we have learnt that you cannot build anything too far in advance!
“Accessing the bridge at the SPCA in Springfield has been a challenge but we have learnt to adapt over the years and it is enjoyable work for us getting everything prepared,” stated an attentive Fokkens.
The trails in the Valley of a Thousand Hills are open permanently for riders to use throughout the year and DUCT and the Durban Green Corridor play an important role in uplifting the local community through skill development and work opportunities via the popular mountain biking trails.
“The trails have been there for a number of years – well before the dusi2c began – however having riders using these routes during the race can help in increasing awareness of the area and its viability as a mountain biking destination.
“The work opportunities that are provided to the locals are a great way in trying to get them into some form of employment and help them develop skills that could in turn aid in getting them more permanent employment.
“Building bridges and clearing trails are great ways of giving these people experience in this field as well as providing them with a stepping stone to maintaining the trails throughout the year for other mountain bikers as well as eco tourists,” Fokkens commented.
The 2016 BSi Steel dusi2c mountain bike race takes place from Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg to Durban's Blue Lagoon on 11 and 12 June. For more information visit www.dusi2c.co.za.