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Suikerbosrand - URGENT


Li Mu Bai
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Guys and Gals using the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve:

 

In light of what happened a few days ago at the Suikerbosrand Nature reserve where Damian Wasowicz was struck by a car, I urgently suggest that we start to act in a proactive way to make management there aware of the problem that is seemingly out of control.

 

I regularily ride in the reserve during the week, and on weekends. During the week I have become accustomed to Reserve staff travelling the wrong way along the loop, taking short-cuts. Usually its 2 or 3 vehicles.

 

Today during my lunch time Loop, 4 cars passed me, all travelling the wrong way. The first 3 when questioned by me were all aware that they were going the wrong way. The 4th car was travelling too fast down the last main climb to even stop, and I had to act fast to get out of the way. The grass is very tall at the moment and right on the edge of the road, making visibility very difficult and only a few metres at corners.

 

What I suggest is that we start to keep a register here of these vehicles travelling the wrong way, so that those more legal minded than myself might take it further. I logged as much detail as I could on my cell-phone as a draft message - it didnt take long. The second transgressor was quite abusive towards me for taking his details, so be careful and dont antagonise these guys. The reserve is isolated in places and who knows what goes on in their minds if you are riding alone.

 

1: White Suikerbosrand Reserve Truck - SBM 294 GP - Driver wearing green Reserve Staff overall , name Jacob, top of hill near trig beacon 11km into loop.

2: White Double Cab with trailer (Toyota?) - WSR 059 GP - Driver subcontractor working on 'lines' (Power lines) in Reserve at approx 13.5km on steep decent (very dangerous)

3: White Mercedes Benz M-Class - XLY 959 GP, looked like guided tourists, approx 32km after picnic spot steep climb

4: White Nissan Bakkie - CA 426700 - At 48km mark on second last bend at top of main climb (very dangerous)

 

I will be fowarding this to the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve Manager, Mr Sibusiso Thusi

his contact details are as follows:

sibusiso.thusi@gauteng.gov.za

tel: 011 904 2966

fax: 011 904 2745

 

I suggest that anyone who comes across these transgressors, take as much details as you can and forward them to the reserve manager. Its no use getting into arguments with the perpetrators, rather try and get the staff that break the law, dismissed, and the offending tourists blocked at the entry gates.

 

We need to act, and keep bombarding the reserve management with these details and our concerns, until they take this seriously. At the moment the reserve rules are being broken because there are no real consequences for the perpetrators. The consequences for us as cyclists are DIRE! families and lives are affected.

It also goes with out saying that we as users must not ride up one-ways either, or we might find ourselves banned from riding there (which is much easier to do than hunt bad drivers)

 

Do your bit guys, or we will loose one of the more beautiful places to spend our time cycling in.

 

 

Rude2010-04-29 10:02:01

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Rude, I share your concern and I think this is an excellent initiative.

If someone can help us with Mr Thusi's cell number, it'll be great. We then save the number and phone him on the spot.

 

Don't expect immediate action. That is one of the most slapgat nature conservation management teams in the world. Everything inside is going to ruin. I know, I regularly book overnight huts there for hiking and the huts are in a terrible state, with wall-to-wall blackjacks and khakibos all around them. The doors are kicked in, the solar panels missing etc etc.

 

However, this should not put you off. Pester them and insist on action and follow up what action was taken.

 

Rude is not as rude as he makes out to be and far too polite. My attitude is to not take sh*t from tourist or staff and force them to turn around. I have done it before. Don't be scared of double-cab drivers swearing two-tone shirts. Stand your man, I have it on good authority that they are petrified of lycra.

 

 
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Stand your man' date=' I have it on good authority that they are petrified of lycra.

 

?

 

?
[/quote']

 

 

 

... and so they should be. I know I am.

 

 

 

SteelyDan2010-04-29 10:11:46

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I also suggest we do a pamphlet that the gate guards hand over to visitors to the park, warning them of the dangers of going up one-ways.

I'll do the wording, I've just volunteered Mampara to do the design and we need a couple of donations for some printing.

 

 
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How much do you need?

 

 

 

I know there's a lady Hubber that runs a print shop...SteelyDan2010-04-29 10:20:17

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Great initiative, Rude. My father's law firm is making every effort to bring guilty parties to justice following Damian's accident. The information stored here can only help build the case against them.

 

As much as I love riding in the reserve, I would rather have cyclists banned from doing so then see guys getting killed or seriously hurt on their bikes week after week.

 

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Thanks Johan, riding in a group does help with getting cars turned around.

 

I am more concerned with the staffer who gets it into his head to 'take you out' on a lonely corner somewhere in the reserve and leave you for the jackals, when you are on your own. lets face it, life for some in SA doesn't mean much...

 

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Great initiative thanks

will certainly get the details in future, same goes for cyclists though

saw way too many discarded gel wrappers there on tuesday
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Awesome initiative - I ride alone in the park a lot so count me in for making it safer. Email saved - phone ready!

On a side note (and please don't flame me - ok flame me but do it with your brain not your heart):

 

Cars will always go the wrong way - 50km is a long way to go at 50/30kph - laziness will always mean short cuts. With this in mind when I rode through the reserve on Wednesday I realised that there are many, many corners that I go screaming round Rossi style with scant regard for whats on the other side.

 

If there was a car coming the way, parked tourist or gnu - I would be in hospital with Damian right now.

 

I in no way condone laziness or rule breaking but sometimes we have to prepare for other people's stupidity to ensure our own safety.

 

Take it easy out there people - the park is isolated.

 

That said - have fun too - I refuse to let other people's stupidity stop me from enjoying the park and riding the only hills in Jhb.
Eldron2010-04-29 23:48:56
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Good initiative, we too have been involved in parks officials disobeying their own rules by traveling against direction down the sharp car park climb and when we pointed this out we were met with a verbal abuse.

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Good initiative' date=' we too have been involved in parks officials disobeying their own rules by traveling against direction down the sharp car park climb and when we pointed this out we were met with a verbal abuse. [/quote']

 

In their defence - there is a clause in the park rules that states "cars will drive the wrong way in cases of patrols and/or emergencies".

 

This probably gets abused due to laziness and/or stupidity but the moral of the story is that there will be cars driving the wrong way...

 
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Emergency i can understand but by using the word patrol it will mean they can ride whichever direction they feel like, it will however back up what the official screamed at us along the lines of she works there, can ride wherever she likes and does not need us to tell her.

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Maybe we could also donate to Shaunh and get him to put a few signs up at strategic points making motorists and everyone aware of cyclists/direction of traffic in the reserve.

 

I'd be keen to donate.

 

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