School builds cycling track in town

2015-08-27 06:01
The total distance of the HTS Daniel Pienaar MTB track covers 5.3 km and is open to the public for cycling.     

The total distance of the HTS Daniel Pienaar MTB track covers 5.3 km and is open to the public for cycling. PhotoS: HEILIE COMBRINCK

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The popularity of mountain biking among cyclists from the Despatch and Uitenhage areas is in full speed with more and more tackling robust roads.

Daniel Pienaar THS also hit the road and is the only school in town which offers mountain biking as a school sport. Its team last year participated in the Spur School MTB Challenge and was the provincial winner.

It then competed in the nationals which was held in Magaliesburg.

A teacher involved with the sport spotted the opportunity of developing a mountain bike track next to Daniel Pienaar.

“It always is an issue for the learners to get a suitable track to exercise. So, I thought this area adjacent to the sports grounds is perfect,” said Sampie Marais from Daniel Pienaar THS.

The Nelson Mandela Metropole Municipality gave the green light for the open area to be utilized for recreational purposes. Thanks to a financial donation from a learners grandfather, Marais single-handedly started to bulldoze a track.

The Wavelengths Construction company later assisted Marais, by offering their earthmoving equipment to build obstacles and clear the area.

“We really want to thank them for their keen assistance and great job done. They did far more than I expected,” said Marais.

He also posted a request for further assistance on the Daniel Pienaar Alma Mater Facebook page.

“I thought I’d try my luck. Once again the reaction was overwhelming and with the Alma Mater on board we managed to complete the track. Thank you guys, your contributions are much appreciated,” said Marais.

Earthmoving equipment, which normally costs R500 per hour, was rendered to us free of charge. Goodyear, through the motivation of a DP old boy, donated tyres which were used to outline certain areas of the track.

“I’ve spend three weeks of the school holiday to complete the track. I must admit, I really enjoyed it. Especially to see now how the boys and keen cyclists are having fun here at the track,” said Marais.

The track is open to the public to enjoy off-road cycling. No off-road motorbikes are however, allowed to race at the track.

Although it is an elementary track, it offers the opportunity to exercise in a safe environment.

The total distance is 5.3 km starting at the DP pavilion where there are rest room facilities and parking. It covers 1.5 km in the school yard before hitting the off-road between the sports grounds and the train track.

) First MTB challenge

The inaugural DP Mountain Bike Challenge will be held on Thursday, September 24th (public holiday) in conjuction with the UD News. Entry forms are available at the school and UD News office. Klinicare Pharmacies’ giant inflatable archway at the start/finishing point will add excitement to the race.

Enquiries: Sampie Marais 041 922 9990

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