The Tygerberg mountain bike club (TMB) is one of the biggest off-road cycling clubs globally.
With more than 7000 members each paying a fee to ride the 175km of Durbanville trail network, the non-profit organisation can sponsor surrounding schools with a portion of membership income alone.
For TMB members, 1 February is when riders officially switch to the club's 2022 bike boards. To get the club's social responsibility efforts off to a great start early in the new year, R80 000 in sponsored stationery was to three farm schools situated in and around the TMB trail network.
"It's just so fantastic to be able to provide, give back and assist. Knowing that we are making a difference," said Morne Veer, a member of the TMB committee.
"The bulk of our membership fees goes towards the costly exercise of building trails and maintaining trails. But then, we are also very aware of social responsibility within the Durbanville community and the Durbanville area."
"We are always aware of yes, 'we must build mountain bike trails for our club members to ride and do enjoy the outdoors'. But fortunately, the membership of our club allows us as a leadership to also be custodians of the membership fees and to work well with these fees and address needs when they arise."
Getting kids off to a great start – for the year
The trails that the club enjoys stretch in and around the Durbanville vineyards and wheat fields, creating great riding opportunities for gravel riders and mountain bikers. On the various wine estates are three farm schools. These small schools are attended by children from neighbouring estates or kin of those employed there.
"Most of our trails are built on wine farms, and we connect all these wine farms with mountain bike trails. That's why these schools that we are assisting are in the vicinity," said Veer.
"We call it our network, our trail network. And that's why we obviously reach out to them specifically because they are in our community," added Veer
"When they opened their own box, there was their own calculator, the books and everything in there. Many of them haven't had new stationery for a while."
Schools right on the trail network
The three schools that shared the R80 000 in stationary were Attie van Wyk Primary School on the Diemersdal wine farm, The Valley Primary School on the Altydgedacht farm, and Vissershok Primary School on Malanshoogte road. TMB riders often pass these schools when mountain biking.
"I think it's about 1000 learners in total that will be benefiting from the stationary. It's just so fantastic to be able to provide and to give back and to assist. Knowing that we are making a difference," said Veer.
"It's everything from pens, pencil sets, scissors, writing pads, glue sticks, markers, rulers, file pockets, crayons, you name it. We went to the schools and asked them to give us a wish list of everything that they need and everything required for the various grades."
Keeping in touch with the community
TMB night rides happen on Thursday evenings at Bloemendal estate.
Beyond the socialising aspect, these night rides are a great way for riders to become informed and involved with the club’s various fundraising and community upliftment initiatives.