Motorbikes on Rockeries Pass

14 Nov 2016 10:46 #70202 by Stijn
We did a weekend loop of Mnweni and Rockeries Passes this weekend and it was very sad to see clear motorbike tracks all the way along Rockeries Pass (right to the top)! What I assume must have been 2 or 3 bikes had already caused visible damage to the trail, most shocking of which were the sections where they left the trail entirely and created their own path for short sections. :thumbsdown:

We spoke to Leonard at the MCC about it and he says that they inform all motorcyclists that they are allowed to "play on the roads", but not ride on the trails at all. Clearly, this is not being followed - he did say he would confront the group about it later that day. Like any high-impact activity, this group may justify their actions by claiming that it's just a few of them which doesn't cause much damage. My concern is that the word gets out and soon the whole place gets ripped up...

Has anyone else seen evidence of this before? Perhaps on other passes too?
The following user(s) said Thank You: elinda, ghaznavid, Biomech, GriffBaker

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
14 Nov 2016 18:29 #70207 by tiska
Replied by tiska on topic Motorbikes on Rockeries Pass
Thanks for your report on this Stijn.

I would recommend that these motorbike riders try Ifidi Pass next. Its much more scenic though probably best done from top to bottom in the first instance. Owing to the soft sand near the top section, its best to get a bit of speed up when leaving the watershed.
The following user(s) said Thank You: elinda, Captain, Macc, Papa Dragon

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
15 Nov 2016 10:28 #70208 by AdrianT

Stijn wrote: We spoke to Leonard at the MCC about it and he says that they inform all motorcyclists that they are allowed to "play on the roads", but not ride on the trails at all. Clearly, this is not being followed - he did say he would confront the group about it later that day.


Confront the group later? I don't know, surely people like that should be fined massively right off the bat. This is the problem in this country, when you're eventually caught, you know the law is so lax not much will be done. I hope they get caught and properly prosecuted.

Very sad to hear. First time I've ever heard of a motorbike heading up a hiking pass in the Berg. :thumbsdown: More than likely they're the kinds of guys to post a video to Youtube. Keep your eyes peeled. Like the chap in Japan who uploaded a video of himself in his Lamborghini doing 156 in a 60 zone in a tunnel - busted and arrested.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
15 Nov 2016 11:25 #70210 by Stijn
Replied by Stijn on topic Motorbikes on Rockeries Pass
Well this is the thing... correct me if I'm wrong but is Rockeries Pass even in a protected area? Is this activity strictly illegal and enforceable or is it simply a collective awareness of the environment that has prevented this in the past?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
15 Nov 2016 11:31 #70211 by BobbyStanton
Unfortunately, being the Mweni, they are not in a World Heritage Site, Transfrontier Park or a declared wilderness area, so they can do as they please. They are probably not doing any more harm than the locals have already done by grazing their sheep, goats and cattle high in to the mountain zone, farming dagga and building structures in sensitive erosion zones. Nor are they doing any more harm than the Basothos have done to the top of the escarpment by allowing their sheep to graze the indigenous grasses down to ground level right at the highest levels. I have also noticed with alarm the strange groundcover like vegetation that is taking over where this grazing has taken place. What are a few motorcycle tracks in the face of this.
Of course I don't condone what these ignoramuses are doing. It should be stopped before the word is spread around and they arrive en mass. How come they don't seem to know general facts about the environment and wilderness areas, or are they just vandals at heart?
The following user(s) said Thank You: Captain, AdrianT

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
16 Nov 2016 00:39 - 16 Nov 2016 00:53 #70215 by Serious tribe
The sooner this area falls under some form of conservation area the better. That is the only way that there can be legally enforceable laws that people will take notice of.

Not saying that these are the guys that went up rockeries, but it seems there is some popularity for the area. Here we go youtube motorcycles enduro -
At least 5 riders that i could see. Perhaps someone who knows the area well will be able to id the approximate route that they are using from the small views of the topography on the vid.
Perhaps Andre John Du Toit knows something about it. www.youtube.com/user/underbroek21
Last edit: 16 Nov 2016 00:53 by Serious tribe.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
16 Nov 2016 09:56 #70216 by ghaznavid
I believe that one of the UNESCO listing requirements for the Berg was that the Mnweni Area would eventually be added to the protected area. That being said - the cable car works against this goal, unless they use a narrow corridor of excluded area like they did with Sani Pass.

The damage that vehicles have done on illegal 4X4 routes around the top of Sani is quite shocking. When I did Thaba Phinong last year, there was a car in the saddle between Thaba Phinong and Mqatsheni. I pointed out to the driver that what he was doing was harmful to the environment and was also illegal, and got some kind of "I don't care" style response.

Please login or register to view the images attached to this post.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
16 Nov 2016 10:42 #70217 by Biomech
Part of the route the guys on the bikes did near the end of the video looks like it is the path between Dassie and the confluence of Mnweni and Icidi rivers. Clearly not allowed by the rules of the guys at MCC.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
17 Nov 2016 08:32 #70221 by AdrianT

Stijn wrote: Well this is the thing... correct me if I'm wrong but is Rockeries Pass even in a protected area? Is this activity strictly illegal and enforceable or is it simply a collective awareness of the environment that has prevented this in the past?


Ah ha, I didn't know. A real shame, I wonder why it was never added. As a motorbike rider myself I would expect others to use common sense and stick to legal trails than can be maintained, on such steep terrain the damage done by knobblies is pretty proper. Anyway, there are always those that will never listen.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
17 Nov 2016 10:45 #70223 by ghaznavid

AdrianT wrote: Ah ha, I didn't know. A real shame, I wonder why it was never added.

The land is owned by the Ingonyama Trust as it is tribal land. Discussion about adding it to the WHS goes back for decades. The proposed reserve has recently been agreed on, is mapped and GPS-ed - but the cable car has set this process back a long way now, as the cable car can't be in a WHS.

There isn't much info on the project in the public domain, but you can read up on what is in the public domain at Intrepid's website on this:
maloti-drakensberg.co.za/treasure/
The following user(s) said Thank You: AdrianT

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
Powered by Kunena Forum