GEORGE NEWS - The Hillbillies Mountain Bike Club (MTB) club welcomes all holidaymakers to mountain bike heaven.
The Hillbillies started in 1996 as a way of bringing mountain bikers together and as a voice to address issues related to mountain biking in George.
Currently, there are 350 members in the club, although the Facebook membership is around 825.
The club aims to:
• advance the sport of mountain biking in the George area (principal aim);
• attract tourist mountain bikers to the George area;
• establish a code of conduct for mountain bikers, specifically relating to the care and protection of the environment;
• liaise with local authorities with regard to the development and maintenance of mountain bike trails;
• develop and train people in the sport of mountain biking;
• promote the enjoyment of nature.
None of the members or committee members of the club receives any remuneration and they often use volunteers. Most of their budget covers the expansion of new trails and the maintenance of current trails. They have built about 48km of dedicated single-track mountain-bike trails and also maintain trails that are used by hikers and trail runners.
They have introduced signage at the trailheads to assist tourists, as the trails have become a popular destination for mountain bikers, especially over the holiday season.
Club activities include hill-climb time trials, sunset rides, night rides and group rides, which they encourage via many WhatsApp groups. Sunset and night rides are followed by a pizza / burger supper enjoyed at a discount at the local Panarottis or RocoMamas.
The club are proud to be achieving their objectives in terms of:
• promoting healthier living;
• encouraging learners / children to become active and providing them with a safe alternative to entertainment, also in collaboration with Ground Zero trail park;
• providing ad hoc mountain biking skills clinics to cyclists;
• attracting cyclists and tourists from all over the world to George;
• creating a safe cycling environment;
• making the routes available to trail runners and national mountain biking events like the Cape Pioneer Trek;
• providing skills development to temporary employees in the process of building cycling tracks;
• marking trails to help tourists, hikers and the general community find their way around the beautiful George countryside;
• uploading all routes around George on the international Trailforks application for easy reference. The Trailforks application is a handy tool for emergency workers to locate lost hikers or possible dangers / fires;
• making available club assets (spectator and starting gates) for community projects.
For trail maps of the surrounding areas, visit any of the local cycle shops in George.
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