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Offline michnus

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SANPARKS
« on: April 11, 2007, 02:10:49 pm »
On the ride reports LEO and Ballies got denied entry to the parks they visited over the weekend, it is obviously an old and outdated rule or one that was created by badass hooligan bikers.

We want to visit the Richtersveld Park in this year and again because of the noise they won't let us in. More noise than a diesel bakkie with 4 snot kop kids inside? Some of the responses is truly just rubbish and we will be seen the same in the future if we don't get them to change their view. I can understand Kruger Park and other parks with Leeus and fakatiere and dinosaurs, but for the rest theres no reason for this attitude

I want to use the info LS got POLL SANPARKS and forward it to them and if Oppad and Jacko can help, and at the end if all else fail get this stuff mentioned in Getaway and WEG magazine.  I would also need some of you or someone?s writing skill to get a proper English letter setup to forward to them explaining we are not evil beings, we use our bikes as a mode of transport.

 On the poll LS posted the replies showed less interest in the subject. Any one willing to help get this thorny issue going?

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Re: SANPARKS
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2007, 02:56:56 pm »
Michnus, thanks for drawing our attention to LS' very helpful poll. I'd like to help but am in two minds about it. As soon as you start making a public issue of something it may backfire eg. the authorities will be forced one way or the other and may well decide to make it national policy not to allow bikes.

On my travels I have found that a lot of camping spots etc that actually have notices expressly forbidding bikes, will become lenient when they notice that you are on your own, that you are "a person of a certain age", and that the bike doesn't make a moer of a lot of noise. They may change their tune when five of you arrive on Akrapovic-shod KTM's (no offense, it remains a moer of a nice sound in moderation)

Recently I was down in Gamkaskloof (Die Hel) again when I had a discussion with a nature conservation lady. She frowned at bikes but had to admit that she did not hear or see me coming. Seems her main bitch was against groups roosting each other and generally gaaning aan in the valley. Can you blame her?

I actually believe you will have more luck if you arrive unannounced and try to make a good impression.

Maybe if we can have some more input from other members? Perhaps I'll be able to make up my mind then
 

Offline michnus

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SANPARKS
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2007, 03:09:37 pm »
Can't agree more, and maybe then the attitude among bikers are still the same if that kind of things happen.

I love to stay over or camp in the parks because of their well kept facilities and general feel for the place. It's difficult to go to the Richtersveld get there just to be told you make a noise, and that's what I think we need to take up on some way.

LEO got it sorted but when we wanted to go into Tieties baai, only myself and the wife we were denied access, finish and klaar, no negotiation would change their mind.

From the respons on LS's post it seems people are not really fazed by it, I would also like to see more peoples responds on this.

Offline Stofstreep

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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2007, 03:44:00 pm »
Pesonally I would love to ride in the National parks and will support any effort put to the effect.
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Offline bmad

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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2007, 07:25:54 am »
I think it would be nice if we could ride in some of the parks.

Many of them have such beautiful landscape, facilities and environment, that you would normally need to enjoy cooped up in a cage.
But if it was made policy to allow bikes in, how do they control it. Every tom dick and harry with a scrambler, quad, etc will be there in a flash. That is where the problems lies. You cannot distinguish between various types of bikes (no offense intended to the above riders).

It is unfortunate, but best practice would be what Oppad recommends. Arrive on your bike, prove your worth and hopefully they let you in, if they don't, you know you were taking a chance.   :cry:
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Offline Ama ride ride

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SANPARKS
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2007, 08:02:48 am »
I support Michnus fully in this.

Oppad you got a very valuable point going but as I look at my expience it seem that the person at the gate's mood (or need for a bribe) at the moment may be the key reason why entry is denied. For example I had no problem entering Tietiesbay on my AT which was a lot noisier than my current bike. (Same bike as Michnus) And the pea-brained head prick in the Richtersveld NP told us that bikes for one damage the enviroment. (as if 4x4's does not)

So its clear that the person in charge's, previous encounter, view, mood about bikes are the key in or not.

I am for a "riglyn" implimented into the NP's policy regarding entry. Meaning that bikes are not banned per se but entry may be refused if for example its a very noisy bike.
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Offline lecap

SANPARKS
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2007, 08:11:16 am »
I had very good experience in the past with SANParks and other parks officials and my bikes are regular visitors into some NP's. (The parks do not oficially state that they don't allow bikes) My guys usually go self guided and get a briefing that emphasizes the importance to behave in the parks.

On one occasion I was allowed to enter Itala with a guided group. It was prearranged with KZN Wildlife and the management of Itala and we had an escort vehicle to the camp. Although we were not allowed to use the bikes inside the park at will we got permission to travel back to the entrance without escort on our departure day.

Hobatere Lodge & Game Reserve in northern Namibia: We were allowed into the reserve as a guided group. I briefed the group before we entered for the 25 km ride to the lodge and they probably thought I am bullshitting them. Until we came 'round the corner and had the elephant in front of us   :shock:  :lol:

Sossusvlei used to be off limits for bikes for ages. I managed to get guided groups in on every single occasion. The officials were always able to see that we ain't hooligans and allowed us to pass after taking our promise not to ride offroad and to leave the dunes alone.

I am not enough of an optimist to support the openinmg of parks to motorcycles in general. I think there will be too much abuse by idiots with their 125cc scrambler or quad bike digging up the veld and chasing the bokkies.

Maybe it would be a better way to allow the park officials some room to decide on a case to case basis. It's not too difficult to see the difference between an adventure tourer the like of a KLR or BMW GS and a scrambler.
Maybe restrict access to registered and licensed bikes only?
And allow the officials to turn a bike away if they think it's too noisy. (Sorry about your $$$ Akrapovic, go play with it in the suburbs)
This would also encourage responsible behavior from the side of the bikers.
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Offline 1X

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SANPARKS
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2007, 08:14:49 am »
It will definitely be nice to ride in some of the Parks, but as the story always go there has to be some individuals who feels a $%# for their fellow riders.

I think that SANPARKS will take the same approach as what happened in Namibia :(

http://www.republikein.com.na/content/nuus/2007/Mrt/29_desert.php
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Offline krazy-eyes

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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2007, 09:19:10 am »
thats the problem with our country:
- 1st world enough to pretend to care about noise levels etc.
- 3rd world enough to refuse to listen to reason.

it is near impossible to change public perception formed ages ago.
 
i used to quadbike, and believe me, 99% of the time we would get negative reactions from all sides.
this was despite the fact that our group (www.quadtorque.co.za) tried to be responsible in every way, from slowing down near settlements, to wearing all the appropriate gear, and respecting private property.

the "quat" reputation preceded us everywhere we went, and no one gave us a chance to show them that it wasnt necesarily so.

the same could be said for DS biking.
a reputation was formed a long long time ago, that bikers are hooligans.
this may have changed somewhat over the years, and we all know is not even remotely true for DS'ers since our joy comes from exploration and getting out into nature,
but unfortunately a bike is a bike is a bike to an uninformed gatekeeper at a national park.

another similar case is the one of paragliding in the drakensberg. the biggest most impressive moutains around, and we are not allowed to fly there because there exists a law prohibiting aircraft from flying over national parks.
i can understand that helicopters and cesnas make a lot of noise, and make huge craters when they crash into the mountainside, but try explaining to the guard on patrol that your so called "aircraft" makes no noise, and causes absolutely no disturbance whatsoever.

it is a no win situation i'm afraid :roll:
 

Offline DanMan

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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2007, 03:18:27 pm »
Suikerbosrand is allso a no go for bikes. Found out today after =- 10 phone calls.
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Offline SirGravellot

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« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2007, 08:48:29 pm »
Guys, this issue is a lot more complex that just an issue about "noise". Trust me I know.  :evil: I spent 4 months negotiating with Cape Nature to secure two consessions in Nature Reserves to use motorcycles and quad bikes. I'll do a full post on that subject later...

On access permissions - I had to do some research on the subject at that time and I'm happy to share some of it - it was accurate July 2006:
    Agulhas National Park-Motorcycle friendly-Public Roads Only
    Golden Gate Highlands National Park-Motorcycle friendly-Public Roads Only
    Karoo National Park-Motorcycles allowed after prior arrangement-To Campsite Only
    Knysna National Lake Area-Motorcycle friendly-Public Roads Only
    Namaqua National Park-Motorcycles allowed-Public Roads Only
    Tankwa Karoo National Park-Motorcycles allowed-Public Roads Only
    Tsitsikamma National Park-Motorcycle friendly-Public Roads Only
    West Coast National Park-Motorcycle friendly-Public Roads Only
    Wilderness National Park-Motorcycles allowed on designated routes-Public


Frustrating it is......
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Offline lecap

SANPARKS
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2007, 07:46:47 am »
There is more than the ones mentioned above but as in my previous post I do not feel like listing them as I do not want to support the MX bike on bakkie league.

Some of my best riding ever was North of the veterinary border in the Kunene. It sometimes feels like riding through a zoo  :) And I did not see any showoffs - besides ourselves :D
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Offline michnus

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« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2007, 08:21:24 am »
The intent of the discusion is to allow DS bikes into a park. It is your means of transport like the guy in the 4x4 or car, and to abide by the rules of the park like every body else. I don't want this convsersation to go near MX and Quad bikes, I don't want those stuff near a park and its not your means of transport to travel.

All I am asking for is to treat me like any other visitor, many cars are more noisier than my bike. And there are more moegoe 4x4 people entering parks, making trouble than DS riders.

Offline Ballies

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« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2007, 10:52:29 am »
In short I think Lecap has a good suggestion

"Maybe restrict access to registered and licensed bikes only?..."

That would cut out the dirt diggers and because of limited access you would not be able to ride in a park were there is big/dangerous/protected wildlife.
Don?t tell me a superbiker will risk his bike in/on uneven terrain.

I will shat myself if I had to ride through a pride of lions in Kruger and it would be dangerous. But driving past a crushing-loud Landrover in the Rictersveld will not be considered to be intrusive and dangerous.

And Sodwana...I think they were unreasonable. They clearly saw that we were day visitors and that we knew that the beach was off limits. We needed fuel and a drink!!
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Offline SirGravellot

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« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2007, 11:09:38 am »
Like I stated in my previous post ? it?s not just a simple issue of ?noise? or whether your DS bike is your mode of transport. (I wish it were :!: ) Unfortunately we have to look at history and hooligans.  :angry1: :angry2: :evil:

As usual the problem's we as DS bike riders face trying to enter parks and protected areas are at the core because of a handful of idiots that have and are still recklessly ripping up places. It?s also not just our fraternity that has this problem. The 4x4 community also suffered a big blow when beach driving was banned because of negligence and irresponsible behaviour of a minority of hooligans.  :evil:  :evil:

You also see this behaviour whenever you go to Botswana, Nam, Zim and Mos. Assholes in expensive 4x4's believing that they own the place and believe they can go wherever they want, however they want disregarding park rules, vegetation, ecosystems, etc.  ?. ?Hoekom? ? Want ek kan!?  Unfortunately I have seen this behaviour with DS bike owners as well..... :oops: :roll:

As for motorcycles, unfortunately the public ?out there? do not discriminate between assholes on MX bikes ripping up protected areas and DS owners. It is a problem in every town and city. If there is a nice forestry, mountainous, hilly area where they can go and ?charge?, they will do it and in the process further damage the already negative reputation of ?motorbikes? . You cannot blame people who are trying to protect these areas or living close by for hating ?bikes?.

The reputation is there ? what are we as responsible DS bike owners are going to do about it :!:  :?:  We cant just sit back, point fingers and bitch and moan about it :pain10: . We have to be proactive and agressively defend  what left of our reputation in every way we can :thefinger: :protest: :violent1: :violent3: and start building a new one by helping to  protect our precious nature and environment from these idiots. :angel7:

One thing I personally have done is to try and educate people on my tours and rebuke and deny access wherever needed, even incurring financial loss. Some good :downtown: , Recreational Tips, Teaching Materials, Guidelines and principles can be found here, treadlightly! :thumbright:

Like I said we are not the only ones suffering. The 4x4 community have spearheaded a plea to government to come up with a solution to benefit the environment and stakeholders (that?s us). Have a look at now.org.za :downtown: . Fortunately the government, very surprisingly, has actually acknowledged this problem and the unfairness involved and together with the 4x4 community come up with ways to govern the access to these areas. Even though the focus here is on ?off-road routes? it is a logical step to include National Parks, Reserves, etc. The solution lies in control of access.

The future as the proposed legislation and workshops are playing out looks like it is going to be one like this:

Anyone wishing to enter an ?accredited? route (and hopefully Parks and Reserves :headbang: ) will have to have a minimum of two things:

    ?  An accredited ?off-road proficiency? qualification. In other words you will have to have had training, passed the exam and practical that proves you are a responsible eco-sensitive off-road user and get the ?badge/sticker/whatever? :reindeer: . This also serves as a permit so you can be fined or the permit can be cancelled in the case of irresponsible behaviour. The custodianship of the Unit Standard has reverted from TETA (Transport Education Training Authority) to MERSETA (Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Education Training Authority). MERSETA advised that the Unit Standard is currently in the Comments/Motivation stage of the process, which finishes at the end of the June.  The comments received to date have been complimentary, with some minor amendments which have been factored into the draft. MERSETA also advised that Memoranda of Understanding (MOU?s) have been put into place with TETA and THETA (Tourism, Hospitality & Sport Education & Training Authority) Found at now.org.za

    ?  Part two is that your vehicle (4x4, Motorcycle and yes Quads) will have to pass specific Environmental Requirements with regards to Noise and pollution, spark arresters, etc. Your vehicle will then get a ?green badge/sticker/whatever?. So for noise we are probably looking at no racing or modified pipes (yeah!!!), only 4 stroke engines. As for the emissions only bikes who have been EPA emission certified as ?green? (most new road legal bikes conform to this standard anyway)

For more info :downtown: here,
http://www.savannahsa.com/projects.htm#project1

This is still in the workshop phase, but I have heard that legislation to this effect could come into affect end of this year beginning of next year.  

Who knows :?:  But at least it?s a huge step in the right direction  :!:  :!:  :D :thumbright:
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