Sunday, July 12, 2020

Minutes of the Howick Mountain Bike Club AGM held on Wednesday 24th April at 5:30 pm at the DMC at Howick High School.


Apologies: Ivan Oakley, Gary Preston, Andre Nel, Roger Poole

Chairman’s report:

Mel Van Biljon raised a question about partnering with companies for both sponsorship and supplies in terms of track maintenance.

We have in the past had special rates from some companies, (Stihl, Husqvarna, Johnsons) but as Gavin Indicated we do not have much to offer these companies in return for their goodwill. Sappi does not allow sponsorship or logos of other companies – in conflict with Sappi.

Kath Fourie stated that Karkloof Club is experiencing similar issues with lack of members volunteering. It appears to be a global trend.

Paul Renchen asked a pertinent question: Does Sappi allow for subcontracting to someone else? – in terms of the option of going with Andrew Booth running maintenance of the trails.

Kath Fourie indicated that Sappi is not in favour of its land being used for profit for self and unless Andrew is willing to make large donations to a charity Sappi is not likely to support the move. Howick MTB club would still have to get Sappi approval on events as they have the land access agreement and are seen as custodians of the forest.

Grant Edkins said that collaboration is going to be key and that option A was not a bad idea as the club will get good trails.

Karen Andrews spoke as a past member who has left the club and stated that their feeling was that the club was focussing on Enduro events and that normal trails – G-bloc in particular was still not clear.

Gordon responded that the focus of the club was not Enduro and that many trails were open – albeit one going from 11 Karkloof and not G-Bloc. Access to G-bloc has become difficult as well.

Paul Renchen stated that relying on members and volunteers is no longer a viable option and other alternatives need to be looked at.

Bill Speight suggested put one labourer in charge of a specific trail and pay him per trail cleared.

Kevin Longmore suggested let’s offer solutions and less complaints.

Paul suggested that a subcommittee is formed to look into every angle of the Andrew Booth Proposal.

Gordon suggested that bigger work teams are required to clear larger sections more quickly.

Toni Keytel was concerned that we would loose the Identity of the club if we outsourced our events.

It was mentioned to perhaps put a tender out or an advert in the paper to see if someone is able to assist.

Kath Fourie spoke about the proposed Karkloof Adventure Tourism Incubator project with N3 gateway. 1.2 Million has apparently been set aside for a sustainable BEE business – this would include funding for tools, transport etc.

The original idea was that Howick and karkloof would share in using the services of this business.

She is reasonable certain that things will kick off in June July, but is also aware that there will be teething problems.

This does however have full buy in from Sappi and is a possible solution to trail maintenance issues in the future.

Trail knowledge would be essential.

So perhaps a swat team approach can work in the interim until this is established.

Mel von Biljon has recently moved here from Johannesburg and she was very complimentary about the trails and reminded us how lucky we are to have so many to ride.

She suggested getting groups of kids from school to come help – what are indemnity implications?

Jono Esteves said he has been part of the trail clearing group and that it is always the same people who come and help. He feels all the smaller groups need to communicate better and perhaps be more cohesive.

D6 communicator and larger WhatsApp groups have been suggested.

Jeff from Hilton Harriers felt that the incubator is a good idea as even from their club perspective few people always end up doing the bulk of the work.

Paul suggested we put out a tender to cover clearing in the next three months until incubator comes on board.

The new constitution was proposed and Mike Pallet spoke to it:

  • Origins in berg Wheelers document combined with work done previously from Howick Mountain bike side.
  • These are general guidelines and frameworks
  • It must be seen as a working document

Gordon called for a vote and the constitution was unanimously accepted.

Nolan Rickert said that him and his brother will continue to volunteer their time – he would like a week or two notice.

Kath Fourie said our fees are too low, Jono answered to this and stated that we have to be cheaper than Karkloof due to the reciprocity agreement and the fact that we cannot compete with Karkloof in terms of facilities.

Nominations and volunteers were called for to stand for the committee.

Mike Pallet

Paul Renchen

Andre Nel

Mel van Biljon

Gordon Beard

All volunteered to stand as committee members.

Jono Esteves did not want to be on the committee but said he is available to help with trail clearing

Kim Burnie said new committee must communicate what they need.

Gavin’s availability to the committee would be discussed

Kevin Longmore offered his work team on an ad hoc basis for clearing, he felt he was too busy to serve the committee but was happy to help.