The Future of Recreational Cycling in South Africa



Maybe I woke up in a bad mood this morning but something has been bothering me for a while now. I am fairly new (started JAnuary 2001) to cycling but feel that I have earned my way to be abble to comment. Last year there was an vibrancy and excitement at races (even in the winter) This year on the other hand sees much smaller attendance and the sparkle seems to have gone gone. Clubs also confirm that membership and attendance is down. I think a lot of factors may contribute to this like the price of petrol, R $ exchange rate, more expensive races (specially the classics and "online" races at Cyclelab), Metro's fleecing us for marshalling etc etc. By the way I hear the ARGUS for next year will be R260-00 per person. SACF and the other WILL have to look at ways of making things easier for us. How does pedalpower still offer races at between R25-00 and R35-00 per entry in the Cape???
Just my 5 cents worth, what do you guys think!!!!

Keep those wheels spinning regardless!!!!!

Big H
Thats close to what we pay to enter an 'open' race (state level race) $24 seems to be the standard entry fee for a one day race here. Club races are generally between $5 and $15 for entry.

Bigger races like the Melbourne to Warrnambool cost about $35 for entry, these arnt recreational rides either they're races ;D.

Anyway $26 or R260-00 isn't much money, its only an hours work for most of us.

big_h - you might find insurance is costing the event organisers alot more this year, guess who has to pay for it at the end of the day? the riders of course ;)
What does a race entry cost in the USA and europe? would be interesting to compare fee's from all 4 corners of the world ;D
Yes, R260-00 is a lot for a race, but there is only one Argus. Alternatively, one could enter the Eden in October and enjoy a whole week of motorsport and festivities during our Wheels festival, and also follow the Tour de Eden, or even enter the tour....Bring the children along, it is school holiday and enjoy the Garden Route,it's a taste of Eden!!
Hi Guys, (from a wet, windy and stormy Cape Town). Yes, entry fees to our local funrides (WPPPA) is R25 or R30 (about 3$) if you don't go with the "easy entry" system. But remember, we dont get medals and all that x-tra funnies. I think the medal at the end of the ride is only adding to the race entry cost and is not needed. You can speak to our running friends who is getting a medal when they finish their races. If they dont have a Bar, they put it somewere and never look back. My view about this is that I rather do 2 races on a weekend at a affordable entry instead of doing one and getting a medal. Medals and trophies should be for Championships (club champs, league champs et.)

I don't think that the entry is what is killing the sport if it is dying, though it may be a contributory factor.
Just consider how much it costs to go for the major races. I have been in the sport for 2 years now. The first year I did not track my expenses. This year I decided to. The Argus cost me in excess of R3k, the Tour durban R1.5k. I decide to pass on the Jock because it would have cost me at least R1k. This is apart from the fact that bikes and parts in this country are ridiculously expensive.
Last year I needed a new pair of wheels. The ones I eventually got I bought in the UK. Landed cost including duties were about R4k. The same wheels some shop I will not identify quoted R6.5k for.
I need a new bike. I was interested in a cannondale. I have gone round stores in JH and Pta. The quotes I have received for the just the frame just come in under what I will get the complete bike with dura ace group set, a mavic elite wheel set and sent down from the UK for. Of course the duties will bring up the bill but by how much.
When we have a set of greedy distributors, sole agents and cycle shops willing to milk the same pool of cyclists, in the light of competing needs for our money, somethings will have to give. For a number of us it will be our continued participation in the sport of cycling.

My bit
Bicycles currently attract a 15% customs duty liability. If you bring in parts of bicycles, there is no duty. I would therefore import my frame and components seperately and all you would have to pay is your import VAT. This will amount to an effective 15.4%.

The effective duty and VAT rate on a complete bike is 32,5%.
ah yes i see your point but the entry fees for races any where in the world for a normal open cat ride are that of the argus and believe me there are rides every weekend sat and sun, mtb and road for more or less R60 now for me thats reasonable and most are timed in some way or another.
but if you are unhappy with it you could race overseas in what little open cat rides they offer for the same amount as the argus its up to you.

also note the winter races could also have had a small showing because of the extreme cold this winter, as well as the abundance of colds and flu's that went around.
not to mention the uprising of mtb racing in the jhb and pta area.(well so it seems to me)

points to ponder... enjoy your day bye :)
How much does it actually cost? An analysis bu Eldron esquire....

16 months ago I was transferred to the UK by my company in SA and have pretty much the same job description so my salary should be comparable between the UK and SA.

I decided to compare prices and entry fees between the two countries and did the calcs as follows:

price of item (or entry fee) as a percentage of my after tax salary (I haven't said how many minutes/hours/days/month's salary I'm using otherwise you'd all know how much I earn and pity me for it - or praise me for it - hey everything is relative....)

Entry fee for a 'medium' size funride: UK 22%
SA 31%

So races in SA are 40% more expensie in SA....

Mavic Ksyrium SSC SL Wheels: UK 112%
SA 549%

So some hot wheels are (relatively) 4.8 times more expensive in SA.....that one caught me by surprise....Mavic Ksyriums SSC SL's are £400 (R6,500) in the UK and R12,500 on the Cyclelab website). Holy sh!t!

Please note all calcs are independant of exchange rate (I used the price in £'s divided by my UK salary and prices in Rands divided by my SA salary.....

Any comments?
well yes a valid investigation, but how many open races are there how many road and mtb as many as SA.
And costs on mavic wheels is not a competitive comparison as mavics are made in europe and to transport to uk is cheaper than to transport to SA.
Dr. Jack

I reckon there are more road races in the UK (don't have my MTB over here so I'm not too clued up on the scene). British Cycling supply a race calendar every 3 months and there are least 5 road races every weekend (excluding MTB and Time Trials).

The problem is that road races are tiny - they limit the pack to about 50 or 60. Not only because they use the B roads (smallish roads) but you can't host a race without insurance and one the insurance companies conditions in 'managle' pack sizes. You should see british faces when I quote starting numbers of 5000-6000 (never mind the Argus that's just a wee bit bigger!).

On the Mavic issue - the transport cost is probably negligable compared to the exchange rate. A £ gets you 1.5 euros but you need R10 to get one euro.
A friend of mine ordered a set of Ksyrium Elite 2002 from for £295. Not sure what the shipping cost was though but overall it was MUCH cheaper.

The stuff was here in days and the wheels and extra casette was packaged very well.

Dunno why we have to pay so much over here ???

I reckon the reason is this - the UK buys many more high end products than SA and probably get's the buy bulk and save discount.

It seems to work for most thing - high end hifi, TV, DVD stuff is also pretty cheap in the UK - pretty cheap if you're buying in Rands - dirt cheap if you live in the UK and earn pounds!
D*mn, should of taken that offer in Richmond, London a few years ago...
Wait, let me see. You WANT to ride in rain and snow? What difference does a 7kg bike make if you're weighed down with 5 kg's of sodden clothing? So saying I guess if you are earning pounds you would be able to afford to go cycling in France and Spain every now and again.. Hmm, choices
I would recommend the UK thing - for a while.

I've been here 16 months and head back to SA end August. It was an awesome experience and I feel more 'worldy' now - not to mention having enough cash to pay my house off in SA!!

One really good thing that's come out of it is I'm TOUGH AS NAILS! In SA if the sky was grey I'd stay indoors. If you took the same approach for the UK winter you'd look like Ullrich hehehe. I've ridden in sub zero, sleet, rain, hail and snow - hell I make postmen look like softies.

Viva the sunny skies of SA viva!!!

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