The Ekurhuleni Mountainbike Park community project in Boksburg turned from a long-held dream into a reality for cycling-industry veteran Allen Mee, thanks to Bobcat Equipment South Africa donating a S650 skidsteer loader and operator to jumpstart its construction.
By assisting in completing the project in record time, the Ekurhuleni Mountainbike Park was able to host the Spur High School MTB Series on 28 July, a particular achievement for Mee. “Not only is this the first mountainbike track on the East Rand, but it was the first time that the Spur High School MTB series has been hosted here in 13 years. It was a proud moment indeed, and a very special day.”
Mee explains that he was approached by Mike Moriarty from the Africa Believe Foundation to design and build the mountainbike park as a community project. A shout-out for assistance on Facebook attracted the attention of Bobcat Marketing Manager Madel Dalla Pria.
“We were contacted by Bobcat, which enquired as to how they could assist us. A few weeks later we had a brand-new S650 skidsteer loader and Sabelo Myeni, one of their best operators, on-site. The two days of assistance provided would have taken two months of manual labour,” Mee comments.
Bobcat Rental GM Vanessa Koszulinski describes the Bobcat S650 as having a narrow width contributing to its agile performance, making it the ideal machine for this project. The tight turning radius means it can handle big jobs in confined areas with ease. Powered by a Tier 3 Kubota 3.3 turbo diesel engine developing 55.4 kW, the Bobcat S650 features a vertical lift path boom for greater maximum reach at mid-range heights. Features include industry-leading breakout force, a rated operating capacity, faster cycle times, and quicker turns.
Mee stresses that the project would not have been completed on time without Bobcat coming to the rescue. “We started out with faith and vision. We connected with the community, and people sponsored spades and rakes. I negotiated with a contractor to donate soil for building the features. After two weeks, we barely had a track, and it was clear that by hand it was not viable.”
Dalla Pria comments that Bobcat was proud to become involved in this unique project, as it is of particular benefit to the local community. It is also a perfect fit with the company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives. “This was a great showcase not only for the toughness of the Bobcat equipment, but how we can offer a total service, including the skilled operators necessary to make our machines realise their full potential.”
The particular section of the Ekurhuleni Mountainbike Park that Bobcat assisted with will be branded ‘Bobcat’s Revenge’ in the near future in tribute to the company’s invaluable contribution. As for the future, Mee concludes it is his dream that it ultimately host the national cross-country series. “I aim to continue to attract sponsors in order to assist schools all over the country in building community tracks, in order for them to be able to participate in the Spur High School MTB Series, and thereby get more kids on bikes.”
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