Ready Steady Pedal!
Driving around the Cape Peninsula I notice more and more cyclists out and about getting in some good kilometres to build up for the Cape Town Cycle Tour. The date when all the cyclists line up to shout ‘hoopla’ as we start the epic 109km ride is Sunday 11th March 2018.
The start for the 2018 Cycle Tour has been moved to the Grand Parade opposite the historic Cape Town City Hall. After last year’s howling wind this was done for safety reasons. Last year I was all set, the bikes were on the car and we were psyched up to leave when a friend phoned to say the tour had been cancelled due to the strong south-easterly winds, often referred to as the “Cape Doctor”. Having ridden in the 2009 tour where we experienced hectic winds,I believe this was a good call. As David Bellairs, a director of the Cape Town Cycle trust said, “our participants’ safety will always come first”.
The Route – all 109 kilometres of it
The Cycle Tour is the largest timed cycle race in the world. Having ridden 10 tours I never fail to enjoy the experience of the absolute beauty of the Cape Peninsula. The route takes us around the Cape Peninsula. Starting out from the City find pace as you leave Table Mountain behind and cycle out along Nelson Mandela Boulevard. We go on down ‘Hospital bend’ and past Groote Schuur Hospital, then it’s along past Cape Town University (UCT) as you get your mind set for the short but steep climb up Edinburgh drive and past Bishopscourt .Don’t worry though, there are lots of cheering crowds going up the hill, and even offers of beer from the supporters!
Over the climb get into the pack for the cycle along the Blue Route towards the coast at Muizenburg. This is rather quick all the way along the scenic False Bay coast and through Fishhoek and Simonstown. Not enough time to stop and see the Penguins as you hang in through the stretch to the start of the Smitswinkel climb. Look out for the big tree marking the top of ‘Smits’ and then it’s into the quick downhill stretch past the Cape Point Nature Reserve. Watch out for the baboons!!
We pass the half way mark, and then its on through the scenic Scarborough village and past Misty Cliffs. Absolutely glorious views. Turn right past Ocean View. and then turn onto Kommetjie road. The “Cape Doctor” normally bares her teeth here so it’s head down through Sun Valley to the start of Chapmans Peak Drive affectionately known as “Chappies”.
Forget the pain and enjoy the magnificence where the mountains meet the sea. Once over the top of Chappies it’s fly down through to Hout Bay and the start of the dreaded “Suikerbossie”. Let the crowds of spectators show their support and help you to the top.Once you’ve made it, it’s downhill along the Atlantic coast through Clifton and Sea Point and on to the finish at Green Point. Stop the clock!!!
Enjoy a catch up with your buddies over a beer or cold drink and compare times at the hospitality tents.
Cycle for a cause
Why not do good while you cycle and raise funds for one of the charities associated with the Cape Town Cycle Tour? The goal this year is to raise R40 million for charity, and there are many to choose from. The tour is sponsored by Rotary together with the Pedal Power association.
Why the the Cycle Tour ?
Take up the challenge and ride this most scenic route in the Cape. From the 1st ride I did, it has been about the experience. This most beautiful route,the camraderie and the support along the way are unforgettable. Experience exhilaration and nervousness as you line up at the start. Have you done enough training? What if this or that happens? Just enjoy it, whether riding for your best time, or for the fun, remember how privileged we are!
Before the big day
Treat yourself to a few days in Cape Town before the big day. Join us for a Peninsula tour and go round the route at leisure, stopping to see the sights that you whizz past on your bike. Spend a day on a Winelands tour or do a City tour and visit Table Mountain.