On Yer Bike in Cape Town – a two-wheeler’s guide to the Mother City

Friday, 11 March 2022 06:53 AM

So here you are, on your way to Cape Town for the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2022 ... but the race is not the only two-wheeled attraction in town. There are a number of pedal-powered expeditions across the peninsular – either for you to enjoy on your own set of wheels, or on a borrowed bike.

Just sommer cycling

Table Mountain, of course, has a network of biking trails along the lower slopes and through the entire surrounding city. Here is a link to maps of all the trails as well as bike advice and guidance: https://bicyclesouth.co.za/2017/01/cape-town-commuter-bike-map/

Climb every mountain

For mountain-bikers, there are a number of trails. Contermanskloof Farm outside Durbanville is the fun fat-tyre track, with switchbacks and graded single tracks. Jonkershoek, outside Stellenbosch, goes through a commercial forest which keeps the trails interesting as the landscape changes all the time. Tokai Forest in the city’s Southern suburbs is the best-known trail, ranging from lush forest to a Jeep track, with a muscle-wrenching climb up to the radio mast. Rhebokskloof outside Paarl is a track for all levels of skill and fitness, with the bonus of great views of the Paarl valley, while Helderberg Trails has the granddaddy of great views, looking out over False Bay and Table Mountain.

For the dedicated mud nut, there is Dirtopia just outside Stellenbosch. This is the home of trail-building master Meurant Botha, who has criss-crossed the estate with trails for all levels. The resort has a shop for riding supplies or bike rental.

Ease along on the e-bike

For the not-so-hardened biker there is an easy alternative that is fun and muscle-friendly: E-bikes. These electric bikes are only available on customised tours, with a snack hamper for mid-pedal munchies and free Wi-Fi en route. Guests are transported to their destinations in a luxury van with a tour guide, and once they reach the relevant beauty spots, they get to putter round on an electric buzzbike, feeling like kids again.

Scootours 4 Ever

Enjoy the wheeee! without the wheeze ... Scootours are for those who want to keep their stamina for other things. The Scootours Mountain Scooters are non-motorised and easy to steer, requiring no effort whatsoever. Your tour guide takes you high up the mountain by bus, you hop on the bike, release the brakes, and freewheel all the way down – not once, but twice, on two different routes.

Waterbikes – pedal for the fishes

There’s a lot of water around Cape Town, which is why there are ... waterbikes! This exciting new ocean adventure puts you on a bike with twin hulls instead of wheels, using pure pedal power to push yourself around the scenic beauty of False Bay You can glide across the ocean, surrounded by mountains, getting a bird’s eye view of the rich marine life below. Perhaps you will see whales, dolphins, seals and penguins in their natural habitat, paying no attention to you because you are part of the scenery, making no noise apart from the wash of your wake.

The stable and easy-to-steer bikes are unique to Cape Town waters, and give you a view of the ocean – both above and below – that would have any diver biting his snorkel in half.

So there is no need to visit Cape Town for only a world-famous annual Cycle Tour – the wheels on the bike go round and round, all year long.

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