Monday, 31 October 2011

Cycle to Work Day

cycle to work this ‘transport month’ | urban sprout:

'via Blog this'

"Cycle to Work Day" here in Cape Town occurs roughly every month, and is supported by the Pedal Power Association, the Bicycle Empowerment Network, and various other organised cycling clubs.

Recent "Cycle to Work day's" have taken place on the 7th of September and 19th of October 2011, with more to follow roughly the same time each month.

My take on the purpose of the initiative is to increase the visibility of those of us who love bikes and are lucky enough to be able to make the trip to work on two wheels. Increasing the profile of cycle commuters will encourage others to join the movement, enhance safety (not because there's safety in numbers and the weak riders will be picked off first, but because 10 riders are harder to ignore in traffic than 1!), and ultimately convince the authorities that cycle commuting is a legitimate alternative worthy of resources.

I am lucky enough to walk to work along the fan walk, from St George's right through to central Green Point, and on my stroll I see cyclists daily. What is even more encouraging to me is that the number of cycle commuters is definitely increasing - there's absolutely no question about it. There are some amazing bikes sharing the route with me, from well crafted fixies to very charming retro bikes and everything in between. As an interested bystander, I would readily conclude that cycle commuting in our beloved Cape Town is gaining traction.

The beneficial effects of cycling to work, on both the rider and the traffic that is spared, speak for themselves. We here in the Mother City are truly fortunate that the infrastructure has been laid out for us already, virtually on a silver platter, and it's now up to the cycling community to follow through by supporting initiatives like these and showing the rest of the public that an alternative to heavy traffic is out there.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Bicycle taxis

Cape Town boasts a fleet of bicycle taxis during the summer months, which can be seen around the Company's Gardens ferrying tourists from one point of interest to the next. The sight of the two-seaters with their smiling "drivers" is enough to put a smile on anyone's face as they roll past. It's such a pleasure to see that this concept is being taken further elsewhere in the city. I'm sure the residents of Lavender Hill will appreciate this new addition to their local landscape...

Bicycle taxis put community in driving seat - Cape Argus |

'via Blog this'

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Cyclist hit by antelope

Cyclist hit by antelope: SA cyclist Evan van der Spuy was hit by a red hartebeest during a race at Albert Falls Dam in KZN. He wasn't seriously injured, but his helmet was shattered.

OK, I know that we're all very unlikely to encounter any errant antelopes on the streets of Cape Town, but this is still an incredible scene! It probably goes to show that no matter where one chooses to ride, traffic is always going to be an issue...

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Peninsula Route

There are many good rides in and around Cape Town, with enough variety between them to ensure that no matter which way the wind blows, there will always be an option for those who want to ride.

The Peninsula Route

This is a fantastic route that features part of the world famous Argus Cycle Tour route (consider this the pointy end of the world's largest timed sports event). On a calm morning early in the season, it's not hard to see why this route has captured the imagination of every bicycle owner in SA...

The Peninsula Route follows a clockwise circuit of the beautiful and characteristically peaceful coastal road that winds its way down the eastern side of the peninsula. The road passes through Fish Hoek and the picturesque Simon's Town on the south-bound first leg, which ends with a sharp climb up Smitswinkel hill. Look out for the remote accommodation on the rugged shores to the left, and try to avoid any baboons! 

Baboons on Smitswinkel
After cresting Smitswinkel with its infamous double-rise, the road turns west and any southerly head-wind soon becomes a sublime tail-wind. From here the route crosses to the western edge of the peninsula before passing through Scarborough and Misty Cliffs. Expect to see some very high speed on this fantastic, semi-rural leg of the ride! 

All good things must come to an end and so, too, will the tail-wind of the north-bound leg. Before long, the road reaches Kommetjie and the route again heads wind-ward towards Fish Hoek. Beware of traffic on this leg of the trip - after the quiet bliss of the southernmost part of the tour, even a scooter will seem obtrusive! 

Once back on Main Road in Fish Hoek, the route heads north back into Kalk Bay. Be sure to make a bee-line for the Olympia Cafe, where you can buy Cape Town's own Truth coffee, catch the weekend paper and soak up that great Kalk Bay atmosphere.

Thanks, again, Google! 

To see this route on google maps, simply click on the link below: