Three weeks of biking stats in South Africa

According to my little Google spreadsheet I’ve been away from home 20 days & cycled for 14 of them covering 630 miles (1,008km) and 39,793 feet (12,128m) of vertical ascent 🙁 . Thus averaging 45 miles ((72km)  per cycling day and 2842 (866m) feet per biking day.Not bad coming up for 69 years old and lugging 120kg total weight around 🙂

Adze as usual made a lovely graphic from all my Garmin Etrex 20 traces:-

First 3 weeks in Africa
First 3 weeks in Africa

I still have 33 more potential riding days so at some point if I want to reach The Victoria Falls I shall have to start using alternative, faster, transport 🙁 Although if the wind keeps on like today who knows…

Day 15 Biking Africa – Cape Town to Bloubergstrand

A cycleway in South Africa
A cycleway in South Africa

After much humming and harring this morning I finally decided the best way of making a decision on where to go next was just to get on the bike! The owner of The Altona said Blouberg was very pleasant with a cycle path for most of the way! I quickly found a place to stay there on by the beach too and so I waved goodbye to Cape Town, although it would be fun to do The Argus on a real bike another year 🙂

Table mountain
Table mountain

A bit of a nightmare exiting Cape Town on the motorway system, especially navigating around the broken glass bottles either thrown from cars or at cars 🙁 and as usual at the entry slip roads. I made it to the R27 and then got blasted along with a tail wind so strong I had difficulty stopping the bike in places. It’s truly a gorgeous ride with magnificent views of Table Top mountain, Robben Island and all the local fine sandy beaches.

I quickly made the 14 miles to Bloubergstrand and the accommodation at Blouberg Place where the owner had emailed me to say that she wasn’t there but then  describing the secret hidey place for the key – very civilised and the room had a small barrel of biscuits 🙂

After a high velocity shower I walked up the road, admiring all the total glam houses and musing about their occupants admiring the view to Mandela’s prison from their terraces. I had a lovely salad & beer at the Ons Huisie restaurant which set me back a cool £5, getting expensive around here 🙂

The Strava is here and the days pics here

Day Days 13/14 Biking Africa – Cape Town & The Argus Cape Event

Well I finally biked to the Cape from Port Elizabeth! Even arriving in time to do 101 km of The Argus Cape Event, dropping in as a laggard and racing to prevent the broom wagon from catching me.

I had a very pleasurable rest day in Stellenbosch with Keith, whilst Irma went to a spa day day with her daughters :-). I managed to get a mirror for the bike and even fix it to my butterfly handlebars with the help of a clamp from my Cateye light. So hopefully no surprise trucks now!

The biggest discovery was the new Specialized Concept Store just around the corner from where I was staying. The store is actually owned by Specialized USA. This store comes complete with a creche area, outdoor kiddies track, MTB test track, workshop and The Cave cafe area. Cycles are displayed rather than grouped en-masse so it provides a much better experience. I also had the pleasure of chatting to Bobby who is Mr Specialized SA. Overall an excellent concept  and many thanks to the young technician who fixed my squeaky brakes and front derailleur 🙂

I left for Cape Town early on Sunday down the deserted 12 highway (apart from loads of runners) straight past the airport and it’s townships and on to Newlands where I had booked into The Mantra, arriving the place looked deserted and there was no reply to the bells so I emailed them and pedalled on for a look around the area.

I bumped into a guy who was carrying his bike having had a mechanical, he pointed to the motorway and said it was The Argus (Apparently the world’s largest timed cycle event over 35,000 riders). So I pedalled up onto the motorway where some other guy on a moped said did I want a push up the hill as the broom wagon was just behind, I declined, but then I saw the 101km marker and thought I might give it a go as I could always get a lift back 🙂

Argus is a fabulous ride down the very hilly Cape peninsular and back the other side. Every hill I came to loads of folks were walking up so I kept going until the bus was a good 30mins behind me. I did 63.2 miles of The Argus at an average of over 12mph, not bad considering I had all my baggage and had just cycled the 29 miles from Stellenbosch plus all those hills. Strava says over 7,000 feet of them! All done on a couple of rusks and loads of the Powerade drinks (they filled my bottle in less than a second 🙂 Unfortunately being a straggler all the food had disappeared 🙁

Great fun especially all the comments about bringing the kitchen sink!

I had an awful nights sleep at The Mantra as at 1.30am there was a commotion outside followed by someone having a shower 🙁 I left in the morning ans spent most of Monday snoozing at Altona Lodge a real b&b in the town centre.

My pics of Stellenbosch and Argus Tour plus a few hours in Cape Town harbour can be found by clicking the relevant links.