Cycle Tours in Cape Town
There are hundreds of cars like this in Cape Town on race day
Cycling has been hitting the news in Cape Town this week.
The Argus/Pick 'n Pay Giro del Capo has been ridden through
the streets of Cape Town and along the Garden Route creating
much excitement as the riders pedalled through some of the
country towns en route to Cape Town.
This Giro is the lead up to the main event
that will take place on Sunday.
The Argus/Pick 'n Pay Cycle Tour starts in Cape Town
and follows a route along the M4 highway and then
along the False bay coastline round Smitswikels bay
returning via Ocean View and Kommetjie road, over
Ou Kaapse Weg and back along the M4 highway to Cape Town.
A distance of 109 kilometres.
This year there are 35000 entrants who
will line up in Cape Town to start the race.
The first cycle race in 1978 attracted 525 people.
To prevent chaos at the start professional riders
start first and are back in Cape Town by the
time the last of the riders leave the start.
The start is staggered with groups of
riders leaving every 15 to 20 minutes.
Last year the worst part of the race appeared
to be over Ou Kaapseweg where riders struggled
with high temperatures on a very steep mountain climb.
Temperatures rose to 42 degrees celsius.
This year it will hopefully be a bit cooler as
we are experiencing a bit of rain at present.
This is the last time the race will be ridden over
this particular route as from 2004 Chapman's Peak
drive will once again be open and
the race will follow it's original route.
The original race ended in Camps Bay after riders
had to encounter some long climbs up
Suiker Bossie hill to get to the finish.
Organising the event takes much planning.
Firstly getting 35000 riders registered with
race numbers and ensuring that they all have
the correct safety equipment is one major task.
Traffic officials also have their work cut out
as the route that is followed by the cyclists is along main roads.
All of these roads are closed to traffic for the duration of the race.
The whole of the southern peninsula is cut off from
the rest of Cape Town for about six hours as all
the major routes are utilised by the riders.
Residents who leave home before the race cannot
get back home and those who sleep late are held
hostage in their homes until after the
last cylist has passed through their area.
Of course everybody joins in the fun. Residents use their
garden hoses to cool down cyclists as they pass by.
Businesses sponsor water points along the route and
the volunteers manning them have much fun trading
comments with riders as they stop or ride by.
Some of the less serious riders dress up in fancy
costumes and entertain the public along the way.
This is a major social event on the Cape calendar
and brings in thousands of visitors from all over.
Last year the event boosted the coffers of Cape Town
to the tune of about R218 million. No doubt
it will do even better this year.
Here's hoping. Maybe less taxes for me! LOL.
If you are an avid cyclist why not plan your
trip to take in this social event.
You must enter early as the event is limited to 35000 entrants.
The 2009 event will be held on Sunday March the 8th.
To find out more visit https://www.cycletour.co.za
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Cape Town Cycle tours