Cape Town Cycle Tour 2016: 5 Day Training Programme for International Entrants

If you love cycling, now is a wonderful time of year to live in the Northern Hemisphere!  The sun is shining (mostly), its dry (mostly), and with many Europeans about to embark on their annual summer holiday, the 2016 cycling season is officially underway.

But by the time we get ready to head to Cape Town for the Cycle Tour next March, the outlook is going to be a whole lot different.  January and February are generally the wettest and coldest months in the UK and Northern Europe, and while we can all get a few kilometres in on the Spinning Bike, there is nothing like training in the great outdoors.

Cape Town Cycle TourWe tackled the problem this year with a 5 Day Cape Argus Training Programme for International Entrants, and due to popular demand, we will be running a similar programme in 2016… here’s a sneak peek…

WINE LANDS 1 CYCLE TOUR – Monday 29th FEBRUARY 2016  

After collection from the CBD, we will transfer to the outskirts of Wellington to our starting point on the R44 heading south. Bypassing the town and Paarl itself, we will take a moment to view the Afrikaans Language Monument and Paarl Rock in the distance, before making our way past various vine yards to our lunch destination at Vredenheim Wine Estate on the outskirts of Stellenbosch. After a delicious lunch admiring the mountains and breath-taking views of the Cape Winelands, we will head back towards the coast, finishing near Somerset West.

Total Cycling Distance: 100km/62 miles

WEST COAST NATIONAL PARK – Tuesday 1ST MARCH 2016

Today we transfer north (approximately 1.5 hours) out of the city, and start with a gentle 20km warm up before tackling the West Coast National Park ride around the Lagoon to Churchhaven on the western side. On a clear day, we will enjoy magnificent views of Table Mountain in the distance, whilst riding along the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. After a delicious lunch as Geelbek, a Historic Cape Dutch style Governor’s Manor House in the middle of the park, we will continue around to the north side of the lagoon before departing back to Cape Town.

Total Cycling Distance: 100km/62 miles

WINE LANDS 2 CYCLE TOUR – Wednesday 2nd MARCH 2016

After collection from the CBD, we will transfer to the outskirts of Stellenbosch to start our cycle tour near Meerlust Wine Estate. After a 10km warm up on the flat, we will begin tackling some of the undulating climbs to Stellenbosch on the R44 (a further 12 km) via winery road. Then over the Helshoogte Pass (literally Hell’s Heights, the name is worse than the 5k climb!) and along a relatively flat path to Franschhoek where we will enjoy lunch at one of the local vine yards. Once refreshed, we will climb the Franschhoek Pass to enjoy the views from the top before a fun 10k downhill ride next to the reservoir, where our transport will be waiting to take us back to Cape Town.

Total Cycling Distance: 100km/62 miles

PENINSULA TOUR – Thursday 3rd MARCH 2016

Heading down the Atlantic Seaboard from our starting point outside the Equatours group hotel, we will climb over the ascent past Llandudno to simulate the climbs out of Cape Town on race day. We will then continue through Hout Bay to the Chapman’s Peak view point, before descending down to the False Bay Coast through the pretty seaside towns of Simon’s Town and Fish Hoek.  After all that downhill, it is time to test the legs with a climb up Smitswinkel, where we will head past the reserve entrance to Scarborough and Misty Cliffs. After lunch at Imhoff Farm, we will make our way back to our starting point, tackling Chapman’s Peak and Suikerboisse to prepare ourselves for race day.

Total Cycling Distance: 112km/70miles with plenty of climbs – just like the Cape Town Cycle Tour!

CLARENCE DRIVE RIDE – Friday 4TH MARCH 2016

This morning we will transfer out of town to Gordon’s Bay, where we will start our ride on the majestic False Bay Coastline overlooking the Cape Peninsula. After cycling the winding coastal road between the sea and the side of the Overberg Mountains, we will flatten out for a few km’s before enjoying a traditional lunch at Cafe Jack in Betty’s Bay. Once re-fuelled, we will head back in the same direction, enjoying new views of this magnificent stretch of coastline.  Extremely picturesque, this combines cycling with sightseeing, so don’t forget your camera!

Total Cycling Distance: 70km/44miles with option of further 20km/12miles

 

 

 

Cairo to Cape Town – Now that’s what I call a Cycle Tour!

While most of us cycling enthusiasts travel to Cape Town for the world-famous 109km Cycle Tour (previously the Argus), British endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont decided to push his African Adventure one-step further with a whopping 10,863km journey from Cairo to Cape Town.

Smashing previous records by a staggering 17 days, 32-year-old Mark from Perthshire in Scotland, completed his trip in just 41 days, 10 hours and 22 minutes, despite suffering from various mechanical problems, an attempted mugging and food poisoning along the way.rovos-rail-cape-town-to-cairoImage Courtesy of Rovos Rail

Mark already holds several world records, which include the Fastest Person to Cycle around the World, and the Fastest Person to Cycle across the Americas, but insists his “wanderlust is definitely cured for a while” after his latest world record title.

When interviewed at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh, Mark said, “I feel a lot of relief. I put a lot of pressure on myself when I take on these big expeditions.” He continued, “It’s not just my dream, there’s a lot of backing from sponsors, the media’s excited, tens of thousands of people are following online, and there’s a belief that I’ll just go out there and do it. It’s tough, so when I get to the finishing line it’s just an incredible relief to do it.”

Cycling an average of 240 kilometres per day, Mark crossed through Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Botswana before finally reaching South Africa, and it seems the 7 months of training that he did with the Scottish cycling squad prior to his trip got him in perfect condition for his African challenge.

Beaumont said, “My plan was always to set the world record at a totally new level”, and it looks like he’s done exactly that!  Would you tackle such an amazing journey (money and time permitting)? Drop us a line and let us know!

I think I’d rather do it on board Rovos Rail – Africa’s most luxurious train!

Rent a Bike for the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2016

We may have a whopping 281 days to go until the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2016 gets underway, but there is already a high demand for quality road bikes, and so if you are thinking of renting a bike in Cape Town for next years event, now is definitely the time to place your order!

There are several bicycle rental companies in Cape Town, and most of them offer very good bikes, but due to the huge demand over the Argus period, they all have a minimum rental period ranging from 3 and 14 days, and you can expect to pay at least R2.500 – R3.500 to rent a decent road bike over that weekend.

Cape ArgusIt is also possible to rent a tandem bike for the Cape Town Cycle Tour, but they are even more difficult to find than quality road bikes, so advanced booking is essential.  A bicycle made for two will cost you around R1.750 per day to rent, but if you book early, you might be able to get a good offer for 2 or 3 days rental.

Of course, all rental bikes are used and they are probably not up to the same standards as the bike you have at home, so you need to bear that in mind if comfort, timing and speed is important to you. Many cyclists choose to take their own saddle and cleats, which can make a huge difference to your ride, and while the rental companies will provide you with a helmet (it is a legal requirement in South Africa that you wear one), you will probably feel more comfortable wearing your own!

Cape Argus

The best option is always to take your own bike to Cape Town for the cycle tour, but if you are heading off on a safari or travelling along the Garden Route on a self-drive tour, it is not always practical.  So think ahead and start planning now as there will be no bikes left once registration opens in September, and you could end up riding the Argus on a rusty old mountain bike – believe me – been there, done that!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday’s Photoshoot – Warming Up for the Cape Town Cycle Tour

After a long cold winter in the northern hemisphere, the easiest way to warm up for the Cape Town Cycle Tour is with 2 or 3 cycling training tours in and around Cape Town.  There are some beautiful stretches for cyclists in the Western Cape, and we cover 5 of them on the Monday to Friday before the race on our Pre-Argus Cycle Tour Training Program.

Here’s some photos from March 2015, when our group of 50 international cyclists headed to Cape Town for the World’s Largest Timed Cycle Race.

Cape Town Cycle Tour Pre Argus Training Tours 2 Pre Argus Training Tours 3 Pre Argus Training Tours 4 Pre Argus Training Tours 5 Pre Argus Training Tours 6 Pre Argus Training Tours 7 Pre Argus Training Tours 8 Pre Argus Training Tours 9 Pre Argus Training Tours 10

Cycling Holidays – Sun, Sport and Stunning Scenery Guaranteed!

Cycling holidays are one of the fastest growing travel trends, and if you like the idea of combining your annual trip overseas with a few days in the saddle, there are some fantastic international cycling tours that will work perfectly with any tailor-made travel itinerary.

Best cycling holidays

Until recently, travelling overseas with your bike was a costly experience, but due to the popularity of international cycling events, many leading airlines will allow you to transport your bicycle as part of your standard luggage allowance. With that ‘problem’ solved, you can start planning your cycling holiday today, and if you are looking for some inspiration, here are 3 Amazing Overseas Cycling Events to get you started…

The Tour de Tuli – South Africa, Botswana & Zimbabwe

An off-road event for those who like to get down and dirty on their Mountain Bikes, the Tour de Tuli is a 4-Day / 280km cycle tour that will take you through some of the most beautiful areas of Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa.  A charitable event that raises money for the Children in the Wilderness organisation, the Tour de Tuli takes place every August – but spaces are limited, so you need to book for 2016 now!

The Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge – New Zealand

New Zealand’s benchmark cycling event, the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge is made up of 20 different events ranging from the popular Bike Barn Solo, a 160km circumnavigation of Lake Taupo, to the Barfoot & Thompson Extreme Enduro – a whopping 1280km challenge.  Taking place in November each year, this one day sportive works exceptionally well with a self-drive New Zealand itinerary.

The Cape Town Cycle Tour – South Africa

Attracting over 35,000 cyclists each year, the Cape Town Cycle Tour (previously the Cape Argus), is the world’s largest timed cycle race, and fast becoming the world’s most popular one day sportive thanks to its idyllic location and spectacular scenery.  The CTCT takes place in March each year, which just happens to be the best time of the year to visit South Africa.  After a week in Cape Town, you can extend you stay with a self-drive Garden Route tour, a Winelands adventure, a safari, or even a trip to Victoria Falls – the possibilities are endless.

 

Cape Town Cycle Tour 2016 – Will you be cycling on 6th March?

The date for the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2016 has been confirmed by the event organisers as Sunday 6th March, and while it may be a week earlier than usual, it means we have one less week to wait until we head back down to South Africa for the World’s Largest Timed Cycle Race!

A fantastic event that draws over 35,000 cyclists to Cape Town each year, the Cape Town Cycle Tour (previously the Cape Argus), is set to be a huge event again in 2016, and while the #Showyoucaresolidarityride of 2015 is something we will always remember – we cannot wait to cycle the full 109km route next spring.

Cape Town Cycle Tour 2016 International Entries and RegistrationIf you are planning on taking part in the CTCT 2016, and you are thinking about renting a bike in Cape Town for the event – now is the time to book. I know that sounds crazy, but by the time registration opens in September, all decent road bikes will have been rented out – and you’ll be left with rusty old buckets at unreasonable prices!

If your bike and race time is important to you, it is always recommended that you take your own bike down to Cape Town for the event.  Many airlines allow you to transport your bike as part of your luggage allowance, so if you have a super-duper lightweight bike and you can pack light – it won’t cost you a penny.  Other airlines charge a fixed fee to transport your bike, which ranges from £110 – £180 depending on the airline you choose.  Either way – it works out cheaper than renting a bike – so bear that in mind!

Once you have arrived in Cape Town, you will probably want to build your bike and get some kilometres in after a long cold winter overseas, so book yourself on one or two cycle training tours and get the feel for the toasty temperatures and beautiful coastline that awaits you!

The Cape Town Cycle Tour 2016 is set to be the biggest and best yet, so don’t delay, reserve your spot today!

 

Cape Town Cycle Tour 2015 #Showyoucaresolidarityride

We have just returned from our annual pilgrimage to Cape Town for the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2015, and while it didn’t quite go to plan this year due to huge bush fires ravaging the Cape Peninsula in the week before the race, the event organisers still did a fantastic job with the #Showyoucaresolidarityride!

Sadly, the fires wiped out the possibility of cycling the traditional 109km Cape Town Cycle Tour route along the stunning coastline of the Western Cape, but that didn’t stop some 30,000 cyclist heading out to show their support for the firefighters and those who had lost their homes in the shortened 47km Solidarity Ride.

A short sprint from the city centre to Muizenberg and back, this year’s Cape Town Cycle Tour will certainly be one to remember, and while it was somewhat disappointing for those who had travelled from the other side of the world to participate in the World’s largest timed cycle event – we now have the perfect excuse to return to Cape Town next year! Cape Town Cycle Tour 2016 – Here We Come!!!

#Showyoucaresolidarityride IMG_0028 IMG_0044 IMG_0046 IMG_0056 IMG_0059 IMG_0066 IMG_0073 IMG_0085 IMG_0087 IMG_0076