If the Cape Argus 2015 is going to be your very first cycle tour, a few basic guidelines will help you get the most out of this fantastic 109km route.
You will be sharing the roads with up to 35,000 other cyclists as you make your way around the Cape Argus Route (although not all on the same stretch of road at the same time!), and so communication and consideration are key elements to your success.
Professional cyclists are seeded in the early morning groups, so if you are just a regular hobby rider who is taking part for fun, you do not have to worry about a ‘Tour de France’ type team whizzing past you at 100km an hour… but that doesn’t mean there won’t be any obstacles in your way.
Fancy dress riders, inexperienced riders, and Tandem riders (like us!), all take up more than their fair share of the road, but with a few hand signals, a loud voice, and a good sense of humour, everyone can make it safely to the finish line…
Cape Argus Cycle Tour – Rider 101
Preparation: As mum always says, “preparation is everything”, and if you are starting the Cape Argus Cycle Tour in one of the International Groups, you need to be ready for an early start. Make sure your bike is in perfect condition, get your clothes ready (pin your race number on your shirt the night before), make sure you have plenty of spares, CO2 canisters and energy bars, and finally, slap on the sunscreen as soon as you get out of the shower!
Hold your line: Once you have found your pace, find the most comfortable position on the left hand side of the road, and stay there unless you are overtaking. Wobbling around in the middle of the road will only make you more nervous, and you’ll be shouted at constantly to “Keep Left!”
Overtake on the Right: If possible, only overtake on the right hand side, and leave the right hand lane clear for the next batch of riders once you are done.
Communicate: If you are unable to pass on the right, communicate with the riders in front of you and let them know where you are, and where you intend to pass. Most cyclists simply use “on your right” or “on your left”.
Use Basic Hand Signals: We all learnt them in school, but if you have forgotten your hand signals since then, it might be worth taking a refresher course before you head to the Cape Argus. We found them invaluable this year when a group of cyclists managed to crash into each other at the bottom of a rather steep hill!
Get Ready to Exit: If you are ready for a pit stop, keep your eyes out for the next refreshment station and give yourself plenty of time to get over into the left hand lane. Trying to get over at the last-minute could well end in a pile-up – and you won’t be very popular!
The Cape Argus Cycle Tour is an amazing event, and every other participant has the same goal as you…to make it to the finish line in one piece – so enjoy every moment!