Christmas is over, a New Year is upon us, and now that January has finally made an appearance, it’s time to ditch the mince pies, dispose of any leftover Christmas goodies, and get fit for the Cape Town Cycle Tour on March 12th!
An iconic cycling event that attracts some 35,000 hobby and pro cyclists each year, the Cape Town Cycle Tour (previously the Cape Argus) is fast becoming the most popular cycling event in the international calendar, and if you are one of the lucky participants who managed to secure an entry in the ballot system, you are in for a real treat!
At 109km, the Cape Town Cycle Tour is no walk in the park, but it’s not the most challenging of races either. Any keen cyclist with a relatively good level of physical fitness can complete the course in the 7 hours allowed, and if you think you’re too old, you may be interested to know that the oldest person to complete the World’s Largest Timed Cycle Tour was 92-year-old Japie Malan!
The ‘problem’ with the Cape Town Cycle Tour, is that once you have done it, you want to do it again… and again! In March this year, we’ll be lining up for the 5th year in a row, and with each new year comes a new challenge… Will we beat our personal best?
Many cyclists aim for a finishing time of sub 3 hours, but when you consider that most of the professional racers finish in around 2 hours and 20 minutes, it’s a pretty tough time to beat! When the weather is good, it’s really good in Cape Town at that time of the year, but when it’s bad, you can expect temperatures of around 35 degrees Celsius and ‘Cape Doctor’ winds reaching 84km an hour, and so you need to be lucky if you are to be in the sub 3 bracket.
Sub 4 is highly achievable, especially for avid cyclists who work on their mileage throughout the year, but that works out at an average speed of around 27km per hour, and with Wynberg Hill, Smitswinkel, Suikerbossie and Chapman’s Peak to contend with, you need to have a good uphill speed, or a really good downhill speed if you are to reach your goal.
To finish the Cape Town Cycle Tour in under 5 hours is still considered a good achievement, and I for one will be delighted with such a result! After 4 years of riding tandem, I’m going it alone for the first time on March 12th, so I’m hoping the weather is kind and my legs hold out!
If not, I’ll fall in the sub 6-hour category, and that’s not really something to shout about, but hey, it’s better than not finishing at all! The beautiful thing about the Cape Town Cycle Tour is that it runs every year, so if you fail miserably, you can always come back and do it again – and we’ll most definitely be lining up in 2018!
International entries are still available for the Cape Town Cycle Tour – so why not join us!