Summer is finally upon us, the European cycling season is officially underway, and if you are already thinking about booking your next overseas sportive, now is the perfect time to book yourself onto the Garden Route Cycle Trip, a pre-Argus group training ride for the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2018.
A fabulous road biking tour along the Garden Route in South Africa, it was designed for cyclists, by cyclists, and if you like the idea of cycling from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town in the week leading up to Cape Town’s most iconic event, the Cape Town Cycle Tour (previously the Cape Argus), this could be the trip for you!
Purely for hardcore bikers, this Cape Argus Training Tour covers at least 100km every day in temperatures that could reach 40°C in some areas, but it offers untold rewards, and you’ll most definitely be in peak condition on race day!
Limited to just 12 cyclists each year, the Garden Route Cape Town Cycle Tour Training Ride includes guaranteed entry to the world’s largest time cycle race, and so it’s no surprise that repeat bookings are popular and that the tour is usually sold out by October each year!
If this sounds like your perfect 2018 cycling sportive, take a peek at the itinerary below before registering your interest…
Day 1: Arrive Port Elizabeth
After building your bike and shopping for any last-minute energy bars and repair kits, join your fellow riders for a welcome dinner at the Boardwalk entertainment hub.
Day 2: Cycle from Port Elizabeth to Jeffrey’s Bay (Approx. 115km)
Your road cycling adventure along the Garden Route will start today with a 115km ride along the coast from Port Elizabeth to Surfers Paradise – Jeffrey’s Bay, where you will dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Cycle from Jeffrey’s Bay to Storms River (Approx. 110km)
After an early breakfast, your second day of cycling will take you to Storms River and the Tsitsikamma National Park, where you can walk along the suspension bridges and enjoy sundowners overlooking the ocean.
Day 4: Cycle from Storms River to Plettenberg Bay (Approx. 85km)
A slightly shorter ride today, you cycle from Storms River to Plettenberg Bay, one of the most beautiful parts of the Garden Route. After checking in to your hotel, you can head down to the beach for an hour or two before returning for a delicious 4-course dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Transfer to Wilderness – Cycle to Oudtshoorn (Approx. 75km)
After breakfast today, your journey will start with a 1 hour transfer from Plettenberg Bay to Wilderness, where you will begin one of the most challenging days of your Garden Route adventure. The route may only be 75km long, but there are some testing climbs along the way, and during peak summer months (January to March) you could be subjected to temperatures exceeding 40°C.
Day 6: Cycle from Oudtshoorn to Ladismith – Transfer to Swellendam (Approx. 100km)
Another challenging day, but perhaps not as tough as yesterday, you will cycle approximately 100km from the Ostrich Capital of Oudtshoorn to Ladismith, where you will hop on the bus and transfer to Swellendam for dinner and overnight.
Day 7: Cycle from Swellendam to Stanford – Transfer to Hermanus (Approx. 120km)
Another long day, but one that you will most definitely enjoy, you will cycle approximately 120km from Swellendam towards the coast and the small riverside village of Stanford. To avoid competing with traffic on the extremely narrow roads here, you will hop on the bus and transfer the short 20-minute ride to Hermanus, the Whale Capital of the world, where you will dinner and overnight.
Day 8: Cycle from Hermanus to Gordons Bay – Transfer to Cape Town (Approx. 85km)
After 7 long days in the saddle, your last day will take you along the magnificent coastline from Hermanus to Gordons Bay, in what will ultimately be one of your best rides – ever! You will then transfer approximately 2 hours to Cape Town, where you can celebrate your achievement in South Africa’s Mother City.