Cape Argus Cycle Tour in Cape Town

View from Smitswinkel on Cape Argus cycle tour

Last Sunday saw me riding the Cape Argus cycle tour in Cape Town for the third time. This is a great event which has taken place in Cape Town every March for the last 30 years or so. It’s actually the largest mass sporting event in the world with approx 35,000 cyclists heading off to cycle 110km (69 miles) around the Cape Peninsula of South Africa passing through Simonstown, past the Cape Point National Park, the coastal town of Scarborough, Chapmans Peak, Hout Bay and finally Camps Bay to end back in the city at the new Soccer Stadium.

It was a fantastic day – unlike my previous two times, the wind was kind to us  – and the sun was shining, but not too strongly. So all in all a great day for cycling. As you can imagine, the start of the race is planned with meticulous care with 35,000 people wanting to get away safely.  The professional riders set off at sunrise with the rest of the field going off every 3-4 mins for the next 3½ hours. In fact the lead racers have already completed the race by the time the last cyclists set off! The pro riders complete it in 2½ hours but most lesser mortals take 4 to 5½ hours with the final cut off being 7 hours.

What makes the Argus so special – in my humble opinion – are three things. Firstly the route is very scenic as you hug the coastline with panoramic ocean vistas as you speed past.  Perhaps the most notable section is the winding Chapmans Peak drive. There are also a few hills to test you and some great winding descents. Secondly the people of Cape Town come out in force to support all the riders. All along the route there are people shouting out encouragement and even hosing you down if you’re getting hot. Finally the race is very well managed – the route is closed to cars which makes it much safer; there are frequent refreshment stops offering all manner of energy drinks even mars bars; complimentary massages for tired or cramping legs; and even a bus which collects any cyclists who have to bail out en route for whatever reason.

It’s a great day and the lack of wind meant that I bettered my time by over 40 mins which I was pleased about. Lots of people come from all over the world to participate (with overseas entrants getting a good starting time) and if you are a keen cyclist then it’s well worth planning a trip to Cape Town or South Africa to co-incide with the Cape Argus cycle tour. You won’t be disappointed!

Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

Kate Bergh is co-founder of Cedarberg African Travel, a specialist tour operator for Southern and East Africa.

She heads up the South African office, having lived in South Africa since 1993. Her home looks up to the Cedarberg Mountains, where she enjoys hiking and cycling, when she’s not out discovering new places to visit, with her three children in tow. Kate has travelled extensively throughout the region to Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe as well as most areas of South Africa. She also loves history, meeting people and a good thriller...


Have you liked us on Facebook yet?