I cycled to Pretoria this last weekend. I have been wanting to do this for quite sometime. I have been putting it off as there were some concerns in my mind. I was concerned about the amount of traffic along the routes that I would need to take. Then there was the crime issues.
Much to my surprise the concerns were all in vain. I have traveled with a car and motor bike on the R101 before. However traveling the route by bicycle gives a whole different feeling. There is no doubt a lot of traffic. However they gave me enough room to ride with exception of one or two trucks. There are a lot of 60 km/h and 80 km/h zones, resulting in traffic moving slower.
People along the road were friendly and often welcomed me. Many times I felt as if I was traveling in one of the neighbouring countries. There was water been carried in 20 litre drums which can be seen in other places in Africa. The zinc houses and half build run down houses can also be seen other places in Africa.There is however evidence of money coming from the big cities. There were the fancy cars and houses here and there that shout out income from the big cities.
I passed the Carousel Casino near Hammanskraal. This is were many people go and gamble away their money thus enriching a few with their lost money. Just across the road is a poor suburb called Carousel view. Most likely where most of the workers of the Carousel live. At lest there is some employment for the local community.
There is some farming along the road. There is one well known farmer that does crops under centre pivot and has some processing plants. I also passed a few animal feed plants. Farming on small farms takes place almost up to Onderstepoort. This is the main veterinary training and research station of South Africa.
After riding out of the drought stricken Springbok flats I rode over Magaliesberg into down town Pretoria to get a heavy afternoon down pour of rain. Which resulted in the streets been under water and having to take off my sunglasses, because I could not see.
To round the trip off. There was a hot head wind all the way home. Nothing like some good training conditions. Nice interesting ride of 260 km. Taking me through the farm lands, poverty suburbs and the Capital city of South Africa. What a contrast.