What a nice weekend I had. Rode my first ever cycle race. The Cape Argus cycle tour is the biggest timed race in the world. There was over 36000 entrance. 31046 finished within the cut off time. It takes place on the Southern tip of Africa. Starting and finishing in Cape town. Route is 109 km passing through some of the most scenic parts on the cape peninsular. Having lots of hills and sometimes strong winds. Locals line the streets and encourage you on your way.
My boss Kobus and the vets from CS vet have been pushing me to do the Cape Argus race. I tried to wriggle out of it as I have not ridden a cycle race yet. Well they got it right and I received an email from the organizers that said the following.
You are now entered for the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour taking place on 9 March 2014.
The Cycle Tour forms part of the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Lifecycle Week and is organised by the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust.\
Now all I must do is ride, as there are sponsors that covered the entry fee, hotel and cycle clothing. There are some others from our farm that will be ridding also. I am looking for a 6 hour time over the 109 km distance. However some say I should be able to do it under 5 hours. I will be ridding my mountain bike so do not expect such a good time as the people who ride road bikes. Follow this blog to see how this goes down.
I rode 240 km this weekend on my bicycle. I had heard lots about the town Alma. However did discover it is just a T junction with a bottle store, grain silo, primary school and a squatter’s camp. The road to get there is not recommended to cycle best done with a bakkie (pick up) or a 4X4 vehicle. This is the end of sand road to Alma. Only the T junction was tar.
Feels like Africa begins here. Take note of the following signs just before town.
It is a sandy town that wants to grow but with the lack of employment opportunities. Thus many houses standing empty. All along the main road biltong shops advertise. Looks like biltong and game animals are the main export of this area.
I tested out some weight saving strategies on this trip. Cut tent pegs by half. Crocs (light Chines ones) for time off of bicycle. Cut unnecessary tools. Cut down on traveling with food, ate at restaurant and stopped at shops for food. Mounted solar panel on Velcro (to charge cell phone and camera) for places where there is no electricity. Pouch to hold cell and camera.
On the way I passed Modimolle and dropped in at the bicycle shop to see what needs to be done to my bicycle for the trip to Malawi. Also looked at camping shop to see if there are lighter tents.
All in all think it was a very good trip. For those of you, light is much better. Lighter load made the ride much more pleasurable. Well there is room for more weight saving for me.
Have done a basic plan for traveling from Johannesburg, then cycling the length of Lake Malawi and back to Johannesburg. If you are interested in joining, take a look at my page” Next long trip”.