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  1. The official route starts and ends in the town of Citrusdal on the N7, but you can really start from wherever you like as it is a circular loop. If you are keen to ride over three days, it is actually better, from a cycling point of view, to not start in Citrusdal. Let’s start with the fastest options and work our way down. For me, there are three great options for tackling this route that will appeal to most levels of cycling fitness. Option 1: The non-stop ride This is obviously for the seasoned cyclist looking for a good challenge. Taking on the 247km route non-stop takes some planning, unless you ride with a support vehicle, of course. If you are tackling it unsupported from Citrusdal you can bank on the longest section between shops of around 70km. From the start, at Citrusdal you have around 70km to cover before getting to Algeria. There is a small permit office here with a basic shop with cokes and chips etc. More substantial food only comes at Krom Rivier at 105km or Cederberg Oasis at 115km. Mount Ceder at 125km also has a restaurant when you can get a good meal. There are rivers and streams along the way that you can fill up on water once in the Cederberg, especially in winter when there is good rainfall. Summer is a different story though, temps can hit 40 degrees plus and there are probably only three perennial rivers on the 247km loop. So if you tackle the route in summer, be prepared for the heat. My favourite times for riding the route are Autumn and early Winter before it gets too cold and muddy. Once you leave the Cederberg Oasis you have about 30km before the first stream that you can get water at, and then about another 35km after that till you hit the town Op Di Berg which has a Spar and nice coffee shop where you can get food. After Op Die Berg there is pretty much nothing till you hit Citrusdal 70km later. There is a stream just before you hit the dirt road going up Middelberg Pass, it flows pretty much all year round, but after that there is nothing. If you are relatively fit you can tackle this route with two 750ml bottles, obviously it also depends on how hot it is but with cool weather you shouldn’t need to have more than 2 bottles on the bike if riding unsupported. Option 2: The two-day ride. My favourite starting point for a 2-day ride is in the Cederberg, at the legendary Cederberg Oasis. It’s not always practical for a quick weekend trip, though, as it does add quite a lot to the drive time. Starting in Citrusdal does mean you drive-through after work on a Friday, stay over, and then start riding early in the morning. There are quite a few options to sleep over just outside of Citrusdal on the descent of Middelberg Pass, which would also be a safe spot to leave your car. I have left my car on the main road in town for a night and didn’t have any issues, so there is also the option of driving up early on a Saturday morning from Cape Town, parking in town, and riding the route. The town of Citrusdal is very busy with farm vehicles and trucks going through non-stop so it is a bit of a shock to the senses coming out of the peaceful and quiet Cederberg into a bustling small town. Finishing just outside of town will help you keep that sense of calm a little bit longer. For a 2-day ride, the Cederberg Oasis is a fantastic spot to sleep. It’s really affordable and the food is amazing, especially the Pork Ribs. They have several different accommodation options so you don’t need to carry bedding etc. The first day from Citrusdal to the Cederberg Oasis is roughly 115km if you take the detour through Krom Rivier and you climb around 1900m for the day. Stopping in Krom Rivier for Burgers and Beer is an absolute must, there is a stunning restaurant there with great food and beer (Nieuw Brew) that has been locally brewed in the Cederberg using fresh mountain streams. There are some great accommodation options here too if you like something a bit fancier, but it does make Day 2 a little bit longer. The last 10km from Krom Rivier to Cederberg Oasis takes you past Truitjieskraal which is renowned for its Rock Art and 37 world-famous rock climbing routes. It’s quite loose and technical through here but nothing that can’t be accomplished after a few beers at Krom Rivier. Day 2 is a mammoth day, really hard in the beginning, easy in the middle, and a hard climb at the end. Although it is a 134km day, the last 18km to Citrusdal is all downhill. So technically it’s only a 115km day with 1800m of climbing. The first 22km after leaving Cederberg Oasis sees you climbing most of the day’s elevation gain, 1100m to be exact. You have four proper climbs which max out at 16.5% gradient only to descend again once you hit each summit. It is a very nice wake-up call. After you have done the 1100m of climbing the route is pretty rolling with no major climbs till you get to Middelberg Pass. Once you leave the Cederberg you have about 55km of tar before you get to the base of the Pass. Middelberg Pass is a proper climb, around 5km long with a max gradient of 16%, it is the ultimate test of how hard you pushed the last two days. If you haven’t left much in the tank for this last climb it can hurt in all kinds of ways, but once you get to the summit and you know it is 18km of downhill to the finish, all that suffering is replaced with the excitement of cold beers waiting for you at the finish. Option 3: The three-day ride For those wanting to take a more leisurely attempt at the Cederberg Circuit, there is a nice three-day option that splits the route up into 3 manageable days on the bike. Kunje Guesthouse at the base of Middelberg Pass is the start and endpoint of the loop. Granted, it’s not ideal starting straight up Middelberg Pass but at least you get it done early. Day 1 is roughly 83km to the town of Clanwilliam where there are many options for sleeping as well as restaurants for a good supper. You do go off the “official” Circuit loop for about 6km to go into town but it does give you the most options. Day 2 is roughly 80km from Clanwilliam to the Cederberg Oasis with the main challenge on this day being Uitkyk Pass. Again, stopping at Krom Rivier and wine tasting at the Cederberg Wines are two great highlights for this day. Day 3 is roughly 110km from the Cederberg Oasis to the finish back at Kunje Guesthouse. The main challenge of this day would be the first 20km or so with 1100m of climbing. Each option, whether you want to hit it non-stop or go over 3 (or more) days, has its own challenges and rewards. I will say though that taking things slowly will enable you to truly take in the majestic beauty of the Cederberg and enjoy some of its attractions. There are so many hikes in the area that are a great way to spend a day if you want to slow things right down. Jamaka, Sanddrif, and Mount Ceder are great camping options if you prefer to tour with a tent and your own food. It’s safe to say the Cederberg pretty much has something for everyone! Starting Point: Citrusdal Finishing Point: Citrusdal Distance: 247km Elevation Gain: 3700m Terrain: Roughly 80km tar and the rest, gravel
  2. For many riders local to the Western Cape the Cederberg needs no introduction as a riding destination. The Cederberg Circuit is a 247km circular route which offers riders the opportunity to explore this majestic area in their own time. It is a proper gem and only 2 hours from Cape Town. For those reading this who aren’t based in the Western Cape, or if you are but haven’t had the chance to venture out to this beautifully challenging part of the country yet, this article should provide all the info you need to plan a great a weekend or week of adventuring through the area. View full article
  3. Hi, I am considering doing the Cross Cape Route ( https://www.capecycleroutes.co.za/route/cross-cape-route ) SOLO. It is 742 km Plett to Stellies, passing Plett, George, Oudtshoorn, Swellendam, etc. I am planning on doing the trip in October and I would have more or less 10 days to complete it (more than enough for a fit 25 year old, knowing saddle sores will become my friend) This will be my first time riding all my gear and camping equipment with me on the bike. There will be no support crew or other riders. Has anyone done the route that may offer some advice? Obviously there is added risk doing the trip alone, but do you think lockdown has broken my sanity and this is a recklessly unsafe adventour? This could either be one of the most soul cleansing adventours I will ever take on, or be the premature end to a young life All thoughts, comments and people wanting join are welcomed Warm regards
  4. Made up of towns such as Swellendam, Cape Agulhas, Elim, Hermanus and Grabouw, the Cape Overberg boasts a landscape that is dominated by gentle, undulating hills, deep, green grass and golden wheat fields enclosed by the ocean and foreboding mountain ranges, making for great adventure activities. Pedal through the rolling hills of the Swellendam Valley with the Langeberg Mountains as your backdrop, as you arrive at the southern-most tip of Africa at Cape Agulhas as you embark on your Overberg Meander journey. Stop over at the historic town of Elim – a former Moravian Mission station – and sample the unique vintages of the Elim Wine Route, the southern-most wine route in South Africa. Discover the quaint, idyllic village of Stanford, a quiet town that despite its size punches well above its weight in the production of craft beer and artisanal gin and produce. Cruise into - and through - the aptly-named Hemel-en-Aarde Valley (Heaven on Earth), before finishing your journey in Elgin Valley, a gem of the Cape Overberg - an adventure traveller’s dream, with some of the most epic mountain biking trails; with wine thrown in for good measure. This is more than a cycling route, it is a journey of self-discovery and one that will open your eyes to a beauty you never thought possible. The Cape Overberg is a place of great beauty, warmth and depth of personality and the Overberg Meander will ensure you are immersed in it all. The Overberg Meander is more than just a cycle route – it’s a journey. Swellendam to L’Agulhas Swellendam is one of the oldest towns in South Africa, set against the backdrop of the gorgeous Langeberg Mountains. Visit Wildebraam Berry Estate for some liquor tasting before making your way along undulating gravel roads, wheat fields, and sun-kissed canola fields in bloom from the start of July, up until mid-October. En-route to L’Agulhas – the southern-most point in Africa – make a detour into Bredasdorp for a quick dip in the Breede River, before refilling your water bottles and replenishing your supplies. Take caution on the tarred road between Bredasdorp and Struisbaai and stay in single-file. Once through Struisbaai, stop for a mandatory selfie at the Southern-most point of Africa, which is also where the Indian and Atlantic Ocean meet. Refuel with the local food and get some well-deserved rest. L’Agulhas to Napier This section of the Overberg Meander is made up predominantly of gravel roads, periodically broken up by a few, short sections of tarred roads. The lovely little town of Elim – which was first established as a Moravian Mission Station in 1824 - is a logical halfway stop for replenishing your supplies. Make sure you stop off at one of the wine estates along the Elim Wine Route. The route is made up of six wineries - Zoetendal Winery, Quoin Rock, The Berrio, Black Oystercatcher Strandveld Vineyards, home of First Sighting wines and Lomond – and they boast some delicious red, white and rosé wines. Turning onto Elim road, you will encounter the first “climbs” of the day, surrounded by stretches of unspoilt fynbos (natural shrub land), before rolling past wheat and barley fields into the town of Napier – your home for the evening. Napier to Tesselaarsdal Depart Napier in a westerly direction, making sure to keep an eye out for the turnoff to Sandy’s Glen, which is roughly 11km out of town on the R316. A sharp left off the tarred road leads to an immediate climb into the fynbos strewn mountains of the Cape Overberg.This 80km ride is made up of detours and possible options for you to cycle. Although not officially part of the Overberg Meander, Stanford is too good of an opportunity to pass up, with craft beer, wine, coffee, artisanal gin and food stops in abundance. Re-fuel you tired body before climbing the short and punchy Akkedis Pass, a 7km tarred climb on the R326. Turn off the tarred road once again in a westerly direction before embarking on more climbing, which will take you up and over the road into the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and your base for the night. Tesselaarsdal to Elgin Valley This is arguably the toughest section of the route, but also the most scenic, taking you past award-winning vineyards of the Hemel-en-Aarde valley. You will have the option to detour into the bustling coastal town of Hermanus, or the second optional detour via the protected Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, which forms part of the Cape Floral Kingdom a UNESCO World Heritage Site and ending up in the picturesque valley of Elgin.Ensure that you are well rested before you take on the rough and corrugated Highlands road climb, which will reward you with panoramic vistas extending over the Cape Whale Coast, as well as the Groenlandberg mountains. Stop off at the iconic Peregrine Farm Stall and reward yourself with a freshly baked pie and artisanal coffee or fresh pressed apple juice, before crossing the N2 highway on your way to the Elgin Railway Market that takes places every Saturday and also where you will end your Overberg Meander journey.
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