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Road cycling in Cape Town


stefness

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Hi All,

 

Apologies if this is posted in the wrong place, I'm new to this forum having registered only to post this question.

I moved away from Cape Town over 8 years ago but my partner and I will be based in Fish Hoek for 2 weeks in December. As we're both competitive riders in the middle of (UK) winter training, we'll be bringing bikes and training while we're there.

I've never cycled in Cape Town so I don't really know a lot about how safe it is to ride in there. We'll be doing 90 mins to 2 hours of tempo (30 - 35km/h on the flat) loops starting and ending in Fish Hoek, so mostly around Cape Point, Scarborough and Noordehoek way and possibly with a trip over Chappies to Hout Bay and back.

We both have excellent road sense having cycled in London for many years, so I am more concerned about the personal safety aspect. Is it really safe to cycle on twos or on your own? Are there places where I absolutely don't want to puncture? Am I likely to be attacked and have my lovely bike stolen while I'm riding? Am I likely to be hit by a taxi?

Thanks in advance for your horror stories and encouraging tales (hopefully more of the latter, less of the former).

Many thanks!

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Those areas are quite safe. I do not know of any one incident where a cyclist was attacked / robbed. It is a very popular training route, so there is almost always cyclist around.

Just be vigilant for cars, they tend to be quite "aggressive" in some areas.

 

Welcome, and enjoy cycling in one of the most beautifull areas IN THE WORLD!!!

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I don't think you guys need worry. Specially with 100s of other cyclists on the road at that time of year.

 

Dodge the taxis and the drunken jaywalkers and don't piss off an angry granny in a 4x4 and otherwise just have fun.

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Those areas are quite safe. I do not know of any one incident where a cyclist was attacked / robbed. It is a very popular training route, so there is almost always cyclist around.

Just be vigilant for cars, they tend to be quite "aggressive" in some areas.

 

Welcome, and enjoy cycling in one of the most beautifull areas IN THE WORLD!!!

 

Thank you! I am definitely looking forward to it. What do you mean by cars being aggressive? Just passing close and coming up too fast behind you?

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I don't think you guys need worry. Specially with 100s of other cyclists on the road at that time of year.

 

Dodge the taxis and the drunken jaywalkers and don't piss off an angry granny in a 4x4 and otherwise just have fun.

 

That's good to know, thanks very much! Dodging taxis and drunken jaywalkers was a personal skill of mine in London, except here in the countryside we dodge tractors and stray sheep :)

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Thank you! I am definitely looking forward to it. What do you mean by cars being aggressive? Just passing close and coming up too fast behind you?

 

Nothing more than a bit of hooting in the tighter area like Clifton, Bantry Bay, etc if you ride two abreast. Nuisance value only. Ignore it and its quickly diffused; react and you have about 10 seconds of gesticulating as they roar past.

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Thank you! I am definitely looking forward to it. What do you mean by cars being aggressive? Just passing close and coming up too fast behind you?

 

Jip, some motorists thinks that cyclists have no place on the road.

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Nothing more than a bit of hooting in the tighter area like Clifton, Bantry Bay, etc if you ride two abreast. Nuisance value only. Ignore it and its quickly diffused; react and you have about 10 seconds of gesticulating as they roar past.

 

Ah, that's fine, I'm used to that. I had visions of being shoved off and getting bike-jacked :(

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Just bear in mind that half the motorists have no idea how fast you can go and might cut you off when turning left and that sort of thing. Same as everywhere else really. And if you are riding in a pair you should be fine all the time. Just take a cell phone . And check the weather report. It can change very quickly in cape town and the wind can get hectic. Especially around cape point, 60 kph winds are not uncommon at all in summer.

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Hi Steffness

 

The South Peninsula is about as safe as you'll get anywhere in the world. I ride there extensively, often on my own and hardly ever in a group larger than 3. I do not feel threatened from a personal safety point of view, even going past the 2 informal settlements you might pass. (One on the back of Red Hill behind Simons Town, the other between Kommetjie and Fish Hoek.) The only part where some traffic caution is called for is between Kommetjie and Fish Hoek, purely because it is a busy road but it has a fairly decent shoulder (bit bumpy though). Just one more thing, whatever your training calls for, there are some nice shortish sharpish hills to climb that will be worth exploring (Slangkop, Red Hill). Chapmans Peak must be one of the most beautiful rides on earth and is very bike friendly.

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Just bear in mind that half the motorists have no idea how fast you can go and might cut you off when turning left and that sort of thing. Same as everywhere else really. And if you are riding in a pair you should be fine all the time. Just take a cell phone . And check the weather report. It can change very quickly in cape town and the wind can get hectic. Especially around cape point, 60 kph winds are not uncommon at all in summer.

 

Good point, I'd forgotten about the wind out there. What about if we ride separately, or is that not advised?

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Ah, that's fine, I'm used to that. I had visions of being shoved off and getting bike-jacked :(

 

Not a real threat in the areas you mentioned. The roads are generally good, but Chappies is currently closed due to storm damage and we are waiting for word as to when it will reopen. You might have to go the other way around the mountain to get to Hout Bay, Camps Bay, etc. Still a good ride.

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Hi Steffness

 

The South Peninsula is about as safe as you'll get anywhere in the world. I ride there extensively, often on my own and hardly ever in a group larger than 3. I do not feel threatened from a personal safety point of view, even going past the 2 informal settlements you might pass. (One on the back of Red Hill behind Simons Town, the other between Kommetjie and Fish Hoek.) The only part where some traffic caution is called for is between Kommetjie and Fish Hoek, purely because it is a busy road but it has a fairly decent shoulder (bit bumpy though). Just one more thing, whatever your training calls for, there are some nice shortish sharpish hills to climb that will be worth exploring (Slangkop, Red Hill). Chapmans Peak must be one of the most beautiful rides on earth and is very bike friendly.

 

Thanks so much DJR! I was planning on incorporating Red Hill on the route and I was also a bit concerned about the road between Kommetjie and Fish Hoek. I was thinking of turning at the crossroads and going back over Backhill road to avoid that bit. I remember it being busy when I was a kid in the back of my mum's car!

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Good point, I'd forgotten about the wind out there. What about if we ride separately, or is that not advised?

 

I ride alone all the time.

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Not a real threat in the areas you mentioned. The roads are generally good, but Chappies is currently closed due to storm damage and we are waiting for word as to when it will reopen. You might have to go the other way around the mountain to get to Hout Bay, Camps Bay, etc. Still a good ride.

 

Is that via Ou Kaapse and Silvermine and then through Constantia? Ou Kaapse was on my list of climbs to ride too.

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Is that via Ou Kaapse and Silvermine and then through Constantia? Ou Kaapse was on my list of climbs to ride too.

 

That's it. Constantia Nek/Main Road down to Hout Bay is narrow so keep an eye out for trucks and buses. Its a steep downhill so take up the lane behind a convenient car. All cars have to brake on the way down so there is no aggro. On the way up, just keep left and let them pass.

Edited by Blackbeard
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