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Cross Cape Route (Plett - Stellenbosch) SOLO


RaymondH123
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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  :D

 

All thoughts, comments and people wanting join are welcomed  :thumbup:

 

Warm regards 

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The only place you need to be alert to nefarious characters is getting out of George, through the quarry at Witfontein. there have been irregular bikejackings there. Early mornings seem the most risky, I must say I have ridden that stretch many times and never seen any dodgy people, but George is having a bit of a biker/hiker/walker crime problem at the moment so caution is sensible. There is an alternative route, but there have been robberies on the tar bypass up to the foot of Outeniqua Pass too, but at least you might be rescued by a passing motorist).

 

Apart from that brief zone-six-and-a-half sprint (with the readiness to turn on a tickey and ride back if a bush so much as moves) this trip is the best thing you will ever do. Slightly very jealous.

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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 :D

 

All thoughts, comments and people wanting join are welcomed [emoji106]

 

Warm regards

Hey Raymond

 

It won't be reckless if it's planned properly. I know both GMBN and GCN have done a number of videos on bikepacking (as has a number of other YouTube posters like Juliet Elliott) so maybe have a look there for some guidance.

 

Additionally think about how you're going to travel to your start point and then from your end point of this bike packing adventure. It would also probably be wise to make use of a buddy system ito having someone know where exactly you are on your trip. Also think about the electronic devices you're going to take and how you're going to keep them charged especially your phone and whatever head unit/bike comp you're using.

 

Those would be my main concerns when I get round to doing this route myself because I'd also probably do this solo as well.

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If you do this PM me - you can have a hot shower, electricity, workshop and a comfy bed along the way (Hoekwil) along the 7 passes.  I could quite possibly take you through that semi dodgy section in George too. It's rare but like Tim said, a few instances recently as it runs near a township where tik and unemployment runs high.

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If you do this PM me - you can have a hot shower, electricity, workshop and a comfy bed along the way (Hoekwil) along the 7 passes.  I could quite possibly take you through that semi dodgy section in George too. It's rare but like Tim said, a few instances recently as it runs near a township where tik and unemployment runs high.

 Find a guide, was the advice I should have added :). If you leave from Hoekwil, you will hit the quarry mid-morning, problem probably solved. 

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If you do this PM me - you can have a hot shower, electricity, workshop and a comfy bed along the way (Hoekwil) along the 7 passes.  I could quite possibly take you through that semi dodgy section in George too. It's rare but like Tim said, a few instances recently as it runs near a township where tik and unemployment runs high.

Thanks for the willingness to assist. If I come past in Oct I will definitely take you up on the offer, much appreciated. It is unfortunate that our beautiful country is plagued by this problem, but I will try and manage the risk with the time I pass and also making sure I am not tired on that stretch of road. 

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Hey Raymond

 

It won't be reckless if it's planned properly. I know both GMBN and GCN have done a number of videos on bikepacking (as has a number of other YouTube posters like Juliet Elliott) so maybe have a look there for some guidance.

 

Additionally think about how you're going to travel to your start point and then from your end point of this bike packing adventure. It would also probably be wise to make use of a buddy system ito having someone know where exactly you are on your trip. Also think about the electronic devices you're going to take and how you're going to keep them charged especially your phone and whatever head unit/bike comp you're using.

 

Those would be my main concerns when I get round to doing this route myself because I'd also probably do this solo as well.

As you mentioned logistics is key and also a fine balancing act with one's budget. 

 

I would probably stop my car in either Plett or Cape Town (depending on accomodation with family) and do the route in an Easterly or Westerly direction accordingly. Leave the bike, hop on a bus and later fetch the bike with the car (pretty much doing the trip twice unless I get a cheap courier for the bike). 

 

I am going to do some serious research in terms of accomodation as this is where the biggest costs in the trip sit and tented accommodation seems like a risk with a bike. 

 

Thanks for the advice 

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If you do this PM me - you can have a hot shower, electricity, workshop and a comfy bed along the way (Hoekwil) along the 7 passes.  I could quite possibly take you through that semi dodgy section in George too. It's rare but like Tim said, a few instances recently as it runs near a township where tik and unemployment runs high.

 

Ag you just want go ride up Montague pass with your steed and you're using this as an excuse to...

 

Jokes aside, I lived in George for many many years, and honestly Witfontein has always been a trouble spot. It is literally walking distance from (not so) Happy Valley. But even still, it's on my to-do list. Hailing from there, I only started cycling after leaving George. I want to cross over from there, and then carry on to Oudtshoorn and then to the top of Swartberg some day.

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Thanks for the willingness to assist. If I come past in Oct I will definitely take you up on the offer, much appreciated. It is unfortunate that our beautiful country is plagued by this problem, but I will try and manage the risk with the time I pass and also making sure I am not tired on that stretch of road. 

Quite honestly the rest of the route I would happily ride alone (and do) so this one tiny and avoidable section should not deter you

 

but yes, it saddens us all that we even have to have this conversation

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Quite honestly the rest of the route I would happily ride alone (and do) so this one tiny and avoidable section should not deter you

 

but yes, it saddens us all that we even have to have this conversation

Not sure if I went through the area that's being discussed, given that I came from the Groot Brak side of George, but on day 2 of a solo trip last year I rode over Montagu pass without any issues. Perhaps I was just oblivious, but it was also mid-morning.

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Not sure if I went through the area that's being discussed, given that I came from the Groot Brak side of George, but on day 2 of a solo trip last year I rode over Montagu pass without any issues. Perhaps I was just oblivious, but it was also mid-morning.

Firstly a mugging is unlikely but sadly it's on the rise so last year was safer than this year.

I consider where I live to be be safe by worldwide standards but now there is a place close by that I avoid.  Sign of the times

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Quite honestly the rest of the route I would happily ride alone (and do) so this one tiny and avoidable section should not deter you

 

but yes, it saddens us all that we even have to have this conversation

 

If you say the section is avoidable, what do you advise as the most scenic and sensible detour route to avoid the dodgy Witfontein stretch? It sounds like you know this part of the country well. 

 

I was also thinking of timing my ride in such a way to perhaps join a local George cycle shop's club ride through this section (if they even brave this stretch).  

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