The Cape Town Cycle Tour is held annually in the Western Cape of South Africa.
It’s a celebration of cycling and its only a real race for those at the front of the field who start before its properly light. The elite of the elite can be likened to dancers of the Argentinian tango; aggressive yet controlled, elegant and fluid, while the slightly slower vets and sub vets are performing a foxtrot and quickstep combo.
Meanwhile, Joe Average (that’s you and me) is huffing and puffing away at the back of the field doing what can best be described as a highly creative version of the funky chicken. Back there amongst the hoi polloi, it’s all flapping elbows, whirling legs and laughter. And yes, we are laughing. Laughing at each other as much as at our collective ability to expend an awful lot of energy to travel a long distance slowly. The Cape Town Cycle Tour seems to produce an above-average number of funky chickens.
For some reason, the Cape Town Cycle Tour has the ability to bring out the party animal in most people. It’s an annual excuse to celebrate the greatness in ourselves. To be a hero for a day. And to show off our beloved Cape Peninsula to the world.
People, who are normally sober office workers during the week turn into fancy dressing, charity supporting, fun riders for the day. They may share the same route as the pro riders (who will have finished the race and had breakfast before most riders have even started), but their experience of the event will be very different, and probably all the better for it.
Half the field are decked out in fancy dress, either for their own fun and amusement or to support a favourite charity, while the other half are lycra-clad in an infinite array of corporate branded kit. It’s a colourful, noisy, action-packed and just plain old-fashioned fun day out. It is what makes the Cape Town Cycle Tour such a great spectacle.
Small wonder then that the Cape Town Cycle Tour route is lined with tens of thousands of spectators who see this as an annual social event that has to be planned down to the finest detail. Spots next to the route are chosen, and jealously guarded for the best wind protection and sublime views. Portable skottle braais produce the most delicious smells that waft over the route, and most importantly, well-stocked cooler boxes are on hand to stave off the constant threat of dehydration and sobriety.
Then there is the noise of the cycle tour. It comes at you almost non-stop, as a rider. Vuvuzelas, cowbells (seriously), whistles, people screaming and shouting support and the constant noise of tyres humming on the tarmac and freewheel hubs going brrrrrrrrrrrr. Shouts of, “Keep left,” and “Hold your line,” from riders who are obviously nervous about riding in a group fill the air and further add to the confusion. Occasionally, someone will lose his rag (it’s always a he) and swear at the hundred or so other riders in his immediate vicinity, but it’s all in a day’s fun at the Cape Town Cycle Tour.
For more info go to https://www.capetowncycletour.com/
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