Cape Town’s best cycling routes

The invitational team at the start of this year’s Argus Cycle Race.

Cycling in Cape Town has been popular for many years. Nowadays though, a person’s first thought of cycling in Cape Town will probably be the ‘Cape Argus Cycle tour’ -and with good reason! It is the largest timed race in the world and every March, the city’s roads are flooded with more than 30 000 cyclists each with their very own bike rack.

It is jokingly known as the “fun ride world champs” due to the number of cycling enthusiasts that take part in it.

The Cape Argus

The Cape Argus cycle tour is 110km long and must be one of the easiest routes to do for the most rewarding views. If you are visiting Cape Town specifically for the Cape Argus cycle tour and you need rental bicycles or professional guides to show you the best routes then iRide Africa are the people to contact (Be sure to book at least one year in advance though!).

The Cape Epic

Cape Town mountain biking was put on the map by another big event. The Cape Epic was started in 2004 and has since become the one of the most popular mountain bike stage races in the world. The race is held over eight days at the end of March and takes teams of 2 riders through 800km of South Africa’s unspoilt, rough and challenging terrain.

If it’s single track that you’re after though (and less of a competitive environment) then you are better off contacting us for one of our many single track tours we offer throughout the year.

Single trail mountain biking

The publicity from these (and many other South African) bike races has led to a huge growth in the popularity of cycling in Cape Town. Weekend races (both mountain bike and road) are held almost every weekend and can attract thousands of riders at a time.

Of course races aren’t the only attraction. The popular mountain bike trail centres at Tokai, Durbanville, Stellenbosch and the dirt roads on the slopes of Table Mountain attract thousands of mountain bikers in the weekends.

You can download iRide Africa’s mountain bike trail maps but if you make use of our guides you will ride the trails better suited to you and have a much better day out trail riding.

Cape Town mountain biking view out over Hout Bay – you can be here too!

For the ‘roadies’, the world famous Chapmans Peak Drive is only a 20km rode from the city bowl and the roads South of Kommetjie and Simons Town are largely traffic free with incredible sweeping roads and cliffside views of the Atlantic Ocean. On any given morning, the roads around Cape Town and Stellenbosch are teaming with cyclists, squeezing in their daily dose of training and fresh air before the work day begins.

There’s nothing quite as liberating as riding through vinyards in the Boland.

Cycle commuters are a still a small group in Cape Town but with petrol prices ever increasing and traffic jams getting worse people are slowly being convinced. Monthly events like critical mass and moonlight mass as well as shops like Woodstock Cycle Works are targeting Capetonians that are keen to move around the city on their bikes. These people are always organising fun events like bike polo, fixie racing and bike and beer tours and you can rent city bikes from iRide Africa with our easy bike rental booking form.

Cape Town has also been slowly building or demarcating new bike lanes that aim to encourage people to commute to work. Unfortunately some of the projects have been poorly designed or executed and cyclists are unable to use the bike lanes due to lack of insight.

The West Coast bicycle lane has been a success but bicycles are still not always allowed on trains and busses which hinders the decision for people to commute (iRide Africa does rent folding bikes that are allowed on trains and buses).

Cycling coalitions are gathering momentum though and putting pressure on the City of Cape Town to ensure that cycling in Cape Town becomes the best way to commute around Cape Town. For the best cycle commuting maps you can contact Cape Town Bicycle Map. – iRide Africa

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