Strictly speaking, Cape Town isn’t exactly where the Atlantic meets the Indian Ocean – that happens around a hundred kilometers southeast of here in Cape Agulhas, which is part of the protected area of Agulhas National Park.
For an adventure-seeking cyclist landing in Cape Town, this clarification of the geography could well be enough to spark a flame of curiosity, potentially inspiring you to consider a jaunt down to the point where the currents of the two oceans collide before you head rogue onto South Africa’s dirt tracks or north into Namibia.
If you’re on a tight schedule with pre-booked transfers in place to cycling hotspots like Robertson Wine Valley or Ai-Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park just over the border in Namibia, Cape Town with its four million inhabitants is packed with route options to satisfy your thirst for adventure and bank some stunning views.
You don’t have to go far for great gravel loops in Cape Town. The best routes incorporate the trails that wind their way between Table Mountain, the peaks of Signal Hill, and Lion’s Head. Each time you raise your head while tackling the steep trails, you’ll spot the bewitching sight of the huge city and the Atlantic Ocean below.
It’s not the kind of place you’ll ever get bored of riding: Table Mountain, for example, is a designated national park, rich with rare plants and the possibility to encounter wild animals, bringing to life exciting scenes of an untamed wilderness that will have been swimming around your head for years.
Away from the gravel, the adventure side of things, and the city’s wealth of trails, Cape Town is replete with slick ribbons of tarmac that stretch both north and south into eye-opening road riding terrain. Make time to stop and admire the views; these are landscapes you will want to savour. For fans of undulating routes, the stunning views of the ocean while climbing will certainly take the edge off the hurt.
Once outside of Cape Town, the roads frequently swerve into nature reserves, a repeat reminder to cyclists that even though the city feels remarkably similar to any European metropolis, you’re never far from the wilds of Africa as explored by Dr. David Livingstone and Sir Henry Stanley.
From another perspective, Cape Town also marked the grand depart for Caroline Soubayroux and David Ferguson as they rode across Africa during their world tour. Their personal accounts of this leg of the journey are perhaps the best testimony to what an unbelievable adventure lies in store for any bike rider on whatever bike departing from the Cape of Good Hope.
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