Last year the Cape Town Cycle Tour was cancelled because of dangerously high winds. This year there is not a breath of air. It is perfect conditions for the cycle tour. Since I discovered running I have almost completely stopped cycling, but I still like to walk down to Main Road to support and watch the cyclists. I prefer to wait for the tail-end to come through; they are far more social and relaxed on the road.
Enjoy the pics from Sunday.
Well I was (sort of) supposed to ride in the 109km race, but since I have put so much effort into the Two Oceans Half Marathon in 3 weeks time, I did the prudent thing and just watched the race from the sidelines.
And the rest
An early group
Be careful what you wish for, because you might get it. On Sunday I wished for a wind-free day, and that is exactly what I got. However I didn’t wish for the temperature to go over 40 deg C, but it did!
By now you probably know that I cycled in the Pick n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour on Sunday. This was my 6th tour, and I clearly have an ability to pick interesting weather. Oh, how I would love to have a race in cool and wind-free weather. But not this year! Just to give you an example of some of the recent tours that I have completed:
- 2012: temperature peaked at 42 deg C
- 2010: howling wind (but not as bad as 2009)
- 2009: howling wind (over 120km/h – higher that what I experienced in hurricane Irene in USA 2011)
- 2006: rained (and crashed but still finished)
Maybe, just maybe next year will be great weather.
Relaxing before the start
While I didn’t take any pictures on the road, here are a couple (mostly) from the start line, and all on my phone (no my SLR does not go on the race with me). I hope this gives you a small taste of the feeling of being part of the 31324 cyclists that finished. There are so many people that while the first cyclists leave at 6:15am, the last leave after 10:30am which is after the first cyclists have already finished!
My group starting to assemble at the start line
The race leaves in groups of about 500, spread out every few minutes. My group left at 9:16am, and it was already sweltering. I drank over 9l water on the route, which is about what I usually drink in an entire week.
At the start line, about 5 minutes before my group started on the 110km route
The end, now I can relax for the next year, or at least until the 2 Oceans half marathon next month.
On Sunday, I will be cycling in my 5th Pick n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour, or just the Argus as everybody knows it as. The tour, which is 109 km long, winds itself around Cape Town. Approximately 38000 people will be riding in the race, which to my knowledge is the longest timed cycle event in the world, and probably the only cycling event to span two oceans.
It is an amazing event to be part of, the roads are closed, thousands of people arrive to support us on, and you get to cycle on the most beautiful scenery in the world. These are a few pictures taken over the past few years, some while watching, and some while participating in the event itself. I hope it gives you a feel for the event.
Main Road (before permanent road-works caused the Boyes Drive detour)
My Friend Zilani, the hand cyclist
A large bunch coming past
The Bar One Girls cheer you on and hand out free chocolates
One of the many refueling stops
There are many physios on duty to help the tired legs
A few extra hills here, thanks to the previously mentioned road works.
If you are in Cape Town, I hope you will either be on a bike, or supporting us as we come past. Good luck to all the cyclists, ride safe and I will see you on the road on Sunday.
Tomorrow is the annual Argus Cycle Tour, and while I will not be riding this year, I will be on the side of the road taking photos. Approximately 35000 cyclists will race the 109km route around Cape Town.
These shots go a little back in my archive, I took them in 2008 – I was strictly point and shoot in those days :-), when I missed the race due to back surgery.
One of the many large bunches of cyclists
It is a little ironic for me because I rode both last year and the year before, and both years had howling gales. This year (when I am not riding) is promising to have ideal cycling conditions. Oh well!
Over the finish line