Cape Town Cycle Tour 109 km via BMX – 11 March 2018

58 kilometres per hour/36 miles per hour. That was my top speed while traversing the 109 km Cape Town Cycle Tour on a single speed BMX. Like trail running, I just feel really good and free riding a BMX. It’s simply fun, and I could not resist riding the world’s largest timed cycle race without anything else.

This Tale depicts these highs and some lows that comes with riding over one hundred kilometres with no gears on the smallest bicycle on the course, within a 7 hour time limit. Time and speed may have been important, yet I soon found out that the journey was probably not only more important, but a whole lot of fun! Enjoy!

Wheels on wheels – taking the mid morning train ride into the City of Cape Town.

This annual event starts at the Grand Parade in the center of the city.

BMX, otherwise known as a bicycle motocross (20 inch wheels, no gears). Small bike? Getting to this point took two years of planning, practicing and fine tuning. What could possibly go wrong? (extended seat post to minimise knee damage and keep me in one piece for trail running).

Making ones way to the start line. The Cape Town Cycle Tour attracts 35 000 cyclists, with start times spread over 3 to 4 hours.

No comparison. Just reflect, then pedal and have fun!

Wynberg Hill – no gears required.

Meeting my family on this hill was a certain highlight – its always they who usually sacrifice the most when undertaking an adventure like this.

I opted for my trail running apparel and equipment which was to minimise stoppage time and ensure I make the finish line within 7 hours.

Head shot taken over my head looking back. I found that by having no gears I was often cycling along with no one being able to keep up or I wasn’t able to keep up with others.

Smitswinkel. Hangklip across False Bay in the centre.

Its not everyday the major roads of Cape Town are closed to traffic and cyclists can have the roads to themselves…

The first half of the route takes a southerly direction along the False Bay coastline. The Cape Town Cycle Tour is synonymous for the infamous south-eastern wind cyclists have to navigate through during this section of the race. However, the north-eastern wind was endured as we made our way northwards along the Atlantic coastline…

Misty Cliffs looking north…

Head shot taken over my head looking back south along the Misty Cliffs section of the route.

Coasting along the coast known as the Atlantic Seaboard, I could not help but just enjoy the day even a bit more because of the BMX I was on!

Chapman’s Peak Drive.

About 90 kilometres into the race I was in my element having real fun – even up Suikerbossie Hill, a hill of significance, evidently. I was on track to complete the race well within 6 hours! However, this was about to change…

Total blowout – tube and tyre.

If mentioned one has completed the Cape Town Cycle Tour, the usual question is: “what was your time?” The fastest time completed is usually the best answer. However, the backwheel blowout I experienced with 13 kilometres to go gave a whole new meaning to the time I was probably going to complete it in, into the time I had left to actually survive the cut off time limit of 7 hours.

After changing the tube, another rider kindly gave me Duct tape to keep the tyre in tact.

With three kilometres to go the Duct tape wore through and the tube punctured again. With about an hour before time runs out, I decided there was only one best option – run!

An adventure in more ways than one –  a privilege to complete any race in any time. It’s about the unseen lessons learnt that always remain.

2018 marked the 40th edition of the Cape Town Cycle Tour.

For results visit here.

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” – Proverbs 16:9

Journal: Jesus Trail
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