So Cape Town had a fire.
It was a very big fire.
And the largest timed bicycle race in the world has chosen to not send cyclists through what is now dangerous retain. Some of the roads on the Cape Peninsula are dangerous. Now that there is no plant growth holding soil together, any wind, rain or even noise could set off dangerous land slides, rock falls and other perilous things. I think it is a great call by the organisers of the Cape Town Cycle Tour and heir sponsors.
I have been lucky enough to spend much time with the organisers of the race. Dave Bellairs, Rene Jordaan, Adri Bootsma and all the others in the team work damn hard to put this race together every year. The team is immense. Logistics for a race like the Cycle Tour is unimaginable. I have sat with Rene over a bottle of champagne and she has explained it to me step by step. She told me about a massive file with a diary of things that need to be done leading up to the race. The organisation for next year’s race has already begun!
This year had some added pressure on the organisers with the UCI and Cycling South Africa also getting into the pie. The Parks Board have also been challenging the organisers with a “fee” for the riders to ride on public roads, which I personally feel is a rip-off.
Then the fires came. And boy, did they fuck up the environment. Now the Cape Town Cycle Tour will be 47km long from Cape Town, out to the end of the Blue Route and back again and I think that is the best thing to happen to the Cycle Tour in years.
The Cycle Tour started as a protest ride for the lack of bicycle lanes in Cape Town and it has lost the element. Doped up, adrenaline fueled, egotistical cyclists have ruined what is supposed to be a charity fun ride. I admit to having been one of those riders once. I trained hard, was as fit as I had ever been. My bike was serviced and I was ready to RACE for 3000th place. Things went wrong on the day and at around half way, I lost the bunch I was riding with and I pushed too hard to catch up. In cycling we refer to it as hitting the wall, I just couldn’t anymore. I then decided to enjoy my ride. I sat up and looked out at where I was. I was in the most beautiful place on Earth, That second half of the Cycle Tour is amazing. Misty Hills, Chapman’s Peak, Hout Bay, that whole ride into Sea Point is beautiful with a capital B.
I waved at the supporters, I pushed riders up hills and I had a great time riding, not racing the most beautiful bicycle ride in the world.
This year, I hope that you do that too.
There is so much that this year represents, I see that people are moaning and asking for refunds and demanding that they are allowed to ride the 47km twice. Shut up!
Go ride, go have fun and realise why you started riding in the first place. Cycling is fun first and then everything else happens and you become a dick. Don’t be a dick.