You may be aware of the Cape Cycle Routes initiative but if not, here’s what you need to know. It is a Western Cape government initiative that serves to get people out and exploring all that is on offer in the Western Cape! They have so far mapped out 5 routes (and provided plenty of accommodation options for each) that take you through all corners of the province. Some reaching out into the Cederberg and Klein Karoo (see our video at the bottom of page) and even a closer-to-home option, the “Cycle Tour 364“.
The Cycle Tour 364 starts and finishes at Cape Town’s historic V&A Waterfront, along sections of the iconic Cape Town Cycle Tour route. You’ll ride past the gate of the Cape Point Nature Reserve, which conserves one of the world’s six floral kingdoms: The Peninsula’s endemic fynbos.
The figure 364 refers not to distance – you’ll only be riding 123.3km – but to the number of days on which the route is open. The ‘365th’ day – the second Sunday of every March – is when more than 35 000 people from around the globe join the World’s Largest Timed Cycle Race, the Cape Town Cycle Tour.
This already is a popular cycling route amongst the cycling community. This campaign aims to show case the unique experiences and community-based experiences and initiatives such as the Bicycling Empowerment Network, also known as BEN Bikes along the Cycle Tour 364.
Here are some of the bicycle-based community projects along the route:
Masiphumelele: Morgans BEN Bicycling Empowerment Centre (BEC) detour. It is show casing some interesting economic development projects that the Western Cape Government were instrumental in developing. It comprises cycling lanes along the Kommetjie corridor, connecting traders/artisans and craft makers to the local and international markets in Fish Hoek.
Ocean View: Jimmy James’ community project, bike club/outreach and the BEC/track at the Ocean View High School. BEN has handed over many bicycles and conducted cycle safety training at the school. Jimmy inspired the community to explore while staying fit and away from the negative elements facing kids.
Westlake: Meshack’s BEC, restaurant and his tour (which has local historical and cultural references). He believes that giving communities access to bicycles not only does it add exponential value to their lives, but he is playing a more significant role in promoting sustainable development. Share his story, tweak your bike or refuel for the journey ahead at his bistro.
These community-based projects feature the hidden, inspiring tales along the way and connect people from all walks of life. This breaks down barriers and allows for better social cohesion and relations.
The Cape Cycle Routes site is well worth checking out! The 5 routes they have put together can take you on incredible adventure through the scenes of the Western Cape. Plan your mission and go!