The Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour is a major event in Cape Town and it is the largest timed cycle event in the world. On Sunday 11th March 2012, Cape Town is dominated by 35 000 cyclists from around the world who will be cycling the 110km route.
For most of the cyclists the “race” is non- competitive but rather a social and festive occasion – many people ride for charities, many ride with friends and the colourful cycling outfits are only matched by the colourful spectators who line the route from the city centre, along the False Bay Coastline, then back up the Atlantic Seaboard, Chapman’s Peak Drive and finishing in Green Point. See the Route Map HERE!
Capetonians turn out in their droves to watch, to cheer and to support the riders. Spectators help with broken bikes and changing tyres, they splash water and share everything from bananas to beers with amateur cyclists. Capetonians and visitors who are not part of the race should take note of the road closures as many residents in the south peninsula can get stranded for the day.
Where to watch the Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour:
This is crazy but fun for spectators with lots of anticipation in the early morning air: 35 000 bicycles leave the same spot between 6h15 and 10h00. WALK to the corner of Adderley Street and Hertzog Boulevard and see the rare sight of so many cyclists all in one place.
Edinburgh Drive | Wynberg Hill:
This is the first real climb of the cycle tour and it is much easier to identify your cyclist friends when they travel more slowly! Cheer them on from Wynberg Hill.
Steenberg Main Road:
This is an easily accessible vantage point and allows spectators to see the cyclists as they come off the highway and head for the False Bay coastline. Heading onto Boyes Drive from the Westlake turn-off is another easy viewing vantage point.
This is another very popular spot for spectators who combine breakfast visits at one of the many restaurants with cheering for their loved ones. The cyclists come off Boyes Drive and round the corner onto the Main Road so expect some thrills and maybe some spills!
Fish Hoek: Accompanied by music and breakfast skottels – the good folk from Fish Hoek have a “Breakfast on Main” Argus party near the Fish Hoek Circle to cheer on the cyclists. This year there is a R1000 prize for the best dressed “fishy” so expect dress up and festivities. If you get too hot – you can pop down to the beach for a quick dip in the ocean.
There is an excellent long stretch to view the cyclists and is a popular spectator spot for local residents as there is pedestrian access to the grassed area in front of the Glencairn Strip. With a bar, restaurant, curry house and pizza khaya it’s a good fun, festive refreshment station for spectators!
This is the 40km mark and there’s a big refreshment stop at Jubilee Square., complete with a medical point and physio! Simon’s Town is always a hub of activity and has been one of the most popular spectator spots over the years. Visitors can get there by train.
Noordhoek Farm Village:
Another watching spot to view the cyclists. The vibe outside (or inside) Noordhoek Farm village is superb. The long stretch of road makes it easy to spot cyclists and there are refreshments aplenty at the restaurants at Noordhoek Farm Village. Access is via foot for residents and via Silvermine Road for non-residents!
Hout Bay (corner of Princess and Main Road):
Watch the relief as the cyclists come off Chapman’s Peak Drive and catch a breather before Suikerbossie Hill . It’s a great spot to get your own refreshments as a spectator with some brilliant ice-creams!
Hout Bay (Suikerbossie):
It’s not the toughest hill on the route, but it’s the last major one and most participants dread Suikerbossie as they are tired. With 18km to go from the bottom of the hill, the Argus cyclists need lots of encouragement to get up the hill in anticipation of the home stretch. The entire hill is packed with spectators who set up camp for the day with skottel braais and picnics. It’s a fun and festive spot to watch.
Always popular with spectators due to the volume of restaurants on the side of the road! This makes watching extremely easy and the views are great. Oh yes – and there are tired cyclists coming past that might just need a cheer or two.
Sea Point: (Corner of Victoria and Queens Road)
There is a sharp left turn from Victoria Road into Queens Road so the action can be quite entertaining and dramatic! A temporary pedestrian bridge is set up to enable spectators to cross the road.
Green Point (Finish Line):
The winner should fly past the finish line around 8:45am! This is an excellent place to watch the drama of sprint finishes and see the emotions of every successful cyclists who manages to complete the Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour. The Cut-off is 5:08pm.
The weather looks set for a great Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour for 2012. At this stage the forecast is for clear and sunny skies and a maximum temperature of 33°Celsius, with light ESE winds on Sunday morning. Fabulous conditions for cycling and watching! Don’t forget your sunscreen if you plan to be out for the whole day and we encourage the citizens of Cape Town to support all the riders and give them a warm Cape Town welcome. Good luck to all the cyclists. Click here to see where to eat a carbo-loading meal before the Cycle Tour.
Reminder to Sports Fans: The Two Oceans marathon takes place on 07 April 2012. This ultra marathon is over the Easter weekend and classifies as one of the most scenic endurance marathons in the world as the route follows the coastline of the Cape Point Route. The Easter weekend is a very busy weekend in Cape Town so book your accommodation early.
Like us or follow us for the latest news, events and happenings in the south peninsula of Cape Town or join our mailing list to receive our monthly newsletter.