Cycling in Cape Town can be done at your own pace, is an eco-friendly way to get around, social and very affordable, and let’s face it, there is nothing like cycling around the coast with the wind blowing in your face.
Panorama of the Cape Town City Centre. Image Source Wikipedia
Cape Town’s natural environment is abundant with tar roads, single tracks, jeep tracks and switch backs to suit everyone’s cycling preferences. And with summer around the corner, there has never been a better excuse for getting out of the car and jumping onto the saddle.
Here are five of the amazing cycling trails Cape Town has to offer:
Hillcrest XC Trail:
The Hillcrest XC Trail is a medium length but challenging ride with some fantastic views from Robben Island to Hangklip, making the grueling climbs worthwhile. The single track is flowing and fast in sections which makes for a very enjoyable roller-coaster ride. The whole trail comprises of two circular rings, the lower green route (7km and 250m climbing) and higher red (7km and 250m climbing). If you do both, you are in for a really fun 14km ride. The trails are all clearly marked and the signs are easy to see and follow, ensuring that you do not get lost along the way.
Tokai Forest Cycle Trail:
Blood, sweat and gear changes are the order of the day, as you wind your way up towards the Sentech mast, with a range of different trail formations on the way down. This moderate to difficult off-road cycle track is recommended for those energetic mountain-bikers and nature lovers. At an altitude of 928m the top of the trail boasts magnificent mountain and sea views. Beware the rainy season on this track, as it will be rooty and rutted with enough hairpin bends and manic drops that require a large amount of skill to safely negotiate.
Rhodes Estate Cycle Trail:
This easy 1 hour cycle starts in the parking lot on the road that leads up to Rhodes Memorial from the M3. This route is ideal for family outing, as it is not challenging and there are plenty of toilet facilities and picnic spots along the way. Ride through fynbos, forests and streams, with only one short steep section that takes you to the top of the hill. Once you reach the top of the climb, the trails offers you panoramic views over the Cape Flats and Table Mountain to the Hottentots Holland mountains in the distance.
Meerendal Cycle Trail:
The Meerendal wine farm has one of the most beautiful farm tails in the Western Cape. The trail itself runs along the lower end of the farm, taking in through vineyards, past the old farmhouse and along the picturesque dam – perfect for a picnic spot. The single track curves around the hill from one side of the farm to the other, before a short 200m hill takes you up to the next contour where you can navigate the upper hillside. The trail itself is only 10 kilometres long, so feel free to turn around at the end and try the course from the other side.
Tafelberg Cycle Trail:
This short 10 km climb will see you climb the winding gravel roads from Rhodes Memorial to Kings Block House, with stunning scenery along the way. Once at the top of the trail, the views only get better as you overlook Table Bay and False Bay. The ride back down takes you through a variety of small hills and valleys that passes the Table Mountain cable way, before eventually taking you down onto Signal Hill Road. This route is perfect for those looking to take a slow ride and enjoy the beautiful nature scenery along the way.
Next time you come down to Cape Town for a holiday, ensure that you bring your bicycle with and hit one of these trails. Remember, when cycling off-road, ensure that you wear protective helmets and gloves, and take a water bottle along with you.
I am Greg Jones, a Cape Town adventurer and nature lover. I love holidaying in Cape Town and hiring a bike from one of the local bicycle shops in Cape Town and tackling one of these fantastic trails. On my last trip down, the whole family came out and we drive a slow ride around Meerendal Wine Farm, where we picnicked under the trees at the long dam.