The Cape Town Cycle Tour is the largest, timed cycling event in the world. It also celebrates its 38th year in 2016 when, on Sunday 6 March, 35 000 cyclists will line up to ride the 109km route through some of the world’s most spectacular scenery that includes the iconic Table Mountain as a backdrop.
Here's all you need to know about the Cycle Tour, from road closures to staying safe on the day.
The start is in the city centre, outside the Civic Centre. You then travel along the M3 to Lakeside where you will then join Main Road which will take you through Muizenberg, Kalk Bay and Fish Hoek. From there you take the coastal road to Simonstown and then go past the entrance to the Cape Point Nature Reserve. You then continue to Scarborough and on to Oceanview, missing the Kommetjie Hill. Then its Chapman’s Peak and up Suikerbossie and along the coast to Greenpoint.
A map of the route can be viewed below, so make sure you're familiar with the route!
Safety - Communicating Effectively
Whether you are churning out some high-speed miles with your local road cycling group or just taking a scenic tour with friends, it is essential that you are able to effectively communicate your intentions or any potential dangers to other riders and motorists. Hand signals and vocal calls are the two best ways to pass vital information to fellow riders. But it can become confusing and dangerous when everyone uses their own vocal calls or signals. Responsible cyclists will use standard hand signals as their primary means of communicating and use vocal calls as a secondary means when appropriate. The key objective is for riders to make responsible and safe decisions for themselves first, while also keeping the rest of the group informed of the actions they intend to take.
Medical Support on the Day
Mediclinic fields a large team of doctors, nurses and other medically trained staff at 15 medical points on the route. These are well-branded and highly visible. Don’t hesitate to stop and ask for medical advice or help for any ailment – from headaches to cramps to falls, the highly experienced staff is there to assist you. This is backed up by an ambulance service on standby to transport seriously injured riders to hospitals, as well as comprehensive field hospital at the finish. Medical staff is easy to identify by their bright orange tops.
Top 3 Pieces of Health Advice for Cyclists
1. Always get a health clearance from your GP before doing any extreme event – even if it is only extreme because it’s out of your normal routine or behaviour. Don’t attempt to exercise if you are unwell in any way. Flu is a serious illness and shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you’ve been sick in the weeks leading up to the race, make sure you have recovered before you go riding again. Make sure you're well enough to participate!
2. Ensure that you remain hydrated throughout the race. Drink when you are thirsty, and drink more than you normally would if it is a very hot day. If you develop a headache, you could well be dehydrated, and should take in more fluids and food. Don’t try new supplements in your drinks on the day, as they may cause diarrhoea and vomiting. It's also important to eat, and not only consume fluids. Some examples of snacks that are easy to carry and will sustain you are bananas, baby potatoes, nuts and raisins and cucumber pieces. Be careful of food or drink containing stimulants that spike your sugar, mood and energy, which could cause you to feel worse later on.
3. Ensure that your bike set-up is correct. Correct saddle height and adjustments to the pedals and handle bars can save you from discomfort and serious injuries. Make sure you are very familiar with your bike and other equipment, and don’t try out anything new on race day – not even your outfit. Follow the rules of the road. Keep left, pass right, and indicate your intentions to fellow cyclists. Be especially careful at water points, which are notorious for accidents.
We're wishing all participants the best on race day – have fun and remember to stay safe!