Cape Town - The world’s largest individually-timed cycle race is happening on Sunday 11 March.
Just ahead of its 40th anniversary of the 109km route in 2017, the race was unfortunately cancelled due to strong winds but this weekend's weather is looking better, with wind speeds of up to 38km/h forecast, compared to last year's 100km/h gusts.
This year the Cape Water Crisis posed a major issue for the draw-card event, however ingenuity and a whole lot of planning has seen the organisers pull together to make this year's cycle race greener and more responsible than ever.
UPDATE: First the wind and now no water: How the Cape drought will affect the Cape Town Cycle Tour
Here is your need-to-know guide, with all the details from travelling with your bike, what the race route looks like as well as where the best vantage points are in and around Cape Town to support that sporting individual in your life.
2018 Cape Town Cycle Tour - Registration and Expo days
- Thursday, 8 March: 09h30 to 19h00
- Friday, 9 March: 09h00 to 19h00
- Saturday, 10 March: 09h00 to 16h00
- Adults: R50
- Kids (under 12 years old): Free
- Entered cyclists with their RaceTec chips: Free
2018 Cape Town Cycle Tour route
TRAVELLING WITH YOUR BIKE:
Getting your bike onto the plane sounds like a mission but it is pretty simple - try this fail-safe guide for getting you and your bike to Cape Town on time and ready to win, as per TravelStart's detailed overview on the costs, particularities and procedures involved in transporting your bicycle.
INFOGRAPHIC: Everything you need to know about SA's low-cost carriers
Airlines will ask you to sign a “Limited Release Tag”, which indemnifies them from any loss or damage to your bike or packaging. You will need to keep this tag after checking in your bike, and take it with in order to collect your bike.
Most airlines advise that you take out personal insurance on your bike for extra peace of mind, though of course care will be taken not to damage your bike.
The Cape Town Cycle Tour advises you to book your flight as early as possible to secure your spot. When booking your flight it’s best to phone the airline and let them know that you will be bringing a bicycle along too. Most carriers prefer that you drop it off a few days in advance. You will also need to consider your mode of transport from Cape Town International Airport- a small hatchback rental can fit one bike and some luggage but you’ll need to hire a larger vehicle for bigger groups of cyclists.
When packing your bike, airlines have their own requirements. Click here to see respective airlines rules - but here are some general guidelines to follow:
Packing this expensive and beloved piece of equipment requires some forethought. All of the domestic carriers in South Africa advise that bikes must be securely packed and placed in a bike bag or box. These special boxes or bags are obtainable from most bike outlets. This type of packaging prevents your bike from possible damage.
- Clearly mark your name, contact details, flight number and Mango booking reference number.
- No bubble wrapping and or plastic wrapping will be accepted as the only form of packaging.
- Turn handlebars parallel with the frame, remove pedals or turn inward, deflate tyres and put the seat down.
- Remove and transport all electronic equipment separately.
- CO2 canisters (compressed air cartridges) are considered ‘Dangerous Goods’. Thus only 2 canisters per person are allowed as hand luggage on the plane.
- No CO2 canisters will be allowed in checked- in luggage. The current Terms and Conditions pertaining to the refusal and limitation of carriage shall apply.
- Your bike will be subject to a security check, so make sure you have the necessary keys with you to unlock it and don’t lock or seal your bike bag or box until after security has checked and accepted it.
- No wheels, rims, frames and any other equipment that don’t comply with the IATA hand luggage dimensions and weight allowances will be allowed on board.
- The seat must be fully lowered.
- Remove or turn the pedals inwards.
- Deflate your tyres (do not inflate with nitrogen).
- Wheel bags cannot be carried as hand luggage and need to be checked into the hold. The standard checked baggage allowance will apply.
- Spare wheels need to be packed properly before check in, at check-in they’ll be tagged with a limited release tag.
- You’re allowed to carry speedometers and other electronic equipment in your hand luggage (as long as it doesn’t exceed the carry-on allowance).
Cyclists arriving at Cape Town International Airport should note the following information:
Cyclists have to first check-in with their respective airlines, thus SAA, SA Express, SA Airlink and FlySafair, and make their way to the ground floor Out of Gauge drop off point which is located next to Bidvest Bank.
Directional signage will be provided for cyclists to follow from the check-in floor. You can tweet @capetownint OR Call the hotline on 021 936 2562.
Race road closures to be aware of:
Click here for road closures as detailed on the map below, in effect on Saturday 10 March and Sunday 11 March, 2018.
Where to watch:
The Start: Nelson Mandela Boulevard
This is the best spot to see all the rush and excitement of the start of the tour. If you live in the suburbs or in the city centre then it will be wiser to take your bicycle into town. Or you travel by car, park in any of the surrounding side streets and walk to the start area. There is also the MyCiTi Bus service that you can use.
Paradise Road (Near Paradise Motors)
This point is accessible from Main Road, Claremont and is a good place to view the cyclists as they speed down Paradise Road and start climbing up Edinburgh Drive.
Edinburgh Drive (Up To Top Of Wynberg Hill – Outbound)
Cheer and motivate the cyclists at the steepest gradient of the Cycle Tour. This will be their first climb of the route.
Fish Hoek - The traffic circle and Main Road in the centre of town always attracts many supporters.
Glencairn Beach - Relax by the grassed area (Glen Ridge side) with large lawns opposite the beach or make your way to the Glencairn Hotel / Southern Right or Dixies restaurant to see the cyclists. However this area is only accessible by foot due to the due to the road closures.
Simon’s Town Main Road - Jubilee Square has been a firm spectator favourite for years and always has a great vibe. Spectators can also make their way to Simon’s Town via the Southern Peninsula train line.
Camps Bay Beachfront - Camp Bay Beachfront is a way to relax with people at one of Camps Bay’s many beachfront restaurants or on the beach. A pedestrian bridge allows you to cross the cycle stream to the beach.
Promenade & Finish Line - This is the final milestone of the tour! See the cyclists breaking into their final sprint to the finish or witness all the emotion and high drama.
A few rules to remember when watching:
• Don't litter
• If any baboons cross your path, ignore them. Don't feed them and keep food out of sight.
• Don't throw cigarette butts anywhere as the Cape's hot, dry weather provides the perfect conditions for fires.
• Unless you are camping on your front lawn you may not make fires along the route (this includes open and gas fires).
• Do not remove or break rocks, pick plants or feed any animals.
• When you drive out to support the cyclists along the route, be careful where you park your car, as not to cause any damage to the fynbos.
• Also bear in mind that despite all the road closures, the traffic laws still apply. Don't risk parking illegally - you're likely to find a pink letter stuck to your car window.