Cross Cape Routes is launched by Alan Winde
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Alan Winde the WC Minister of Economic Opportunities launched the Cross Cape Routes with a virtual reality tour. A keen cyclist but even more passionate about developing economic opportunities in the Western Cape, the minister in association with Wesgro have been the driving force of this unique concept.
The Cross Cape Routes is the first of its kind in the South African cycling market, which till now has been focused on “racing”, it offers a very welcome “new” approach to cycling. Hopefully it will capture the imagination of local and international cyclists who love cycling and a challenge. What better way to see South Africa than on a bicycle.
The route will bring tourists to the towns it passes through and offers the opportunity for the communities to grow the cycling market. The Camino in France is a million Euro business, the Cross Cape Route will hopefully attract this market.
The Cros Cape Route is completely FREE!!!!
Support the initative.
ROUTE SECTION 1/8
PLETTENBERG BAY TO KNYSNA: TOTAL 79KM
Welcome to the Garden Route. This section begins with a cycle up Wittedrif Road, followed by a good climb as you venture deep into the hills. You’ll be treated to 360 degree views before you plunge into the indigenous sub-tropical Knysna forest, where you’ll be surrounded by lush green ferns and misty treetops. When you reach Gouna Road keep an eye out for elephants which are said to roam freely in the area.
ROUTE SECTION 2/8
KNYSNA TO GEORGE: TOTAL 79KM
As you leave Knysna, you’ll have a spectacular view of the famous ‘Heads’ from the lagoon road. It’s easy to see why this special place was a well-known sanctuary for weary sailors. From there, you’ll climb up Phantom Pass to the small villages of Rheenendal, Karatara and Homtini. Enjoy the view along the Seven Passes Road which showcases the rural side of the Garden Route with a blend of indigenous forests, river beds and dairy farms before you reach George.
ROUTE SECTION 3/8
GEORGE TO OUDTSHOORN: TOTAL 83KM
We start with a climb over the Outeniqua mountain range via the Montagu Pass, to enter the Klein Karoo. Be sure to carry extra water as this is by no means an easy climb. You’ll be rewarded at the top with an endlessly winding view down the valley. The second part of the ride is more forgiving than the first as you make your way down the pass, and across flatter land towards Oudtshoorn.
ROUTE SECTION 4/8
OUDTSHOORN TO CALITZDORP: TOTAL 77KM
This is amongst the more demanding treks along the route as you skirt the foothills of the Swartberg mountain range. Enjoy the flora and wildlife; you may spot a Meerkat or Giraffe along the way. The red stone hills provide a vibrant splash of colour to the left, before you disappear into the cool shadows of the Groenfontein valley. The next town is Calitzdorp, the Port wine capital of South Africa.
ROUTE SECTION 5/8
CALITZDORP TO RIVERSDALE: TOTAL 115KM
Rooiberg Pass awaits. This 11km climb is loose and rough with a dusty film during the descent. Enjoy the ride! This is followed by a long and dusty stretch. Respite comes after you traverse Garcia Pass, named after one of the 1820 settlers of the area, who established a trade route to the interior by forging a route through the mountains. After the summit, you head downhill to re-enter the cool-climate terrain south of the Langeberg Mountain range, and the town of Riversdale.
ROUTE SECTION 6/8
RIVERSDALE TO SWELLENDAM: TOTAL 93KM
There are some testing ‘rollers’ skirting the mountains as you head out of Riversdale. As you near Heidelberg, the valley of Duiwenhoks provides a nice flat river course followed abruptly by the monstrous “Heartbreak Hill,” taking you out of the valley and up to the Grootvadersbosch area. From here it’s an easy ride down and through the old mission station village of Suurbraak, and a last stretch going into the historic town of Swellendam.
ROUTE SECTION 7/8
SWELLENDAM TO GREYTON: TOTAL 111KM
Your journey through the Cape Overberg starts along the Breede River and its rolling hills through this grain growing region until we reach the Drew Bridge. Grab a pie at Riviersonderend, before heading on toward the quaint, oak-lined village of Greyton. Here you’ll find superb cuisine and craft beer, with some lovely accommodation to boot.
ROUTE SECTION 8/8
GREYTON TO STELLENBOSCH: TOTAL 107KM
The Cape Winelands make up the final stretch of the route. The ride is smooth and mostly tarred with 2 iconic passes to maneuver, Franschhoek Pass and Helshoogte Pass. Check the weather forecasts as the winds at Theewaterskloof Dam can make riding difficult. As you pass Franschhoek take advantage of the coffee shops and pastry bistros to fuel up for the final assault. Push through Helshoogte and coast down to Stellenbosch for a photo finish at your final destination.
The first of the Cross Cape Route is an experience of 742k, a journey through the senses!
Join the route, this is where the riders will be:
12 May | Plettenberg Bay to Knysna | 8am | Departing from Cross Cape start point | Melville’s Corner Shopping Mall, Plettenberg Bay | Distance: 80
13 May | Knysna to George | 8am | Departing Kynsna Quays Hotel Lobby, Waterfront | Distance: 80
14 May | George to Oudtshoorn | 8am | Fancourt Hotel Entrance | 1 Montagu Rd | Distance: 80
15 May | Oudtshoorn to Rooiberg | 8am | Mooiplaas Guesthouse | Volmoed | Distance: 127
16 May | Rooiberg to Swellendam | 8am | Rooiberg Lodge | Rooiberg Pass (Outside Van Wyksdorp) | Distance: 169
17 May | Swellendam to Greyton | 8am | Aanhuizen Guest House | 6 Van Blommenstein Street | Distance: 106
18 May | Greyton to Stellenbosch | 8am | Greyton Lodge | 52 Main Rd | Distance: 107