Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde today launched the second in a series of cycle routes, Cycle Tour 364 aimed at growing cycle tourism in the province. Minister Winde and a group of riders set off on the inaugural ride this morning.
The route has been named Cycle Tour 364, because cyclists are able to ride it 364 days of the year. The 365th day of the year is reserved for riders of the Cape Town Cycle Tour.
The 123 km route starts and ends at the V&A Waterfront, taking in the Atlantic Seaboard, Hout Bay and Chapman’s peak and the iconic Suikerbossie hill. The route also takes riders through Hout Bay, Simon’s Town and past Masiphumelele, and Ocean View. Riders doing the route are encouraged to stop along the way, take in the sights and enjoy some of Cape Town’s hospitality.
The Cape Cycle Routes have been designed to put the Western Cape on the map, not just as a premier tourist destination, but as Africa’s top cycling destination.
The first of these, the Cross Cape route, a 742 km ride through the breath-taking Garden Route, was launched last year.
Minister Winde said “this new route allows visitors and locals alike to see Cape Town from the absolute best vantage point- their bicycle seat.”
He encouraged riders to take the route on in stages, stop over at coffee shops or B&Bs, or even just do part of the route.
The Western Cape, which is home to major cycle races like the Cape Town Cycle Tour and the Absa Cape Epic, is already a top destination for competitive cyclists from around the world. The Cape Cycle Routes initiative, established by the Western Cape government as part of its Project Khulisa strategy to grow the tourism sector, aims to show off the natural beauty of the province to leisure riders, and create new jobs at the same time.
Research conducted by Wesgro last year, estimates the value of the leisure cycling market in the province to be around R4.4 billion.
“Establishing the cycling economy in our province creates a number of opportunities as riders make use of tourism and hospitality services, as well as bike shops, health practitioners and a host of other small businesses. It also presents an opportunity to develop skills such as bicycle mechanics and guides”, Minister Winde said.
“Whereas the Cross Cape is a multi-day, gravel ride which allows riders to experience a large section of our province and visit small towns along the way, the Cycle Tour 364 is a one day ride that lets riders explore various parts of the city of Cape Town,” he said.
Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris said: “Wesgro is excited about the launch of the new Cycle Tour 364 route and the possibilities that this will bring – it will not only boost our economy and facilitate job creation but it will also assist in strengthening our reputation as a top cycling province. We warmly welcome guests to enjoy the breath-taking scenery the route promises, and we encourage them be water-wise when doing so.”
David Green, CEO of the V&A Waterfront said “When we were approached with this idea, we didn’t even hesitate for a nano-second before accepting because it ticks all the boxes.”
He said the pin, designed by artist Pork Hefer, who also designed the yellow photo frames at some of the city’s landmarks, was a “whimsical” addition to the Waterfront.
Cape Town Bicyle Mayor Lebogang Mokwena, who promotes the use of bicycles for commuting in every day life said the route would allow riders to “see more, feel more and engage more with the environment we’re in” and would help to “get more bums on bicycles.”