Inspired by the pioneers of microadventure – Grant Petersen and Alastair Humphreys – I started a S240 Bicycle Microadventure group in 2015. Our first overnight bicycle microadventure took us to a campsite at Miller’s Point. Located 5kms south of Simon’s Town (+56kms from the CBD) this secluded beachside spot became one of our favorite microadventure destinations – not too far away from home yet ideally located to get away from it all.
For our first microadventure to Miller’s Point we started the ride at Woodstock Cycleworks, which has subsequently become the official meeting place for those cycling from the city centre. The 56km route is incredibly scenic although challenging both in distance and elevation. For those who don’t want to cycle the entire way, there’s also the option of catching the train to Muizenberg or Simon’s Town and only cycling the flat coastal route to the campsite. If you go for the train option, you will need to choose your departure time carefully, as bikes aren’t allowed on the train during peak hours.
OUT OF THE RUSH
Leaving the city during rush hour can be a bit tricky, but using some clever short cuts, we have found a way to bypass the worst of the gridlock (see the map). There is nothing more satisfying than cruising past stationary vehicles, with your bags packed and adventure on the horizon! Once you get onto the Fan walk and the Greenpoint/ Sea Point cycle lane, things start to feel more relaxed, and by the time you pass Bakoven and are heading towards Llandudno you really start to feel like you’re on holiday!
ONWARDS AND UPWARDS
Beyond the city limits, the route follows the scenic road along the Atlantic Seaboard. Sections here can be challenging when fully loaded, with three fairly decent climbs: Suikerbossie up to Llandudno, Chapman’s Peak drive and finally Blackhill. To bypass Blackhill see the alternative route via Fish Hoek.
PIT STOP ON TOP OF THE WORLD
After a quick stop off in Hout Bay for some refreshments and to pick up some last minute supplies, we pushed on, heading up Chapman’s Peak Drive. At the top is a fantastic viewpoint that makes a perfect pit stop to catch one’s breath, take a few snaps and share a beer. We often make this the meeting point for other riders who may be running a bit late or joining us from other areas of town.
From the top of Chappies, we freewheeled down into Noordhoek, chasing the light (especially in winter) to make it to the campsite before dark. After the last climb up Blackhill it was fairly easy going all the way to Simons Town and through to Miller’s Point. We arrived at the campsite before dark and were able to choose a good spot to pitch the tents, settling in for a night of fireside chats, cooking and relaxing – drinking wine and toasting marshmallows late into the night.
In the morning we were greeted by the sounds of the Indian Ocean and the golden shades of dawn. Rising early to coffee and stroopwafels, we bade farewell to the riders who had to be at work by 9am. The rest of us went for a swim in the sea before packing up and heading home.
The route home would not be complete without a stop off at Olympia Cafe in Kalk Bay, which is a great place for a second breakfast! After refueling, some of us chose to cycle back via the same route, while a few continued on along Main Road (M4) to the Southern Suburbs. There is also the option of catching the train back.
The coolest thing about overnight bicycle adventures is that by 10:30am I had showered, changed and was back to normal work/family life as if nothing had happened. Except, to echo Grant Petersen – “I think the S24o is about the most fun I have had with my bike!”
Why not join in our next S24o adventure or follow these tips if you would like to plan your own and share it with us!
Here are the contact details for booking:
Tel: 021 786 1142/5503
Favorite campsites: Number 13 or 14
Photographs © David Malan