If you are one of the 35,000 or so cyclists who are thinking about entering the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour in 2014, you probably have a huge list of questions about the tour itself, and your travel arrangements to South Africa (unless you are lucky enough to live there!).
Having ‘been there and done that’ in March 2013, we decided to put this Cape Argus FAQ together to help make your entry into the 2014 event as quick and easy as possible:
How do I enter the Cape Argus Cycle Tour?
Registration for the Cape Argus opens on 1st September and lasts until all 35,000 entries are sold out, which can take just a few weeks.
If you book your Cape Argus Cycle Tour Package with a specialised tour operator such as Equatours, registration will be completed for you. If you decide to book alone, you will need to register on the Cape Argus website directly.
Who can enter?
Anyone over the age of 13 years may enter, children over the age of 11 may enter if riding tandem with an adult.
What is included in the entry?
- A brilliantly organised event with full road closures
- Rider Number & Timing Chip
- Refreshment stands on route
- Professional support crew / medical assistance (extra fees may apply) / transport back to Cape Town if you are unable to complete the tour.
If you book the Equatours Cape Argus Tour, the following is also included:
- Return flights from UK* to Cape Town in Economy Class.
- Transportation of one bicycle per passenger weighing a maximum of 20kg.
- 6-nights’ accommodation in central Cape Town Hotel with breakfast
- Airport transfers in Cape Town
- Transfers from the hotel to the Cape Argus Registration
- Event Cycle Shirt with official Cape Argus 2014 logo
*We can connect you from any major international airport – please contact us for details.
How do I pack my bike?
Most airlines will accept non-motorised bicycles of all dimensions provided they be packed in a recognised bicycle bag or box.
Preparing bicycles for travel:
- bicycle pedals must be removed (or fixed inwards)
- handlebars must be fixed sideways
- the bicycle must be contained in a protective case or bag
- Deflate the tyres to reduce the risk of damage.
Failure to pack your bicycle correctly may result in the airline refusing to transport it, and we highly recommend you have adequate insurance to cover loss or damage.
Can I rent a bike in South Africa?
Yes, you can, however, the demand for bicycles over the Cape Argus period is exceptionally high and so you need to book early. You should also consider that bikes available for rent might not be the same standard as the bike you have at home.
Where can I store my Bicycle / Bike Box?
You will need to arrange this with your hotel/accommodation provider prior to arrival in Cape Town. Most hotels offer a storage room or allow you to keep the bike in your room. Suitable arrangements have been made for those joining the Equatours Cape Argus Tour.
What am I letting myself in for?
The Cape Argus Cycle Tour is a 109km route around the Western Cape. While not particularly steep or difficult, ( you need some leg power for Chapman’s Peak and Suikerbossie!) it does require a good level of fitness and determination to complete, and you may face strong winds, rain and/or warm temperatures of around 30 degrees on the day.
The event is exceptionally well organised with full professional support, road closures, refreshment stands with water, cola, bananas and energy bars, collection points for those who cannot complete the race, medical support and the most amazing atmosphere thanks to the crowds of South African’s that line the streets.
How long do I have to complete the Cape Argus?
You must complete the race within 7-hours. International entrants all start in the same group at approximately 8am, so you should have finished the race by 3pm. If you have not completed the tour by 5pm, you will be collected and driven to Cape Town. Everyone who crosses the finish line will receive a medal.
What happens if I need to cancel my entry?
The event organisers govern the Cape Argus Entry Rules, further details may be found at http://www.cycletour.co.za/index.php/enter/rules-and-regulations/.
When and where does registration take place?
Registration usually takes place at the Good Hope Centre in Cape Town, where you collect your race number and RaceTec Chip before heading to the expo on site.
What do I wear for the Cape Argus Cycle Tour?
All entrants are required to wear a bicycle helmet complying with international safety standards for the duration of the ride. Closed shoes (cycling shoes or trainers), sunglasses and comfortable cycling shorts are also recommended. You are permitted to wear fancy dress, providing it doesn’t restrict your riding abilities. Equatours travellers will receive an official Cape Argus cycle jersey to wear on the day.
What happens if I get a puncture?
We hope this will not happen, but from experience, we know it can! We recommend you carry at least one spare tube and a CO2 canister in your backpack. New tyres and tubes will greatly reduce the chance of puncture, so please ensure your bicycle is serviced before leaving home.
You will find bike mechanics and ‘helpers’ on route, but you may need to walk to the next collection point to get any real assistance with your bike.
What about Insurance?
We strongly recommend that every member of your party have adequate travel and health insurance to cover your entire trip. Medical services in South Africa are excellent, but can be very costly if you have to pay yourself, so please advise your insurer you are taking part in the race to ensure your policy covers you.
If you intend to take part in the Cape Argus Cycle Tour 2014, please drop us a line and let us know. The Equatours team will be taking part and we would love to meet fellow travellers in the hospitality tent at the finish line!