There is nothing like ‘being prepared’, but if you want to rent a good quality road bicycle for the Cape Argus Cycle Tour in March 2014 – well, you seriously need to get a move on!
Every rental company we have spoken to in Cape Town this past week has already rented out most of their bikes, and if you don’t want to pay for a 2-week package or end up with a 20-year-old mountain bike with more rust than race, it might be time to consider packing up your own bike and taking it with you.
All major airlines will transport your bicycle either as part of your luggage allowance or as excess baggage, and while there is always a slight risk of it being lost on route, if you book a direct flight, you should be okay.
If you are not flying direct, we always recommend that you fly down to Cape Town 2 or 3 days in advance of the race, so that if anything does go wrong, the airline will have a day or two to relocate your bike and get it to you on time for the big day.
Another thing to consider if you are shipping your bike is the packaging – it must be done correctly or the airline may refuse carriage, however most airlines list dimensions, weight restrictions, and packaging information on their website.
Approximately 30,000 South Africans take part in the Cape Argus Cycle Tour each year, so if you can avoid flying through Johannesburg (where thousands of bikes will be in transit), I would recommend doing so, and of course, bike insurance is essential!
If you are going to rent a bike, the age-old phase of “you get what you pay for” is generally true… If someone offers you a bike for 150 – 250 Rand (approximately £10 – £20), then I can assure you, you will feel every one of those 109km…!