As you may already be aware sadly last Sunday the 40th edition of the Cape Town Cycle Tour (a.ka. The Argus) had to be cancelled due to extreme weather conditions.
I was planning to ride this years’ race on my Qhubeka Buffalo bicycle to help raise awareness for the Qhubeka charity that helps mobilise people with bicycles. However, the race organisers’ had to make probably one of their hardest decisions ever to cancel the race due to extreme winds, protests and fires in the Hout Bay area. Their priority was to ensure the safety of the 35 000 cyclists who were ready and waiting at the start lines to take on this iconic race and although I was disappointed in their decision it was definitely the right decision.
Prior to the organisers’ canceling the race they had already had to make the call to shorten the race from 109km to 78km due to protest action taking place along part of the route. For me the fact that the route had been shortened was in my favour as riding my Qhubeka Buffalo Bicycle was not going to be an easy and/or comfortable ride.
The next challenge was the wind factor. When I woke up at 5am the wind was pumping outside and my parents even questioned whether I should ride or not. However, I was adamant that I was going to ride despite the wind. Besides I was riding on a 23kg steel framed Qhubeka bicycle so I would probably be better off than most of the cyclists on their carbon-framed lightweight road bicycles.
As I was riding down from my parents flat in Vredehoek to the start-line in the City centre I started to question my decision as the wind was so strong that I was struggling to pedal. Then whilst waiting in my start pen two porterloos blew over in the wind. Shortly afterwards we were informed that the race was cancelled which I didn’t believe at first but then we received the sms notification and everyone was turning around and heading back out of the pens. It was quite a surreal experience as everyone looked completely stunned and disappointed but at the same time it was definitely the right decision as the wind was just ruthless and would have caused so many accidents out on the route. To view some of the footage of how strong the winds were at the start of the race, check out this video courtesy of Video Crunch:
As a result of the race being cancelled this year it means I have my first challenge for 2018 already set out to complete the Cape Town Cycle Tour on my Qhubeka Buffalo Bicycle. If you know of anyone that would be interested to take on the challenge to ride the race next year on a Qhubeka Buffalo Bicycle to raise awareness and funds for Qhubeka, please put them in touch with me as I would love to put together a group of “Buffalo” cyclists.