July 08, 2013
Things to do in Cape Town: See the city by bicycle with AWOL Tours
Natalie Roos’ body was born in Johannesburg… but her soul was always Capetonian. At the age of 14, Natalie started work in the television industry, presenting popular local kids TV show, KTV. Ten years and another TV job later (presenting celebrity gossip show JIP on Afrikaans music channel MK), Natalie made the move down to Cape Town where she started her blog, Tails of a Mermaid (www.tailsofamermaid.com). Her love for the internet and all things communication-driven became a natural progression to a career in Social Media, where she worked in an agency managing the online presence, content and reputation of various brands.
Natalie’s passions include cats, communication and Cape Town.
Saturday morning dawned crisp and clear with just a slight wind blowing away the ominous clouds creeping over the Mountain, providing the perfect conditions for a cycle through the city. I know we always think of Cape Town winters as too rainy to leave the house, but as I've said before, winter in Cape Town can be idyllic. A few local bloggers and I arrived bright and early at the AWOL Tours offices at the V&A Waterfront, ready to play tourist in our own city for the day. Our friendly and knowledgeable guide, Leo, made sure we each had a bike and that our helmets were safely secured before we set off on what would be an epic day of seeing the sights of Cape Town from the seats of our bicycles.
Lize, Misha, Simon, Lauren, Emma and I all live within the city, but don't often cycle around as we all have cars. The City Cycle Tour took us from the V&A Waterfront to important and interesting sights like:
Adderley Street (where you can find the iconic Adderley Street Flower Sellers)
The Company's Garden
St George's Mall
along the Seapoint seafront and back to the Waterfront in just under three hours, including stops along the way. Most of the tour is within the city's dedicated bicycle lanes and along relatively flat terrain, ensuring that even the most unfit tourist can manage with just the slightest bit exercise-induced of heavy breathing. Throughout the whole ride, we all kept repeating the same sentiment: We really should spend more time cycling the city instead of driving. The bicycle lanes ensure that cyclists have a safe path between the traffic and the obvious benefit of zero emissions makes this green commuting option all the more appealing.
The tours are very flexible and can be shortened or extended according to your time-frame. We made a detour to have coffee at the city's hottest new venue, Luvey n Rose in the Bo-Kaap and also spent some time practicing cartwheels in Green Point Park. Leo was a great guide and a true professional. He shared interesting facts about the city, made sure we were all safe and adhering to traffic rules at all times and is a genuinely nice guy too.
City Cycle Tours depart daily from the V&A Waterfront and the cost is R350 per person. Bicycles and helmets are included in the tour, which is suitable for all ages.
Check availability for this tour and book online on the AWOL Tours website. Follow AWOL Tours on Twitter here and follow them on Facebook here for updates on tours and experiences. Also make sure to check out their various other cycling and hiking tours.
For more information on cycling in Cape Town, check out the Bicycle Cape Town website.