Whether you’re visiting the Mother City for a quick weekend getaway, or staying for a few weeks – exploring the streets of this vibrant city on two wheels has never been more convenient, safe or popular. Here are our top finds when it comes to hiring a bike, going on a guided bicycle tour or exploring the city bowl with like-minded cycling enthusiasts.
If you need a bike
With bike shops popping up around every corner, getting a bicycle (and a very nice one too) for an hour, half a day or even a few days, has never been easier or more cost effective.
If you are a casual cyclist who wants a gentle, relaxing ride along Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard, why not use Up Cycles? They have four stations stretching between Camps Bay and the city centre, and all you have to do is arrive, grab a bike and go. You have the added convenience of being able to drop the bike off at any of their other stations after your ride. If it seems a little daunting to take to the city without a guide, they provide various route suggestions to get you on your way. Their bike selection offers a comfortable ride for men and women of all sizes, and also includes a selection for kids and child seats for toddlers under 18 kilograms.
The next hiring company that grabbed our attention, is Cape Town Cycle Hire. They go the extra mile and offer the service of actually delivering (and collecting) your desired bike to your door, for free! You can choose from an impressive selection of quality road or mountain bikes, and they are open 7 days a week! Pre-booking is essential.
If you’d like a guided tour
If you love the History Channel and you find historic and interesting facts about specific attractions or landmarks fascinating, you’d most probably enjoy cycling through the city with a guide. The size of your tour is entirely up to you, with most tour operators accommodating both private tours (2-8 people) and bigger group tours.
You can find Bike & Saddle, Africa’s leading eco-active travel company, at the trendy Protea Fire & Ice Hotel just off Buitengracht Street. Popular for their ability to get you close to the action, you will experience only the raw and authentic during your tour.
If you’d like to explore the amazing wine, beer, art and food Cape Town has to offer, opt for a tour with Bikes ‘n Wines. If you’re keen to wander further out of the city, book one of their winelands tours that include an active cycle in the vineyards, followed by relaxing wine-tasting. However, if you’d like to stay amidst the hustle and bustle of the city, sign up for their half day Beer & Bikes, Bites & Bikes or Art & Bikes tours.
For a complete guide of rental companies and bicycle tour operators within Cape Town, visit www.bicyclecaptown.org‘s comprehensive city guide.
If a group night ride is your thing
If you like the idea of pedalling through the city’s streets guided by the glistening full moon, you will love the ever popular Moonlight Mass Night Cycle rides. Birthed with the aim of increasing awareness around the City’s embarrassingly high carbon emission rate, this event succeeds in sharing the joy, and encouraging the use of the good ol’ bicycle as a greener transportation method.
The ride takes place once a month and cyclists meet under the Green Point roundabout (Green Point circle). The fun really starts when the masses take over downtown, riding along Loop Street, then Longmarket Street to finish off at Baran’s in Greenmarket Square. Here, riders can enjoy the best coffee and drinks the city has to offer. For more info on how to take part and upcoming dates, visit Cape Town Magazine's recent post.
In closing, if exploring the city on bike is your holiday dream, Cloud 9 Boutique Hotel offers you the perfect starting point. Not only are we ideally situated in the city-bowl, but our friendly team are ready to assist you with everything and anything - from storing your bike to booking a tour.
Find out more at www.hotelcloudnine.com.