Units 1&2 Baruch Park

Viro Crescent, Stikland

021 910 0535

sales@mhm-mc.co.za

Mon - Fri: 9:00 - 17:30

Sat - 9:00 - 13:00

Favorite Bikes Rides 2 – Part 1 Contrasts

In hindsight I should have named the last ride Coastal Cruise because it was a gentle trundle along an attractive coastal route, best enjoyed on a cruiser type bike. This ride is longer, still taking in a coastal road but also offering sweeping open roads, so a sport or fast naked would be equally enjoyable this time. This, in several ways, is also a ride of contrasts, scenery, type of riding and social economic.

I normally meet my co-riders at the Caltex in Constantia Village, so we will start from there, the first part of the ride takes us out and along Orpen Rd towards Muizenburg. I like using this route instead of the M3, its more interesting and has very pleasant scenery, bits of which reminds me of where I grew up in England. Can be quite crowded, especially weekends, so a gentle warm up trundle along to Westlake and then join the Main Rd to Muizenburg.

Here we need to get to Baden Bowell Drive, so, if the traffic is heavy take the first right after the Masque Theater, over the railway crossing then follow the road around to the coast road. Alternatively go into the centre of Muzenberg and turn right to go under the extremely low railway bridge. This is the bridge that, despite lots of low bridge signs, is always catching unwary trucks. I think a bridge troll must live there so I like going this way. Other than this bridge and the rather grand railway station, I find Muizenburg a bit of a sad place, run down, has been, seaside town, still some lovely houses on the hill but the centre and beach front is a mess. So, glad to get through and out onto Paden Powell Drive by the sea. A word of warning there, the wind can blow sand across this road, and can be deeper than it appears, this can have dire consequences if ridden through unknowingly, ask me how I know.

First contrasts, we are away from the green grass and trees of Constantia and now have sand dunes and sea, and weather permitting, beautiful views on the right across False Bay to Rooi-Els. However, on the left, the quality of the houses up on the dunes are getting worse the further we travel, until we turn inland and reach Khayelitsha, and another sea view, only this time it’s sea of tin shacks. The picture below, or above, says it all, a stunning reminder of how the government has completely failed the very people it is purporting to be up lifting, is this freedom, deeply depressing and frustrating.

Moving on, we cross the N2, and immediately the scene changes again, the road becomes a nice dual carriage way, to the right is Cape Town Film Studios, with lots of sailing ships, to the left wine estates and vineyards, and the temperature has gone up as we are away from the sea. Continuing along we, pass Spier and other up market wine farms, then just before the turn into Polkadraai road and Stellenbosch is Vredenheim farm. Nice for breakfast, has a collection of classic cars and grazing game, zebras, springbok, lions, tigers that type of thing. Well, actually not tigers, or lions, I just made that up, they don’t graze.

Into and round the bottom of Stellenbosch, the dual carriage way in has average speed cameras signs, I’ve never been caught so not sure if there are real cameras, but there are small square yellow boxes in various verges around Stellenbosch and these are real, I know, unfortunately. We pass the railway station on the left, must have been a very nice and important building in its day, but now, sadly falling into disrepair.

Over the main robots at Bird Street and then immediate right onto the Helshoogte Road. Easy through the outskirts of the town, and mind speed trap just after the last robot. Now we have mountains, vineyards, and the Helshoogte pass to enjoy, big road, smooth surface, and great bends, just don’t run out of skill. When I first came to SA, in 1982, I remember driving a Ford Escort MK2 through this pass, only then it was a very small and twisty, single carriage road with overhanging trees, quite a contrast to today.

On through Pniel, then right at the end onto the Franschhoek Road, very shortly we pass the L’Ornarins Wine Estate with its splendid motor museum. I would assume one of the wealthiest places in the country, if, however, we had instead turned left, and travelled about the same distance we would, in contrast, be passing another every growing scatter camp of tin shacks. Further along to Franschhoek, we come to the bridge over the Berg River, not sure how big or now many Berg Rivers there are in SA but the name does seem to appear all over the place. Next to our road bridge is the old railway bridge, originally the bridge served both the railway and the road, and being single track, think about it, you had to stop and make sure no opposing traffic or trains were coming.

Left onto the R301 to Paarl, this is a smaller and rougher road than previous but still quite fun once we get through Wemmershoek village and over the Wemmershoek River. Little traffic and open views mean good progress can be made, that is until we come to a roundabout, in the middle of nowhere, not sure why, rush hour must be all of 3 minutes out here. Anyway, it slows us for the right turn into Freedom 301 just after. Freedom 301 is very biker friendly, does huge burgers, only problem is that you need a shower after eating one.

Finale contrast to think about, we are now in upmarket golf-estate country, complete with private security, check points, surveillance cameras and what looks like mine fields between the high double fencing, is this freedom?

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