[Ride stats: Dec. 28, 2018; Western South African cape; 130+ miles]
I’m not really comfortable on the back of a bike. I much prefer being in control. Turns out I can be relaxed on the back of a trike, however!
My friend Melissa and I took an epic holiday trip to South Africa, and no vacation is complete without a ride. But we were nervous about renting bikes and driving on the opposite side of the road! I’m pretty sure I’d find myself going the wrong direction in a roundabout (which they just call, um, circles) within the first hour.
Via TripAdvisor, I found Cape Town Trike Tours – the next best thing to riding ourselves. This setup is ridiculous – and one of only two on the continent, according to Willam, owner and our chauffeur for the day. “Stick with me and I’ll make you famous,” he said; it certainly turns heads! Two comfortable seats are mounted directly behind and above the rider, with plenty of crash bars for footrests. The bike – which has a Ford Focus engine (!) – is stable and quiet with low vibration, making it easy to snap pics of the gorgeous landscape.
Willam was prompt and pleasant and we had good communication prior to the trip. (He also recommended pushing a day for better weather, which was a great idea.) After being in Cape Town proper for nearly a week, it was great to get out and see more of this beautiful country.
This route took us far outside the city, past False Bay on one of the most gorgeous seaside roads I’ve ever experienced, Clarence Drive. Willam has planned stops, including in Hermanus for lunch, but will customize within reason (see more info on his website.) I couldn’t miss the penguins at Betty’s Bay. We arrived right as a university team of marine biologists were releasing 25 new animals into this waddle (look it up!)
Willam was extremely knowledgeable about the area, and told us tales of history and the natural area, flora, whales and more. And over beers (ours, not his,) he shared about all the interesting people he’s escorted, including a women who hires him for multi-week trips every year (with the permission of his wife!) The full day was nearly 9 hours with all stops and breaks, and was one of our best days in South Africa. Highly recommended way to spend a day exploring beyond Cape Town!
Cape Town Trike Tours
Description of this trip from CTTT:
“Depart from your hotel in Cape Town at around 9am and continue on down the N2 towards Somerset West, Strand to Gordons Bay. Stop for a photo shoot on Clarence Drive, rated as the most scenic marine drive in the world. Stop at Rooi Els for a drink or two, then to Betty’s Bay and Kleinmond. Ride further to Hermanus, rated as the best land based whale watching site in the world, and stop for there for lunch. From Hermanus ride to Botrivier, over the Houw Hoek pass, stopping at the Houw Hoek Inn, then through Grabouw, stopping on top of the scenic Sir Lowry’s Pass for a photo shoot.
Travel down along the N2 back to your hotel in Cape Town and arrive around 5pm.”