Exploring the Cape on Two Wheels
Many of us are constantly looking for new and innovative stress management techniques to help us cope with all that our demanding lives present us with. Stress management techniques include processes such as biofeedback, autogenic training, and practicing emotional freedom and guided imagery, to name but a few examples. Stress has become such a huge part of modern life that there are even stress management clinics and centres where you can find guided advice on how to deal with this thing we call “life”.
For many of us, it is easy to get lost in all the fancy techniques and jargon, and forget some of the most simple and basic stress management techniques: enjoyable pastimes and the beauty of nature.
If you live in Cape Town, you are already surrounded by breathtaking beauty. Add an enjoyable pastime, like climbing on your BMW R ninet motorcycle and hitting the road, passing rolling hills and valleys, or perfect coastal mountain passes, with the fresh sea air filling your lungs, while listening to the music in your ears coming from your BMW motorcycle’s boxer engine, and you have stress management technique.
When in the Mother City, you can literally ride in any direction and find interesting places, restaurants, and coffee shops along the way. Especially on weekends you will find fellow motorcyclists on many roads – true to the motorcycle fraternity custom in Cape Town, you will probably have a sore neck at the end of the day after greeting every biker you pass with a friendly nod.
You can start your motorcycle adventure in Cape Town at the legendary Truth Café, the headquarters of the coffee company, Truth Coffee, at 36 Buitenkant Street in the city centre, which was voted one of the best coffee shops in the world last year by The Telegraph. After your award-winning cuppa, “saddle up” for De Waal Drive for a ride to Signal Hill to witness the iconic view of the city and Table Mountain.
Riding along the coast from Camps Bay to Hout Bay will have you grinning from ear to ear. Riding the Chapman’s Peak road from Hout Bay toward Noordhoek is an exhilarating experience – the corners are splendid, but tight, and when you reach the point where the road starts hugging the cliff, it will force you to slow down and soak in the view.
Another coastal ride option in Cape Town is the West Coast. Start your journey at the popular hang-out in Bloubergstrand, The Blue Peter Hotel’s The Lower Deck Bistro, overlooking the beach and Table Mountain. The Seafood Lapa in Melkbosstrand, on the corner of 6th Avenue and Beach Road, is also an excellent option.
From Melkbosstrand you can either travel further up the West Coast to find coastal gems like Yzerfontein, Jacobs Bay, and Paternoster, or you can move inland from Melkbosstrand and turn off the N7 toward Philadelphia. The Dutch Reformed Church founded in 1863 is the centre of this town, and just around the corner, you will find another motorcycle haven, The Pepper Tree Art Stable & Coffee Shop, at 36 Louw Street.
Some of the other famous motorcycle routes that can’t be missed include Helshoogte Pass in Stellenbosch, the winding Franschhoek Pass, and Clarence Drive which takes bikers from Kleinmond to Gordon’s Bay.
Franschhoek’s main road is a buzzing motorcycle Mecca, with almost every second shop being a restaurant or coffee shop where you can stop to catch your breath before venturing onto Franschhoek Pass. On the one side you will find breathtaking views of the Franschhoek winelands, and the other side will have you gasping at the perfection of the corners. Stop at the lookout point on top of Franschhoek Pass and you will be filled with a feeling of gratitude for being alive and for having the privilege of experiencing this incredible scenery.
From Franschhoek, you can travel through Villiersdorp. Make your way back onto the N2 through beautiful rolling hills and valleys, then take the R43 turnoff to Hermanus, a coastal town not to be missed, and extremely popular during whale season in December.
On your way to Hermanus, you will find the R44 turnoff towards Kleinmond – brace yourself for another motorcycle jewel, Clarence Drive. The ideal spot to stop for refreshment, before you take on the exiting stretch of Clarence Drive, is Jack’s Restaurant and B&B in Betty’s Bay, on the corner of Clarence Drive and Porter Drive. Visiting On The Edge in Stony Point for a bite to eat is also an option, especially if you want to visit Stony Point Nature Reserve to see the penguin colony. With over 2,000 pairs of nesting African penguins, it is one of the largest land-based nesting sites in Africa.
Refreshed and energized after your stop in Betty’s Bay, you will be ready for the dramatic part of Clarence Drive, where fast roads hug the False Bay coast from Pringle Bay, through Rooi-els, and then all the way to Gordon’s Bay.
Back home after such a thrilling day, you will realise that a simple technique like climbing on your motorcycle and hitting the roads in and around Cape Town to explore the vibrant coffee and gastronomy culture, as well as awe-inspiring natural views, will make a world of difference to your stress levels.
For more information on BMW Motorrad, visit www.bmw-motorrad.co.za.