Ex­plor­ing the Cape on Two Wheels

SLOW Magazine - - Must Go -

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.

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