By Jason Dunbar
The UCT Cycling Club recently embarked on its third edition of the much anticipated Tour de Plett from 13 to 18 of February. During the hottest month of the year, the 630km race was spread over five long days, spending over 24 hours along the country’s most beautiful roads.
Coming straight after the deferred exams block, the tour was ideal in allowing all involved to relax and further integrate themselves into the cycling club. There was also ample opportunity to develop one’s cycling and fitness, whilst exploring some of the lesser ridden roads in the Western Cape. Some of the most revered passes and roads in the country formed part of the route, undertaken by sixteen cyclists and two selfless support drivers. The ceaseless rolling gradient and relentless headwind certainly tested the endurance of all who participated. Two full days were spent traversing the lonely, dry and hot tarmac of the Route 62, which runs right through the heart of the Klein Karoo. However, it was on these exhausting days in the arid region that the beauty of the ride was realised by each and every one.
The excited smiles at the beginning of the tour were only eclipsed by the pure joy showed upon finally arriving at our destination. Highlights of the tour include: ripping it up Bainskloof Pass, wine tasting at Arabella, a cheeky milkshake at Ronnie’s sex shop, and the stupidly fast descent of the Outeniqua pass.
Many thanks to UCT Sport and William Simpson for their aid in transport, and to Private Client Holdings for their generous monetary contribution. Lastly, huge thanks must be given to a veteran of the 1989 Tour de Plett, Peter Wheeler (no pun intended), who came along for the ride. A phenomenal trip all around, with everyone highly anticipating the next one.