From dipping into the array of cultures in the Mother City to pursuing an adrenaline rush that’s on the more cautious side, sometimes the local sightseeing bus just won’t cut it. Step in Venture South, an e-bike tour experience that’s both fun and quick.
Biking may seem like a lot of effort, especially when you’re on holiday and would rather relax than cycle about town, but Venture South’s bikes are a different breed. Co-founders Mike and Emilie are pioneering the e-biking experience in South Africa and, through a partnership with customised e-bike company Chilled Squirrel, are bringing cool, tech-driven tour experiences to visitors of the Cape.
Each bicycle is custom-made and features awesome leather details, a battery pack, a motor and a pedal assist device that’s strapped to the handle bars. Sound overwhelming? It isn’t! The pedal assist has a number of settings from 0 (no power) to 5 (super cruiser!) that can be adjusted as you ride. The bikes also feature a cool ‘boost’ system that provides the rider with even more of a push – for free-wheeling down the Sea Point Promenade or helping you climb the steep slope of Signal Hill. Basically, it’s like riding a BMW 135i in bicycle form.
Not sold on it yet? Watch our video of our e-bike and traditional food experience here where we got the chance to try out the two different e-bike models: the cruiser and the e-fat bike. Venture South also offers the e-MTB bike for mountain biking adventures.
Starting at Sea Point Promenade, we got a quick tutorial in all things e-bike before heading off to the crowded V&A Waterfront – with very little peddling required. From there, the knowledgeable Mike weaves you through traffic and into Bo-Kaap where you get to enjoy a taste of Cape Malay cuisine – we snacked on samoosas and koesisters – at Biesmiellah before heading further into central Cape Town. At butchery and eatery Frank Fenner Meat Merchants, grab some biltong for the road as you’ll need your energy to bike up Bree Street towards Culture Club Cheese, where owner Luke Williams will indulge you in delicious tidbits, some of them matured to 50 years – yum!
The next port of call is Kamili for a spot of coffee. Try the iced coffee while Mike grabs some treats to share then get ready for the next leg of the journey. Since each tour is customised to the riders’ preferences, ours involved trekking up Kloof Street and up to Signal Hill – strenuous but well worth it for the spectacular views! From there, Mike and Emilie led us around the mountainside and down into Camps Bay. If you’re lucky enough to get the heavier e-bikes that have thicker wheels (what we’ve affectionately come to know as the Wranglers of the e-bike offering at Venture South), Mike will lead you on to the beach where you can easily ride across the sand and even into the spray. After this, you’ll head back to Sea Point for a spot of lunch – we were treated to lip-smacking vegan goodness at Scheckter’s RAW Gourmet – then back to the starting point.
If you prefer a tour of a different kind, Venture South offers three other packages, including a sunset and cocktails tour and Franschhoek wine tour. Or you can go one step further and customise your experience with a helicopter tour and gourmet champagne picnic around the Peninsula or a flyboarding experience.
Photography Imaad Griffiths/HMimages.co.za, courtesy images