Born and bred in Cape Town, it is easy to overlook the quaint little charm this city embodies. Rushing about in cars, trying to find the quickest route possible from A to B doesn’t exactly help either. So when World Travel Market Africa organised an art and bike tour through the CBD, it seemed the perfect opportunity to re-immerse myself in the culture and history woven within our city roots.
A relatively early start time at 8.30 am called for us to meet at the hip café and cycle boutique, &Bikes in Loop Street. Upon arrival, a quick shot of coffee got our energy up while tour guide Abi gave us our bikes and ensured our helmets were safely strapped up – we were now ready for takeoff.
Our first leg proved to be a breezy glide to the Cape Town stadium. Passing through Green Point, familiar sightings of joggers, cyclists and health food options summed up the youthful vibe of this trendy suburb. From there we approached another staple landmark – The V&A Waterfront. The gorgeous backdrop of Table Mountain and the harbour offered a pitstop for a mandatory Insta pic of our awesome crew.
But as we headed back to the city centre, our leisurely start came to an abrupt halt, with buzzing traffic forcing us to weave through cars at lightning pace. Fortunately we arrived at the next point of interest unscathed. We listened intently as Abi imparted his wisdom at the foot of Jan Van Riebeeck’s statue on Heerengracht Street. Some more historical points include the Castle of Good Hope and Cape Town City Hall, which all symbolise a significant period in the makeup of modern-day Cape Town.
Next we were guided through some quieter streets, drifting past parliament and our current president’s offshore residence, before making a turn into the luscious Company Gardens. Here we had to hop off our bikes and walk along the pathways, providing much-needed opportunity to absorb the sunshine and peaceful chatter. The VOC vegetable garden and the Tea Garden restaurant were some of my personal highlights – and I’ve made a mental note to definitely check those out again soon.
By this time, hunger pangs were nagging and the heat fast becoming unbearable, but there was still one more obstacle to get through. Exiting the gardens, a left into Wale Street took us all the way up a steep incline towards Bo-Kaap. This marked the end of our tour and after basking in our achievement, we were lucky to replenish with a light meal of Bobotie and curry at Biesmillah café.
By being physically present in the space, one gains a true appreciation for the character and complexities that make up each area, providing a quick snapshot into the heart of Cape Town. &Bikes offer a range of tours that are perfect for both visitors and locals, and can be organised all year round.
Where &Bikes, 32 Loop St, Cape Town City Centre
Contact +27 (0) 21 823 8790