Last week I joined a group of intrepid media people from Go, Getaway and Ride publications on a bicycle tour through the winelands of Stellenbosch with BikesnWines. This unique wine tour can be summed up in the enthusiastic and spontaneous outcry of one of my fellow riders five minutes into our 10km journey:
I’d forgotten how much fun a bicycle can be!
We began the tour as relative strangers – an ensemble of ‘trigger-happy’, tweeting individual journalists/ writers* eager to document the day in full. As the route unfolded, relationships were forged by encouraging some riders to struggle on uphill or subtly persuading others to put down their tasting glasses! Our journey took us to a total of 3 wine farms – wine tasting at the first two followed by a relaxed lunch at the third.
As someone who doesn’t often ride a mountain bike, I found the varied terrain a friendly invitation to try more of the sport. The massive range of gears available on my mountain bicycle was outlandish in comparison with my more limited regular steel frame steed. I’m quite eager to try the climb up Vissershok on this bicycle to compare the experience. BikesnWines do offer custom created tours so there’s no harm in asking!
The joy of the group in cycling together was matched by a gritted tenacity as we climbed a few challenging hills. If I learned anything about wines, it’s that vines grow on slopes! Perhaps a wine tour on flat terrain would be simpler, but the sense of achievement would be lost to those participating. Wine is best shared with friends, and the collective struggle up the hills certainly forged friendships that I hope will outlast even the best crafted vintage.
TOUR THE CAPE WINELANDS
Join Bikes ‘n Wines for an adventure filled day of cycling and wine tasting in Stellenbosch or explore one of the other beautiful Winelands in the Western Cape! These unique tours are targeted at young-hearted and outdoor-loving people who like to experience a wine tour from a different and authentic viewpoint.
A journey to challenge all of us. For nine days, twelve cyclists will traverse the mostly un-tarred back roads of the central Karoo. Braving +40 degree temperatures, all in opposition to hydraulic fracking in the Karoo.
Q: What happens when you mix bikes, wine and a bunch of strangers? ANS: A whole lot of fun and camaraderie.
David Donde, of Truth Coffee, one of Cape Town’s most loved bike friendly coffee shops, shares his passion for cycling, coffee and urban transformation.