What to expect on the Bespoke Boland Cycle Tour in 2024/5

Beloved Boland Cycle Tour expands to its longest offering yet

In the 2024/5 edition of our bespoke Boland Tour, we’ll be circumnavigating the Western Cape Winelands in a 1500km road cycling spectacle that promises to leave even the most die-hard cyclo-tourists in awe with its jaw-dropping scenery, exciting activities and unique experiences, both on and off the bike.

This is what to expect:

Stunning route 🏆

Our tried and tested route of 900 miles starts and finishes in Cape Town.

We leave the Mother City and embark on a journey that includes the vast karoo, spectacular climbs, Big Five Game country, the Southernmost Tip of Africa, back into the Winelands and up Table Mountain. 1500km sounds just about right.

On tar roads 📌

We handpicked the best roads out there and 99% of our route is firmly on tarmac. The minor gravel sections are wide open district roads. No jeep track or single track. So bring your road or gravel bike.

45-65 miles/day 🚵‍♂️

Manageable daily distances mean ample time for off-the-bike activities. Stages typically vary from 45 to 65 miles each, with day 1 being the shortest, as we get to know each other. And the longest day right at the end, with Cycle Tour Sunday.

3 weeks cycling 🗓

We spend a generous 3 weeks on tour, to experience the best scenery and adventures that the Western Cape has to offer. This allows us to enjoy the riding and activities at a leisurely pace — to appreciate every moment.

On your own bike 🚲

Please bring your own bike, where possible*. Should you wish to rent one, kindly notify us long in advance of your requirements, as multiple day rentals with set requirements are slightly more difficult to source.

Sweeper vehicle 🚑

We have a dedicated vehicle for victualling and on the road requirements. Not an ambulance, as with our races, but especially handy on those longer days. And he might even offer you a lift, should the need arise.

Water points 🥤

We may surprise you with a coffee stop on top of a mountain. Or an ad hoc break under a tree in the middle of nowhere. And we can fill up at the many quaint towns, villages, and farm stalls en route.

Comfy groups 👨‍👨‍👧‍👦

An intimate group of around 20 riders is ideal. However, the total number of guests can be double that. But anything more, and exclusive accommodation becomes challenging in some of the smaller towns we visit.

Ride guides 👋

Experience counts. We are your helpings hands en route. We share stories and accompany you while cycling through this beautiful country. Choose to do your own thing, or (preferably) join a group that ride at your comfortable pace.

Breakfast 1st 🕗

Our days in the saddle are not too long, which allows time for a proper sit-down breakfast before each ride. There may be the odd exception, with breakfast stop en route, or a breakfast pack prior to a longer day.

Typical days 🙌

You are here to ride & relax & explore. A typical day on tour is as follows. Cycling starts after breakfast. Enjoy a scenic day on the bicycle, with a water point or two before the finish.

Then take some time off, have a bite to eat, and recover after the ride. Before an afternoon activity, often in a group, or free to explore on your own. Finish off with a group dinner.

Tour jersey 👚

You will receive a tour jersey on presentation at the end of day 1, to be worn on certain days, including the grand finale. A size chart will be available and additional garments may be ordered.

Bring your +1 👫

Non-cyclists are most welcome to join us and we cater for partners alike. From our experience, non-riders add a valuable and fun component to the outing — and make great photographers! The more, the merrier.

GPX files 🗺

We love plotting adventures and GPS files will be shared in advance — so you can have the route, distance, and climbing available on your device. Or choose to ignore it and follow the group. Made with RWGPS & shared on Strava.

Accommodation 🛌

Accommodation is mostly 4-star, where available. We stay in a combination of hotels, BNB’s and some family run establishments. By default, we book shared twin rooms, and single supplements are possible, specified in advance.

Meals included 🍴

Meals included are breakfast & dinner. Enjoy local cuisine, braaivleis, bobotie, potjiekos, koeksisters, pannekoek, and so much more. We treat lunch as a final water point, enjoying fruits, nuts, biltong, droewors, etc as a light post-ride-snack.

Bike washes 🧼

A clean bike is a fast bike. In order to keep your prized possession in tip-top shape, local technicians will professionally clean it a few times on tour. Ideally after a bit of gravel; before your private cycle tour; and more if needed.

Special diets 🥑

Herbivore, carnivore, or omnivore? Tell us your dietary requirements (and allergies!), and please be cognizant of the fact that in some remote areas our options might be more limited. Quick summary from the heart foundation.

Exciting activities 👏

Game drives. Stargazing. Sundowners. Shark cage diving. Wine tours. Massages. Table Mountain. Cable car. Hikes. Caves. Walkabouts. Nature reserves. Lookout points. And more. Choose to take part, or simply do your own thing.

Cycle tour Sunday 🥇

Your longest day in the saddle will be right at the end of the tour when you are fit and ready for the Cape Town Cycle Tour. The stunning scenery will keep you occupied right to the finish line. And then we celebrate.

Glorious summer 🔆

Our beautiful route is great for cycling, most of the year round, other than the wetter winter months of June, July & August (which still don’t come close to European Winters). Consult the Weatherman and don’t forget to wear sunscreen!

Transfers included ✈

We’ve taken the hassle out of your arrival and departure by including airport transfers to and from your hotel. And should the need arise for an ad hoc trip, humans can pick an UBER and for bicycles try #bicyclecouriers.

Special requests 👊

Is there something we missed? Or that you would really like to include? Please tell us, as we would love the opportunity to try and accommodate your request. And it may benefit everyone.

Variation possible 👌

We prefer to have our plans cast in stone. But we know that things change and we may change plans where necessary. While striving to keep you informed, safe and happy. Hence, variation is possible if so required.

Safety first 🆘

Safety first. Help is a button press away! Join more than 100,000 South Africans and over 500 events that already use mySOS to provide peace of mind for participants. Download it here.

Telecoms 📶

We are mostly on regional tar roads and usually within mobile reception. Opt for international roaming or grab a local sim card from MTN, Vodacom, Telkom, or Cell-c. Wi-Fi should be available at most overnight venues.

Beneficial ZAR 💸

Local currency is the South African Rand and is has been steadily losing value against the USD, meaning international guests have a lots of purchasing power, almost R19 for each $1 at the time of writing.

Easy payments 💳

Card machines are almost everywhere, for debit & credit cards like VISA & Mastercard. Or tap your phone or smart watch. Keep a couple of Rands in cash, just in case. Diners club & AMEX isn’t accepted everywhere though.

Loadshedding 💡

Because we are special. SA doesn’t have enough electricity for 60 million+ local residents. So we all take turns (except the politicians) and you can expect to be without electricity for a couple of hours per day. Track the schedule on EskomSePush.

Dos & don’ts 🙏

Please don’t cycle with earphones. We stick to the left hand side of the road and go in single file where need be. No littering — we cannot speak for everyone but take great pride in our surroundings.

Tell your mates 📢

Take photos, make memories and share it with us, with each other, and with the world. Our official tour hashtag and social media pages will be shared and we encourage you to share your content, preparation and experiences.

Be ambassadors 🦚

Over the course of 3 weeks you will experience our beautiful country on-and-off the bicycle like few others have had the privilege to do. We ask that you soak up the experience and tell others about your adventure. Proudly South African.