Cycling in Cape Town on the highway

The M3 in Cape Town running past UCTThe M3 yesterday: smooth as a baby’s cheeks (cyclist not pictured)

Funny article on Boing Boing tonight. There’s been a mini-demonstration in LA with cyclists and rollerbladers riding down the highway, apparently to demonstrate the impracticalities of rush hour commuting in a car. Obviously the traffic was more or less gridlocked (as it is there every day for around 6 hours apparently) and the bikes easily overtook the cars.

Well this is something I can well believe and relate to, for the simple reason that its something I do in Cape Town fairly regularly.
• I cycle a lot.
• I live in Kalk Bay
• I work in Town
• I commute to work and back on my bike

If I can see that the M3 is gonna be totally backed up from Claremont (usually around 7am), the quickest way to go is, well, the M3, and I’ll ride down it, sometimes all the way from Wynberg Hill to the road works at Hospital Bend.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a death wish, and I don’t ride on the Blue Route through Tokai – negotiating offramps with cars doing in excess of 120 does not appeal to me – its not a safe option for me or the people I’m sharing the road with. But I have thought about it, and seen other crazy cyclists doing it.

The thing is, highways are nice and smooth, wide and pretty safe when the cars are doing about 20km/h and you’re averaging 40, whereas the main road alternative is a taxi-riddled death trap.

Long live congestion.

By the way, if you cycle or commute long distance in Cape Town, please leave a comment. Particularly if you ride in or around the deep south and want someone to ride with, I’m keen to get in touch with you.

One Response to “Cycling in Cape Town on the highway”

  1. Hey there. Interesting blog. I am a Capetonian who has just returned from the UK. I got into commuting to work by bike over there, which is far more common than here, and I really enjoyed it. I have never commuted to work in CT, but am keen to give it a go. Question: could you recommend the safest or best route from Claremont (just above Cavendish Square) to Town (Riebeek Street)? Look forward to your reply. Timothy

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