By Josephine Wawira
Image by Daxiao Productions
From mountain-biking to road cycling, BMX racing, or just leisure biking, Africa is an awe-inspiring destination for bikers across the world. With a topography that encompasses spiraling mountains, prairies, and thick forested cycling tracks that have formed over years of being trodden on by bicycle wheels. Wondering where to find these scenic cycling trails, here are some of the best in the continent.
Stellenbosch – Cape Town, South Africa
Whether a beginner or an experienced rider, how best than to cycle among Stellenbosch’s alluring vines? The jagged mountain backdrop gives a refreshing and enchanted feel as you pedal your way through the winelands. Ensure to have a bicycle wine rack for taking some wine on your way.
Garden Route – South Africa
Image by razzel
It is one of Africa’s secreted charms along the theatrical southern coastline from Heidelberg to the Tsitsikamma Forest and Storms River. Bikers follow the meandering paths leading to the artistic destination that boasts a rich blend of craft hubs, golf courses enclosed by ancient forests as well as beach holidays. Sounds divine, right? Take the challenge and experience Garden Route on your bike.
Mount Kilimanjaro – Tanzania
Off to East Africa, experience a mountain bike adventure around the highest mountain in the continent. When the rough terrain becomes challenging, give your machine a little push or carry it to the summit (approximately 19,000 feet). It is said that there are more than 35,000 people who have attempted to climb Kilimanjaro every year, with a success rate of only 45-percent; out of these, only a few have successfully reached the summit on a bicycle.
Earlier last year, professional mountain biker Rebecca Rusch and adventurer Patrick Sweeney successfully cycled Mount Kilimanjaro on a six-day round expedition. They aimed to raise awareness and funds for World Bicycle Relief a charity organization that helps people in rural areas conquer the challenge of distance by providing bicycles.
Rebecca Rusch and adventurer Patrick Sweeney – Picture Credit: Pat R. Notaro III
The Sahara Desert – Morocco
Are you a dare-devil? Then coat yourself in dust as you peddle across the Sahara in Morocco. Battle the massive sand dunes and venomous creatures in an excursion that mixes awe and peril; giving you the most white-knuckling experience of a lifetime. Whether for a short stunt into the desert or a complete escape from civilization into the deep sandbanks, the Sahara is a haven that any biker should brave.
The list is endless, and one can also do a continental cycling odyssey across as many African countries as possible. In the words of Arthur Conan Doyle, “When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking”.