Over the Easter long weekend Seamus Allardice joined former pro cyclist Jaco Pelser on a bikepacking adventure through the Western Cape. Their four day trip took in nearly 400km of riding, four iconic towns and over 200km of spectacular gravel road. The pair were joined on the final day by fellow cycling adventure seeker Mynardt van Pletsen.
Click on the image to view the route on Plotaroute, where you will also be able to download the full GPX file.
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Easter Bikepacking Adventure
Over the Easter long weekend Seamus Allardice joined former pro cyclist Jaco Pelser on a bikepacking adventure through the Western Cape. Their four day trip took in nearly 400km of riding, four ico...
I rode my Specialized Diverge and carried a 35l hiking back pack the clothing, food and gear I suspected I would need for the four days. Given the weather I ended up not needing much of what I packed, but rather pack for cooler conditions and not need to dig into your warmest gear than freeze. Given that we stayed in Air B&B’s for the three nights I did not need to bring a tent, sleeping bag or towel – which greatly reduced the weight I had to carry. I could also have bought snacks for on the bike at the end of each day, but I chose to rather carry them with me in case I could not get what I wanted during the trip. My primary concern for this was not being able to get hydration mix or a flavour of Rehydrate which I can stomach in McGreggor, where the shop options are very limited.
Seamus’ gear for the Easter Bikepacking Adventure.
Day 1: Nowhere to McGreggor
The 94km long opening day took us from half way between Worcester and Villiersdorp to the Karoo town of McGreggor via a series of quiet back roads.
The start of Seamus (right) and Jaco’s big Easter Bikepacking adventure ride.
First to take a photo or 500…
Jaco packed for adventure with his Trek loaded with bikepacking bags.
Groads like these.
The smooth gravel road surfaces of Day 1 make the riding fast.
Friendly Breede River locals.
You have to sit pretty still to get a lift like that.
The Breede River Valley near Robertson is an exceptionally fertile wine region.
Lunch in Robertson.
Treats for having ridden 70km already.
Rolling into McGreggor.
The local scamps.
Ginger beer O’Clock in McGreggor.
McGreggor is a beautiful little town, well worth a visit; by bike or not.
Day 2: McGreggor to Bredasdorp
97km of mostly fantastic riding, 80 odd kilometres of which were on amazing gravel roads. The challenge came in the final 30km where the road surfaces were the worst we encountered on the trip and the cross-head wind sapped all our momentum.
Getting ready to roll on Day 2.
But first coffee.
Some McGreggor locals weren’t that impressed by this bikepacking business.
On the road out of McGreggor.
Jaco getting into the rhythm.
Jaco checking alternative routes over the mountain for future MTB rides.
How’s that road?
32km of blissfully quiet gravel road.
Stormsvlei here we come.
Breakfast stop at the Stormsvlei padstal.
The reading material of choice in the Overberg.
Back on the road toward Protem.
Just look at that smooth, compacted, surface.
Protem: where all Overberg roads lead.
Climbing the endless rolling hills between the N2 and Bredasdorp.
Tactical time out.
Jaco checking Instagram.
The last stretch into Bredasdorp was mercifully on tar.
Late lunch stop.
Day 3: Bredasdorp to Hermanus
Though the longest day of the trip, but just 3km, the 100km day flew by with a strong South Easterly wind pushing us all the way to Hermanus.
Jaco packing for Day 3.
Just as the guys were about to leave the Wheatlands Lodge, in Bredasdorp, the heavens opened for a brief rain storm.
On the road out of Bredasdorp.
Tar roads took Jaco and Seamus from Bredasdorp to Napier.
Rolling through Napier.
Where the riding got fun.
Because they were passing through on Easter Sunday and all the shops would be closed Seamus and Jaco decided to bypass Elim.
Gravel road sights.
Friendly locals using the humble bicycle for essential daily tasks, like fetching fire wood.
Old farms on back roads.
Spectacular gravel roads.
In Hermanus Seamus and Jaco met up with Mynardt as well as Tyla Setzkorn, who rode out to meet them from Onrus.
Seamus, Mynardt and Jaco waiting for hard-earned beers.
Day 4: Hermanus to Somerset West
The only day without any gravel but the 96kms were scenic and super fast due to the howling tail wind, which built from the day before.
Packed for a damp start to Day 4.
While they waited for the rain to blow over Mynardt, Jaco and Seamus went to the Biga Cafe, in Hermanus, for the riders’ essential – good coffee.
On the road out of Hermanus.
Onto the coastal road, before it actually reaches the coast…
Mynardt rolling downwind.
Clarence Drive is always spectacular.
With the mountain on one side and the sea on the other it is one of the best drives and rides in the Western Cape.
Mynardt holding court.
Breather or a chance to chat?
Another, and probably better, group shot.
The Easter Bikepacking Adventure’s final significant climb.
Jaco checking out alternative wheels.
Beach front finale to four great days on the bike.