I’m sporty but I draw the line at cycling up hills – of which there are rather too many in Cape Town. So when Michael Stott of Venture South phoned me and asked me to come on a sunset electric bike ride, I thought, “Hell yes! That’s my idea of end-of-day exercise!”
WARP SPEED AHEAD
In the same way a normal bike has gears, these Chilled Squirrel electric bikes have different settings for assisted cycling. Level 2 and 3 are for a nice easy ride on the flat, but I found out – by shooting into the distance at warp speed – that level 5 is equivalent to a turbo charge.
Level 5 is for getting out of awkward situations in a hurry, such as when a dog is biting at your heels, a pram pusher does a three-point turn or a paraglider drops out of the sky in front of you. These are typical obstacles you may come across along the Sea Point promenade, which is basically a playground for everyone along the Atlantic seaboard who wants to breath some fresh sea air, take in ocean views and do some exercise.
GO FURTHER FASTER
Okay, so the exercise quotient on an electric bike isn’t that demanding, but the pleasure principle is high. And the sense of freedom is immense. It’s an effortless coastal cruise which gets you further faster, all the way along the 3.5km Seapoint Promenade, with a stop at Mojo Food Market for a boost of energy from a slice of pizza or whatever takes your fancy (ironic since you don’t even break a sweat).
The route and stops are not set in stone, and Venture South might take you another 4km through des-res Clifton and onto the beautiful palm-tree boulevard of Camps Bay facing the softest white beach in Cape Town. The suburb has a strong South of France feel, so where better to have a sunset cocktail to end this self-indulgent bicycle ride?
Who has the right to say that riding an electric bike is cheating (as many of my friends did)? It’s huge fun and that’s all that matters! Give it a try – you’ll love it.
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