I was invited by Venture South’s Mike Stott to spend a morning cycling Cape Town on one of their amazing Chilled Squirrel e-bikes. Invited to enjoy their Traditional Food Experience, we deviated somewhat from the route as they created a unique vegetarian and vegan focussed itinerary just for me. this is their way you see, each trip that you book with Mike is privately hosted and specially crafted to suit their client’s interests.
Working out of Cape Town, we met on Beach Road in Sea Point, where I was introduced to the wonderful bike that would carry me that day. Produced in South Africa, these attractive bikes, with covetable leather satchel bags, are produced in South Africa by artisans dedicated to creating customised pedal power with high torque electric motors. Once shown the settings and how the bikes work, we were off.
The Vegetarian Cycling Tour
Starting at the inspired Oranjezicht City Farm and Market Day, we went on to the V & A Waterfront for a visit to the recently opened The Silo Hotel, across to Long Street for a snack at PLANT, before obligatory colour appreciation in Bo-Kaap, cycling a long stretch of the Sea Point Promenade and with the last stop at Scheckter’s RAW. We even cycled the fan walk, weaving our way through the glitz and glamour of Gay Pride. The Oranjezicht market will meet every health food lover’s dream with everything from growing greens to bright red pomegranates and mushroom colonies on offer. Spoilt for choice we opted for an energy boosting juice, making for a perfect start to the day.
From there on to the V&A Waterfront and across the swing bridge towards the new Sio Hotel which we just had to pop in at.
The newly opened The Silo Hotel is a fabulous addition to the city, get there, even if it’s just for a coffee or glass of bubbly. This place is simply put, incredible. A 28 room luxury hotel built in the grain elevator portion of the historic grain silo complex and occupying six floors above what will become the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA).
Views for days from the hotel’s rooftop where the swimming pool, bar and loungers are found, all for your enjoyment.
From there a cycle across to historic Bo-Kaap with it’s candy-coloured houses and cobbled streets, wishing on the line and delicious aromas coming from the open kitchen windows. Best place for homemade samoosas and koeksisters, both local delicacies.
Food stops were at the vegan restaurant PLANT Cafe just off Long Street for sweet potato chips and cauliflower buffalo wings.
As well as at Scheckter’s Raw in Sea Point for coffee, a vegan Trump Dog with Mexican salsa and a bit of time hanging with the locals.
It could be the assisted peddle setting talking, but I really didn’t want the morning to end. The absolutely happiest day out and about on a bike reminded me how much I love to cycle a city and that I should do more of just that in mine. Also, I need an E-bike. I’m so thrilled to have met Mike and to learn more about Venture South’s offerings and the wonderful way that they host private groups. I highly recommend that you connect with them and try either their Traditional Food Tour, Franschhoek E-bike and Wine Experience, the Cape of Good Hope E-bike ride or Sunset & Cocktails E-bike Ride.
Interesting facts about their e-bikes:
The average speed of an e-bike is comparable to the average speed of a car driving through town at about 25 km p/h. Not to mention it’s the size of a bicycle, it’s practical and agile and would without a doubt get through town quicker than a car. Although e-bikes are pedal assist, I could feel my legs getting a workout, but was pleased for the “boost” feature when tackling the hills up towards Bo-Kaap.
They are incredibly eco-friendly and actually use less energy on a ride than a 5 minute hot shower. Now there’s a thing. They need to be charged, like a cellphone does, but a fully charged e-bike can go for approximately 40 km on gentle terrain, which is more than you’ll need. The other advantage is that you get to cover a greater distance in a shorter amount of time on an E-bikes, allowing you to visit more sights and places in beautiful Cape Town than you usually would in the same amount of time. Also, whatever the varied fitness level of the group, they’ll be able to keep up with each other.
Other Venture South Offerings.
As much as I was all loved up by the E-bike experience (and remain tempted to order one), cycling is not the only activity offered by Venture South. Mike is a superb qualified tour guide and can be booked for any array of tours around the city. In the company’s repertoire, you’ll also find hiking, adventure, gourmet tours and sightseeing – all of which you’re invited to customise as per these options. Emilie is a yoga instructor and will see to your holistic wellbeing too.
Thanks so much, Mike for a wonderful morning shared!