The annual Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour is here in Cape Town once again.
Each March, the largest timed cycling event in the world effectively paralyses the city for the day and increases the square metres of lycra to local population ratio far beyond safe limits.
So why do I love it so much?
- For the two weeks (although this is now stretching towards a month) prior to the event, cyclists in the city are apparently permitted to ignore any traffic rules. Extra points are given for going through red lights and causing accidents, which are then blamed on anyone sitting in something with an engine (and helpfully, with insurance too).
- On the actual day, residents of the city get woken up by the television helicopters flying the route from 6.15 in the morning. On a Sunday. Thanks.
- It’s a wonderful day out there today, but can I take my boy to the beach?
No, I can’t – because all the roads are closed.
- Better not have a heart attack today if you live on the route. Getting an ambulance to you will probably take a bit too long. Anyway, it’s far more important that some poorly-prepared 55 year old from Bloemfontein gets to the local cardiac care unit first, because he has a bike and is wearing lycra.
- For the next three months, we have to endure people talking about how they went “sub four” and what a struggle it was in the wind. Then, for the nine months following that, we have to endure people talking about how they’re going to go “sub four” and that they hope it’s not windy.
“Come now, 6000” some people say. “It’s just one day of the year!”
And they’re nearly right. They just missed a bit:
It’s just one day of the year TOO MANY!