It’s Argus Day!

Oh joy!

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! 

14 thoughts on “It’s Argus Day!

  1. But it’s not just one day of the year. It’s weeks leading up to it too!

    You realise how many of them you’re going to get bitching at you now? Moaning about how bad drivers are and how much pollution cars give off?
    I’m still getting moaned at on that post I did months ago.

    Oh how I loathe them and their lycra.

  2. It’s right that people should “bitch”.

    The Argus ius a wonderful charity event which brings joy to millions.

  3. This is apalling

    I did the Argus yesterday (and went sub four).

    I dispute all you say about it

  4. I too hate the argus.

    it just gfets in my way. i have no interest in cycling – it’s ashitty sport done by mouthy boastful idiots

  5. When DelBoy was much, much younger, he too completed the Argus 2 days after losing a bet in a popular Newlands pub of those days.

    It took me 5 1/2 hours, but I completed it without a single training ride. Unlike some of my friends who had trained all year! 😉

  6. I think you’re a bit misinformed. For someone who actually comes from cape town that is dissapointing. First things first. There are not many events in south africa that bring people together like this… the argus is international! its the biggest cycling race outside of the tour de france… surely that should carry some weight. Even though we’re classed a third world country its pretty impressive for us.

    i agree that the cyclist training two weeks before the time should be shot for disobeying the rules but i guess that its part of the fun hey… we learn to join in the fun or get lost… hint hint

    lastly lets consider the stupidity of a thing like soccer, even though i hate the concept of an entire country going beserk because on a leather ball filled with air i kinda have to support the idea that we getting international attention in 2010.

    The only criticism i have is that once again capetonians are ill prepared thinking that you can fit 35000 cyclists onto a two lane road…maybe they should watch the 94.7, even though its not as beautiful, its a far safer race!

  7. Delton: “lets consider the stupidity of a thing like soccer, even though i hate the concept of an entire country going beserk because on a leather ball filled with air”

    I think you may have just inadvertently annoyed a hell of a lot of rugby fans.

    Personally, I have more of an issue of two rubber things filled with air. Big difference between my sport and yours is that mine doesn’t ruin everyone else’s day.

  8. And force people like me to dish out money for a new tyre because a cyclist was being reckless and ignoring road rules.

    Other sports don’t invade and encroach on other people’s daily lives 365 days a year nearly as much as cyclists. And yes, in Cape Town with our cyclists, it is EVERY DAMN DAY

  9. Valid comments but in all fairness, the government actually backs these leather balls because its good for the economy. so instead of spending millions on killing crime – which is also good for the economy by the way- we rather build stadiums and support our leather balls.

    Speaking of which, on another slightly slanted point, why is it that almost all the sport in South africa is challenged on an international level and our soccer players still seem as if they’re playing street soccer… Personally this is where i feel the government can make one of their few intelligent choices ie. ditch soccer its doing nothing for this country.

    Koosh, get yourself a rubber basball bat and swat all those annoying cyclists… im a cyclist and theres nothing that annoys me more than your average spinning class attendee hitting the road….by the way i had a terrible crash in the argus and i believe its because of such a person… because we fell on a straight road with no obstructions…

  10. Koosh – Hear hear!

    Delton – Oh dear. You see, you’ve said that I was being short-sighted in ignoring the benefits that the Argus brings to Cape Town and then you go and… er… ignore the potential benefits which 2010 can bring to SA.

    As for SA challenging on an international level in all sports except football, I presume you’re talking about rugby and cricket. After all, you only have one half decent cyclist, and only then cos he’s backed up by a UK team.

    Why continue with football in SA? Because it’s the national sport, because it’s the sport that more people play in this country than any other. Simple answer.

  11. Well, looks as if y’all survived the ordeal…
    Say, 6000 why dont you send the posting to Bicycling Magazine. We love humor and your posting certainly was very funny. Who knows you might win the Merida… You go man!

  12. okay that brings me to another point: an indian friend of mine from petermaritzburg reckons theres more indians playing soccer than any other nationality so why do you think indians dont make it to the top… i’ve seen them play before…. that brings me to another point… they dont make it to the cricket finals either…mmmmmm. Goolam Bodey for one is an excellent player and if gogga could make it hell my granny could make it too.
    anyway, we need to start a new tranche here

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