Get on your bike in Cape Town

If you’re looking for a healthy, practical and green way of seeing the Mother City, Up Cycles – the city’s first drop-and-go bike rental company – needs to be your port of call.
Cape Town has long been a city deeply committed in its love of bicycles and part of Up Cycles plan – beyond providing a fantastic service, obviously – is to help push and promote the bicycle culture in the Mother City.

With three drop-and-go points in the city – at the Pavilion on the Sea Point Promenade, Clock Tower Square at the V&A Waterfront and Hotel Mandela Rhodes Place in the CBD – UP Cycles is incredibly easy to use. You can start and end at any of these points, meaning you do not have to return to the Waterfront if you started there.

Better yet, if you get a flat, simply call for assistance and your bike will be replaced on the spot, much like a Formula One pit crew.

There is the odd hiccup. One visitor from Brazil attempted to cycle from the Waterfront to Cape Point! That should serve as a timely reminder to all of you to have a look at a map or ask a local before heading out for your ride… The guys at Up Cycles spent the night trying to track him down before he eventually arrived at his accommodation the next morning. He rode through the night.

There are no set routes either. You are completely in control and the city is wide open for you to explore. We didn’t have a huge amount of time, but we still managed to cycle from the Clock Tower, through the Waterfront, along the Promenade, before circling back through the Green Point Urban Park and returning to our starting point. All-in-all that took us less than 45 minutes. But just remember, if you are setting out on your own, just ensure you know how to get around beforehand.

You don’t have to go it alone either. Up Cycles has partnered with VoiceMap: Audio Walking Tours in creating a guided Sea Point Promenade cycle tour, which departs from the V&A Waterfront and concludes at their Sea Point Pavilion station.

Another bonus with Up Cycle is the rates. For an hour, you shell out a mere R50, two hours is R80 and three hours just R120. Take the bike for a half-day and it is R150, a full day only R200. Consider the price of petrol for a second and you quickly understand just how cheap that is.

There are also a number of fantastic specials. For example, if you rent the bike an hour before sunset, it’s yours for just R40. And anybody who has seen a Cape Town sunset, knows that they are priceless…