Get Outside. Last week a good friend of mine decided to join me on Table Mountain for a cycling adventure. We decided to tackle the new Cape Epic enduro route on Table Mountain, situated above and around Rhodes Memorial. The track has many short cuts and varying paths for those who want to change things up or take a shorter route. You could even run the route. Our focus for the day was the steeper section of the route as Greg and I are always searching for something to fuel our adrenalin addiction.
Entering the gates of Table Mountain National Park below Rhodes Memorial, the crystal clear skies and fresh morning air marked the beginning of another beautiful day in Cape Town. There are a number of different ways to reach the highest point of the Cape Epic track, situated just below the block house. There are trails that begin on either side of the University of Cape Town, there is a trail that begins in Newlands Forest and finally a trail which approaches through the Table Mountain Deer Park.
Beginning the gradual climb towards the blockhouse, the winding jeep track offers uninterrupted views of our beautiful city. Passing fellow cyclist, runners and walkers, one can’t but help notice the friendly attitude of fellow outdoor enthusiasts. Whatever the chosen form of activity, the mountain offers endless opportunities from adrenalin pumping adventures with friends to a simple moment of solitude and peace of mind. Twenty five minutes of riding later and we had reached our chosen destination for the day, a brief but steep section of singletrack ending at the beacon two roads below the blockhouse.
With Table Mountain as a backdrop casting its shadow over the city, together with the fast dusty trail, shooting was made easy. A few photos in and we already had some pleasing shots, not a hard task given our incredible surroundings. Being outdoors has always been a passion of mine. Being able to share that passion with friends and family is something I treasure. Recently I was lucky enough to get my hands on a mountain bike and begin a new adventure, one which pushes my limits in new and exciting ways. Overcoming the fear of a new track or jump, conquering a long and tiring climb, or being able to pick myself up after a fall brings me confidence and joy. Pushing personal boundaries and placing myself out of my comfort zone is something riding has allowed me to do over and over again. My objective for the day was to capture a sense of the riding speed, while at the same time showcasing our beautiful surroundings.
The feeling of accomplishment in nailing that corner you were unable to get right last run, or nailing that photo which showcases the perfect atmosphere you desired after attempting countless different angles, makes riding, capturing these moments on camera and getting outside my ultimate combination of stress relief.
As we made our way further down the steep rocky section of the track, the ground beneath gradually firmed up, allowing for better traction and stability. The Proteas and Silver Trees slowly disappear as larger trees and shade cover mark the bottom section of the trail. While no longer able to view the city below, the natural beauty of light shining through the coverage gives some variation to the tracks surroundings.
One of the final sections of the trail we did, which is an optional route, leads you through a recently burnt field. Many people blast past litter and all sorts of rubbish when outside, forgetting that without any maintenance or care these beautiful surroundings will slowly perish. The danger of cigarette buds and pollution in general can not be emphasized enough! Cape Town has seen a number of recent fires destroying our outdoor playgrounds. Please stay aware, and take any opportunity to pick up that plastic bag or sweet wrapper blowing in the wind.