The Pap, Wors ‘n Sous West Coast gravel ride

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The view from Elands Bay’s crayfish factory. Don’t bother asking if there is a mall nearby (Photo: Steve Smith)
The view from Elands Bay’s crayfish factory. Don’t bother asking if there is a mall nearby (Photo: Steve Smith)

Play the word-association game with Cape Town’s mountain and gravel bikers and they’re pretty much guaranteed to give your "West Coast" prompt a "Sandy!" response.

It’s an accurate riposte and it was my own when my Table Mountain Bikers crew first floated the idea of a bike-packing overnighter along that compass heading.

Of all the forward-motion-inhibiting elements one would choose to avoid on any bike ride – wind, mud, rain and sand – it’s the latter on that list that I least like. Sand is a magnet for rubber, both weighing down your tyres and ushering them off on acute trajectories, often the wrong angle to where you’d like to be travelling.

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