Cederberg Gravel Cycling Adventure – Citrusdal to Sanddrif
Doug and J-Dogg embarked on a 3 day gravel cycling adventure on the Cape Cycle Routes’ Cederberg Circuit through South Africa’s breathtaking Cape Fold mountains.
The Cederberg mountains in the Western Cape are highly regarded for the countless hiking trails and beautiful camping spots to be found there, but they are also a brilliant canvas for cycling adventures. Doug and J-Dogg have just returned from a 3 day cycling adventure along the endless gravel roads that connect the small towns, farms, and wonderful hospitality oases that are scatted across this vast landscape!
Our route, the Cederberg Circuit, was taken straight out of the Cape Cycle Route catalogue and it delivered on all accounts! This was our 3rd Cape Cycle Routes experience, having ridden their
Karoo Crossing and Cross Cape routes previously. We’ll be taking you on a photo epic of our journey through the ancient Cape Fold mountains, enjoy part 1 of 3!
After a couple hours in the Hilux heading up the N7 we were taken up and over Piekenierskloof Pass where the looming Cederberg mountains come into full view. *click image for more info*
Cederkloof, our accommodation spot for night one, is a gem tucked away in a pristine little valley just out of town where we ran through our final bike checks, fuelled up on a braai, got a great night’s sleep before hitting the road early the next morning! Cederberg mountains visible in the background. *click image for more info*
Doug had opted for the Cannondale Habit Neo as he hasn’t been on the bike too as of late recently, myself being left to work for each meter (albeit not too hard) on the ‘analog’ Topstone gravel bike! *click image for more info*
Cederkloof offered a very comfortable home for the night with all the essentials, a quiet setting, comfortable beds and of course a leaker braai place!
Braaimaster Doug handing nutrition for the crew. We took our fuelling seriously for this one!
Part of the fun on night one was unpacking and installing some goodies from Ryder on our bikes! We were super impressed by their new Grove-Tool and Luberetta products that came in handy every day of the trip. *click image for more info*
The kind of night sky you just won’t find close to the city. Adventure was afoot!
Our cycling journey would begin in the town of Citrusdal. J-Dogg’s Topstone sits ready for the adventure to begin! *click image for more info*
The first tastes of gravel along the Olifants rivier as we moved North towards the town of Clanwilliam and the dam of the same name.
Being the manly men that we are, we had to stop and appreciate the colours of these bougainvillea bushes growing at the entrance to Lebanon Citrus Farm.
Into the Cederberg we went!
Good to be out in the country and taking it slow on the bikes. Stopping for a quick refuel before the climbing section of the route began. Doug was enjoying the style and functionality of our CIOVITA gravel tops! *click image for more info*
The Cederberg district road to Algeria and beyond gently undulates along the main valley between larger mountain passes such as “Uitkyk” that we would face after a lunch stop.
The Uitkyk river that flows through Algeria campsite and cottages was the perfect place to stop for a refuel and a chance to wet the feet and head. We had around 30km to go from here to Sanddrif. *click image for more info*
Uitkyk pass climbs 400m and the tarred surface definitely makes the ascent easier. What made it a fair potion harder though was the inevitable depleting of Doug’s Ebike battery! When you test the limits of how far something will go, you often find them. Thankfully we were near the top of the pass and all the day’s significant climbing was then over.
Large mountains loomed around us as we slowly made out way into the heart of this majestic landscape. It can be hard to appreciate the scale while the valley is still open. Day 2 would get us up close and personal with the biggest peaks in the area and inspire a deeper sense of awe for the terrain.
Stoked to have arrived at Sanddrif! There was a plunge into the river for the whole teams shortly after this moment, 10/10 would recommend!
There is opportunity to rough it and camp your way along the route. We opted to rather have a comfy bed each night, haha! Sanddrif has plenty of accommodation in their various cottages as well as campsites available. Their location poised us perfectly to tackle one of our bucket-list hikes on the morning of Day 2, stay tuned! *click image for more info*
We were given a tour of the Cederberg Brewery by Thinus the brew master and sample a few of their creations including the famous Boggom and Voertsek brews. Their new Pale Ale was an easy drinker and landed well with our tastebuds and stomachs. *click image for more info*
Dinner was enjoyed at Die Slee in Cederberg Park and prepared by a well acclaimed chef from Cape Town who has recently relocated to this establishment in Krom Rivier. His Bobotie hit the spot and we event got to taste his newest creation, a Buchu Melktert. Needless to say we were big fans. *click image for more info*
With dinner in the belly we returned to Sanddrif to rest ahead of an action packed Day 2. An early morning hike, a visit to a local heritage site, and plenty of gravel lay ahead, the adventure had just begun.