The Best (Steepest) Road Bike Climbs in Cape Town

This is a list of the Best (Steepest) Road Bike Climbs in Cape Town (Western cape), that you will not die on.

According to Dr.Ferrari the inventor of the VAM measurement only climbs of 6% and higher are relevant

I also remember an article stating that only climbs of 7.5% and higher are true tests...but I could not find the article to verify.

Nonetheless here is the list.

1. Gordan's bay pass (3.64km 7.7%)

Unfortunately there is a gate for the Cape town water works - that prevents us from going the full 5km at 7.5%...a proper climb.
Go early and avoid on weekends as lots of cars go up there.

gordans-bay-pass

2. Camps Bay > Kloof Nek Short (3km 7.6%)

camps-bay-kloofnek-short

3. City > Kloof Nek (2km 8.9%)

City-to-Kloof-nek

4. City > Vredehoek (2km 6.9%)

city-to-vredehoek

5. Hout Bay Hill (2km 6.4%)

hour-bay-hill

6. Camps bay > Kloof Nek(4km 5.6%)

Camps-bay-to-kloofnek

7. Table Mountain Start (1.6km 6.9%) Table-mountain-start

8. Bakoven to Landdudna (4km at 3.8%)

bakoven-to-lunddudno

Kids play

Exceptions

Not included due to being on dangerous roads (I have read and seen not much space in the yellow line on google maps...)

Franschoek reverse (6.3km 6.5%

franschoek-reverse

Franschoek (7km 5.5%)

Franschoek

11. Pine Haven climb (5km 4.9%)

pine-haven-climb

Running a mainnet and testnet on the same bitcoin node

In this post I will tell you how to run a mainnet and testnet bitcoin node simulataneously on the same device.

Bitcoin Conf Sections

It boils down to splitting out the bitcoin.conf into sections:

[main]
mempoolsize=300
maxconnections=20
maxuploadtarget=144
txindex=1
[test]
mempoolsize=100
rpcport=80332
maxconnections=20
maxuploadtarget=144
txindex=1

Then adding an additional systemd startup script for bitcoind -testnet -daemon

You dont need to set the rpcport or other options as they are different anyway:

  • Default Bitcoin network protocol listen port is 18333 (instead of 8333)
  • Default RPC connection port is 18332 (instead of 8332)

Setup Systemd scripts

/etc/systemd/system/bitcoind_test.service:

[Unit]
Description=bitcoin
After=network.target

[Service]
Type=simple
User=ubuntu
Group=ubuntu

Environment=BITCOIN_PID=/home/btc/testnet/bitcoin.pid
Environment=BITCOIN_HOME=~/home/btc/testnet/.bitcoin

ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/bitcoind -testnet
ExecStop=/bin/kill -15 $MAINPID

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target

/etc/systemd/system/bitcoind.service:

[Unit]
Description=bitcoin
After=network.target

[Service]
Type=simple
User=ubuntu
Group=ubuntu

Environment=BITCOIN_PID=/home/btc/bitcoin.pid
Environment=BITCOIN_HOME=~/home/btc/.bitcoin

ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/bitcoind
ExecStop=/bin/kill -15 $MAINPID

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target

Enable the services:

sudo systemctl enable bitcoind_test
sudo systemctl enable bitcoind

Start the services:

sudo systemctl start bitcoind_test
sudo systemctl start bitcoind

Identifying Net in Commands

Now the problem is that when running bitcoin-cli commands it will by default use mainnet, so you must specify testnet.

Example calling mainnet:

bitcoin-cli getblockcount

Example calling testnet:

bitcoin-cli -testnet getblockcount

Sources

Western Cape Mountain Bike Trails (MTB): Year 2022

I am touring the Western Cape Mountain Bike trails...

Closed:

Dissapointing that so many are closed

  • Paul Cluver Mountainbike trails are Closed from 31 December 2020 until further notice
  • Koeberg Trails - closed due to Eskom Keoberg being a national key point (scamdemic)

Open:

Climbs:

Going

  • Contermanskloof
  • Bloemendal
  • Hillcrest
  • Hoogekraal
  • Faircape

Bloemendal - nice brike track good for people wanting to learn how to jump on the bike - for intermediates and up. R60 entry and then there is a public trail outside to Majik forest (but the members lock the gate)

  • namaqua national park (524km 5.5 hours)
  • goekap nature reserve - sprinkbok (553km)

Namaqua and Goekap were too far from where I was based.

  • cederburg wilderness area (169km - 2 hours)
  • piket-bo-berg (short) (121km)

Done. Cederburg has a dirt road ride from Clanwilliam to Algeria. A big climb on the way. The road is a bit corregated so ensure you have shocks on your mtb. The ride is 60 - 72 km long depending on route and reminds me of Suikerbosrant in Gauteng. Piket-bo-berg is a tarred climb - but has 2 way traffic and not much space for cyclings - too dangerous to attempt.

central:

  • tulbagh MTB trails (115km 1.5 hours) - Voelvlei
  • Eselfontein (Ceres) (153km 2 hours)

Can do next time

  • tokai
  • table mountain national park

Done. Decent trails - up to tokai mast is one of the best views. Trail down from ou kaapse can be hairy better to go the easy route. Table mountain national has 1 nice trail starting from deer park and making your way around table mountain towards the block house - some serious climbs. Then back with tafleberg road. Otherwise table mountain doesn't have dedicated mtb routes.

South:

  • helderburg trails (done)
  • bottelary hills (38km 40 mins)
  • jonkershoek trails (65km 1.2 hours)
  • stellenbosch trails (gspot trails, stellenbosch trail fund, ) - short trails good for kids and walkers
  • boshendal - plaisir trails (60km 1 hour)
  • Paarl Adventure Trails (53km 50 mins)
  • franshoek wine vallery trails (80km 1.1 hours)
  • grabouw forest trails / hottentots holland nature reserve (76km 1.1 hours)

Paarl has some great trails and one of the best when it comes to berms. The best berms in SA / funnest. The shorter and fun specialized Paarl trails, then after that go left and up towards the paarl mountains nature reserve which has nice roads to ride on and great views of paarl. Then there are nice downhill berm sections at Rhebokskloof. Important to note the new owner of the farm at Rhebokskloof has gated off and posted security to prevent thoroughfare. So best to go back to specialized paarl the way you came - to avoid having to go on the R33 road like I did. Otherwise a great trail - excitement and endurance required.

Jonkershoek: A huge climb for first half and then an advanced (red) decent. Make sure you have a good bike with minimum of 100mm (best to have 120 or 140mm shocks). Rocky.

Bottelary hills: Great trail - mix of climbs, twists and turns and technical sections. Not that rocky more of a smoother trail. Great views.

Moving up along the coast towards eastern cape:

  • hermanus trails (116km 1.4 hours)
  • greyton mtb trails and gravel (150km 2 hours)
  • vadersburg (170km 2.5 hours) - skip
  • klipspringer MTB (gansbaai) (170km)
  • potberg trail network (246km 3 hours)
  • heidelberg (grootvaderbosch) (280km 3.15 hours)
  • George (436km 4.4 hours)
  • Garden route national park - very long trails and lots (500km 5 hours)