Quad Biking in Cape Town
I have a large powerful machine between my legs and it’s purring like a kitten. Get your mind out of the gutter: it’s a quadbike!
Entertaining two teenage boys that had been stranded in Cape Town for a week longer than intended (Icelandic volcanoes and such) was making us think outside of our usual comfort zones – and so, on a thankfully sunny Sunday morning not too long ago, we arrived at a sandy parking lot in Atlantis, near Melkbosstrand …
About 20 SUVs were already assembled, let the air out of their tyres in preparation for the hardcore 4×4 trail over the dunes. And then our bikes arrived.
As the only girl in our group, I was worried about keeping up, operating the bike, embarrassing my gender. I like to play it tough, like I can do anything a boy can do, but in truth, I’m mechanically retarded and a little unco-ordinated. Thank God, the guide took one look at me and pointed to an automatic rather than a manual transmission. I can’t lie, I wanted desperately to take offense, beat my fists on my chest and holler: “Me as good as Tarzan”, but the automatic bike looked so much prettier than the manual.
We’d booked a 2-hour tour and spent the first hour getting comfortable with the bike, which basically involved learning not to slow down half way up a steep incline – takes quite a lot of effort and sand spraying to dig a bike out of a dune. Once comfortable, the second hour was play-time. There’s no other word for it, aged 13 to 50, we all “played” in the dunes. Accelerating like crazy, then a hard turn to try to get the bike sliding with a shower of sand spraying behind; putting “foot” (or should that be “hand”?) as you hurtle down a 45 degree slope, squealing with glee – all framed by picture postcard views of Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean, who could ask for more.
Be warned, this is an addictive sport. To try it, is to love it. And you just might see little-ol’-me racing around the dunes, giving the boys a run for their money.