Argus Cycle Race–Fun for the entire family

Cape Argus 2012

The Cape Argus Cycle Race, the world’s largest timed cycle race was completed, without a single fatality, for the 35th time on Sunday 11th March on a glorious, although very hot day in beautiful Cape Town. 42,000 people entered the race which provides a variety of opportunities for families to exercise together in a fun, safe and healthy environment.  A massive increase from the 525 entrants in the first event in 1978! It just shows how cycling has developed and grown in just 35 years into a past-time for anyone of any age and any cycling ability. The oldest finisher was 92 years with the youngest riders in the main event being 12 years old or 11 if on a tandem with an adult.

Cape Argus 2012 StartThe race takes participants on a 109km trip around the Cape Peninsular with great views of both the Indian and Atlantic Oceans and a variety of flat stages interspersed with climbs up Smitswinkel, the famous Chapman’s Peak and the ‘sting in the tail’ Suikerbossie, just 15km from the finish. You can take up to 7 hours to complete the event or just 2 hours 36 minutes for the leading man! And for those who prefer being off-road there are a number of Mountain Bike distances ranging from 13km to 65km. And for the youngsters there are events ranging from 1,5km to 10km. Certainly an event that caters for the whole family.

Cycling is a wonderful physical activity that you can take part in for your entire life from 2 – 92 years of age and encourages physical, mental, cognitive and emotional development. So how do you get your kid involved in cycling and how do you ensure that once they are cycling they are participating and training in the correct way for their particular age.

Cycling South Africa have come up with some guidelines to assist you in this regard.

Age (years)

General Training Guidelines

0 – 6 Encourage physical activity that is fun and consists of mainly unstructured playFocus on learning the basic movement skills such as balance, running, throwing, catching, kicking, water safety and cyclingOrganised physical activity of 30 minutes a day for toddlers and 60 minutes per day for pre-schoolers
6 – 9 Development of physical literacyA variety of physical activity and sports to provide variety and choiceEncourage unstructured playOrganised activities 4 – 6 times per week

Cycling Specific Training Guidelines

9 – 10 No session longer than 30 minutesEmphasis on fun, skills, traffic awareness and safetyStick mainly to paths, car parks and cycling tracksSupervised by parent or coach
11 – 12 2 – 5 hours per week (40 -100km)No single session longer than 30 km or 1 ¼ hoursEmphasis on fun, bike handling skills, traffic skills and basic race skillsSupervised by parent or coach
13 – 14 3 – 8 hours per week (100 – 200km)No ride longer than 2 hours/60kmTraining emphasis on both skills and physical developmentDevelop riding position and style. Bike set up and smooth pedaling technique are critical

Assess skills and traffic awareness prior to allowing a rider to train alone on public roads

15 – 16 6 – 14 hours per week (150 – 350km)No ride longer than 90km or 3 hoursTraining emphasis on skills, race skills and physical conditioningSome specificity of events can occur in 2nd year of division
17 – 18 10 – 18 hours per week (300 – 550km)No ride longer than 150km or 5 hours – infrequentlyTraining emphasis on physical conditioning, specificity on events and skills maintenance or development in certain events

Enjoy getting out there on your bikes!

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