So you’ve heard about walking on water. Pfft, try riding on water. At least, that’s what I did last weekend. And no you don’t need to be Harry Potter – or Princess Charlene (it’s her fave sport) – to get this right. Say hello to Cape Town Water Bikes. Here’s how it works…
Cape Town Water Bikes
Riding on water, it’s the kind of thing you think only exists in sci-fi movies and Elon Musk’s back yard – but you’re wrong. Right here in lil’ old Simon’s Town, you can perform miracles while enjoying Princess Charlene’s fav sport. That’s right, our previous cover star and former Olympic swimming is a huge fan of water bikes. That’s one of the reasons Women’s Health had to give it a try. I was super grateful to be the guinea pig.
So how does it work? Picture this: a stationary bike (like the ones at the gym) but on a floating platform. And then more importantly, when you pedal a propellor turns and moves you forward. The steering mechanism is the same as a normal bicycle. If you pull the handlebars to the left, you’ll turn left. This is triggered by cables attached to a rudder. A simple design, but effective and easy to use, plus it’s stable.
A day for miracles
The first miracle of the day, I woke up hangover-less. After the Tuesday Trail’s Xmas in July party, I was surprised and impressed. Next up, a stunning 20km run on Table Mountain that may or may not have gone on longer than expected. I’m notorious for being late for appointments (or, as I like to put it, cutting things fine). So the next miracle, of course, was that I actually made it to Cape Town Water Bikes with time to spare.
Cape Town Water Bikes have 14 Schiller bikes. These are the OG of water bikes, originating from California. With the saddle height sorted and the general safety rules noted, we set off. The tour is around two hours long, with the option of a guide. The bikes are obvs silent, environmentally friendly and don’t scare away the marine life. Expect to see seals, penguins and lots more. And during whale season, you’ll catch some of these giant beauties if you’re lucky.
If you’re looking for a workout, you can definitely work up a sweat on one of these bikes. But it’s up to you what pace you’d like to go. After my run, I settled for an easy tempo and spent my time admiring the view. There is something so special about being a part of the marine habitat without interfering in any way. Would I recommend this tour? Definitely. Would I do it again? Absolutely. Click here to check it out for yourself.