Sights set on South Africa

With the recent bad British weather it’s increasingly difficult to recall when you didn’t need to wear 20 layers of thermal clothing to ride a bike.

These days I’m in danger of spending longer getting dressed that I do actually riding, but if you don’t manage to get out at least once a week you know it’s going to be a struggle to have any kind of form by the spring.

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Scarily, I’ve realised there’s less than three months before my first event. The combination of the snow and the seasonal festivities has made for a convincing excuse not to ride but the big comeback has now begun.

It’s important to have something to work towards but I’m not exactly setting my sights too high by entering the Cape Argus ride in South Africa. It’s only 100 kilometres: one big lap of the Cape peninsula. The sun always shines and the only major obstacle is the gale-force winds that have blasted the 35,000 competitors for the past two years.

If you fancy giving yourself a treat I thotoughly recommend the Argus. Completely closed roads, stunning scenery, fantastic atmosphere – it’s the best sportive in the world. Entries are still open to foreign riders but flights are already selling out.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly