Cape to Cape is traditionally a 4-stage mountain bike cycling classic race which takes place annually in Margaret River, Western Australia. The race attracts over 1200 cyclists, the largest contingent including Aussies of course, but cyclists from other parts of the region including Singapore and New Zealand and even as far as Ireland, Scotland, UK and Brazil make their way to this challenging event every year to test their skills and endurance, secretly hoping to move further and further up the ladder to become one of the top participants – the black dots. Riders can vie for top spots as a solo rider or pairs and mixed pairs.
This year, a lone Trini (Trinidad and Tobago) joined the group of enthusiasts. Having successfully completed an Ironman in 2019, I guess the sky will always be the limit.
The job of supporter this time was a lot less demanding both physically and emotionally. And why would it be anything else when the location is simply one of the nicest in Western Australia. Margaret River is a small town south of Perth and is known for its craft breweries and surrounding wineries – and I could stop here, but there is more. The nearby coast boasts of beautiful beaches including Surfer’s Point, a favourite spot to capture the imposing sunset.
Margaret River is located between two lighthouses north and south of the town and the Cape to Cape race skirts around the limestone caves and sea cliffs of the Cape Naturaliste National park. As you meander in and around the town the roadside is spotted with native flowers at this time of year and the majestic wooded areas take your breath away.
The race itself takes place over four days and tests the cyclist’s skills at world class single track, rough road, sandy hills, and sheer gut and determination. The camaraderie encouraged and practised is testament to the participants’ love of the sport and the fellowship that is built therein. Supporters are happy to hang around exploring the beauty that surrounds, or just relaxing with a coffee and a good book (laptop/mobile – whichever), meeting new people and sharing their own stories.
While the races were in motion, I took the opportunity to stroll along the rugged coast where the Southern and Indian Oceans meet, lose myself in the beauty of the Barval Wines winery, explore the surrounding forest trails in Margaret River and catch up on some local shopping of course. Wine tastings, beach strolling and cave exploring were icing on the cake.
The life of a supporter can be rough.