Coronation Double Century Bicycle Race
IMPRESSIVE! The organisation of the Coronation Double Century cycle race is a major undertaking! 3300 cyclists ( plus support/family) arrive in Swellendam on the Friday before and fill every nook and cranny of accommodation available in and out of town. From Swellendam, cyclists follow the R324 through Suurbraak and over Tradouw Pass towards Barrydale. A left turn onto the R62 leads them to the challenging 7 kilometer Op de Tradouw stretch, before making their way to Montagu. The route then snakes through Cogmanskloof towards Ashton and Robertson, before winding left onto the R317 towards Bonnievale and finishing in Swellendam, with the first teams arriving back about 12.00 noon. They cyclists - after parking their cycles in the "Bike Park" move through to the showgrounds for lunch (all 3000 of them!) after which, the prize giving is held.
Volunteer members of the Rotary club assist with a variety of tasks on the day - running and managing the bar, ladies manning the lunch table for all those sweaty, tired and sometimes not too cheerful riders. Other Rotary members handed out medals and a dedicated Rotary cycle task-force stood watch and guard, on all those very expensive racing cycles - making sure that the correct cycle left with its real owners after the lunch and prize-giving. Each cyclist received a numbered arm band, matching their bicycle number. A valiant effort, in the blazing sun, over a five hour period. Not a single cycle went awol!!