I continue to be blown away by the incredible variety of gravel cycling routes in Plettenberg Bay. I am taking full advantage of the riding here before I need to return home. On Sunday I did a 137km ride from Plettenberg Bay to Knysna.
The ride starts out on the same road as the gravel ride I did the week before. This is the R340, which starts 5km outside of Plettenberg Bay and continues for roughly 35km before you will have to decide whether to go right to Uniondale or left to Knysna on the R339.
My parents were driving a support vehicle behind me for a big chunk of the ride yesterday. It is not something they would usually do, but my father was curious to see what the gravel road from Plettenberg Bay to Knysna is like. It is always great to have a support vehicle with you while riding. It meant I could load all of my spare bike parts and food in the vehicle, instead of stuffing it in my pockets. It also proved useful during a short section of road that went through an informal settlement near Knysna. It is not that something WILL happen while cycling through the informal settlement, but there is always a greater risk that it could and so having the support vehicle there made me feel a lot safer.
After a lunch break in Knysna I started the ride back to Plettenberg Bay, where I am camping with my family for the holidays. This is when the rain started to pour down! I got completely drenched. I used to hate riding in the rain, but during the winter this year I forced myself to go ride every single day that it was raining. This got me over that mental block of riding in the rain and now I love it!
The only thing I do not love about riding in the rain is cleaning a wet and muddy bike afterwards. I was too tired after the ride to do anything except spray my bike off with a hose pipe, but I gave it a proper wash this morning. It is at the bike shop now, because there is a terrible creaking noise coming from what I think is the bottom bracket. The mechanic at the shop says the bearings probably just need to be cleaned and greased. They only have 3 weeks of riding on them so I hope it is nothing more than that!
Are you interested in gravel cycling in Plettenberg Bay? Here are the Strava details of the few gravel rides I have done in Plett recently:
Some of the routes I have done are a mixture between gravel and road, but I always try and make sure I am riding more on the gravel than on the road. Otherwise what would be the point of owning a gravel bike?