Driving… what is it about driving a car that us petrol
heads enjoy so much? The feeling of being in control of a vehicle
at speed…? Or is it the sensation of lateral g-force when
you go around a bend? The feedback you get when you turn the
steering wheel and feel the mechanical grip levels of a car’s
tyres… The sheer speed of things when you put your foot
down and experience yourself sinking back into the seat. The
sound of the machine you’re driving as it climbs up the
rev range… or one reason could be that specific piece
of road you decide to drive on. That could make the whole experience
of driving so much better.
I am planning for this to be an ongoing series of articles featuring
some of the best driving roads we have on offer around the Cape.
This specific section of lovely tarmac I happened to find by
chance on my way back from Citrusdal, it's the Piekenierskloof
Mountain Pass. Situated about 1:30mins outside Cape Town in
the Cederberg, it forms part of the N7 highway on route to Namibia
and rises steadily up the Olifants River mountains. It affords
the driver spectacular views over the Swartland vally, but I
found it rather difficult to take my eyes off the gorgeous ribbon
of tarmac. Let me show you some pictures of the actual road
so you can have an idea of what I’m on about. Watch the
video further down for the full tour.
This is the view from the side of the mountain and shows the
incline. Did someone say hill climb?!!!
Unfortunately this was my "weapon". Like I said, I
happened to find this road by accident. I should have had the
Twincam (Polizia) instead... but none the less here's what the
road looks like.
Remember that this is on my way back, so I am driving downhill.
It starts off with a bit of a straight.
This is basically the crest/highest point of the pass. This
would be the approach to the first bend.
lanes wide. Notice the camber of the road leaning in.
the first bend you are greeted by a swooping S bend with more
lovely doesn't that look? Wide and clearly visible.
you exit the swooping S you approach a blind bend. The first
of a few to come.
It opens up into the Swartland valley.
more S type bends. If this road were to be used in a race, these
little S bends would make great apex clipping points.
don't want to be falling over those railings.
A blind rise. Where does the road go? It must go right? Does
Yes it does! But ever so slightly. If this was a race, it would
mean that you would need to approach the previous blind rise
at full throttle and hope for the best. Just because you can't
see what's over the hill doesn't mean you should lift off. But
now you know.
You can clearly see if oncoming traffic is approaching.
sure bikers would enjoy this bend.
last bend before things start to get boring.
where we just came from. You can actually see the road going
up the side of the mountain. It would make for an amazing high
speed hill climb event. The only problem would be cat eye's
in the road, but other than that it's awesome, it has a smooth
surface, clear views and it's wide! I can only imagine what
it would be like to have this road closed off and go full tilt
through there with a race car, but for now, have a look at the
video below to see what it's like in my little Ballade. Maybe
I'll do a follow up video in the future with something more