Fantasy Friday: The Freedom to ride

It is any cyclist’s fantasy to be able to cycle, safely, everywhere and seeing as though it is #MandelaDay today we thought we should highlight the efforts of two groups trying to achieve this in South Africa.

In early February we took part in the The Freedom Ride – a commemoration ride to celebrate the spirit and legacy of Nelson Mandela and the second one is this Sunday.

Freedom Ride Cycology 371

In 2014 The City of Joburg will complete two cycling routes called the ‘Corridors of Freedom’ as a network of urban transport. The purpose of the Freedom Ride is to profile and inaugurate some of these dedicated cycling lanes and to demonstrate the city’s commitment to the development of proper and safe cycling infrastructure for school children and commuters – linking the communities of Johannesburg and Soweto.  The ride starts at the Nelson Mandela bridge in Braamfontein, passes various sites of historical significance, including Newclare Cemetery where Walter and Albettina Sisula are buried and ends at the Mandela home on Vilakazi Street in Orlando West.

Read this brochure – it is a fantastic summary of all the historical sites along the route!

The ride is backed by the City of Johannesburg, the Joburg Urban Cyclists Association, Critical Mass Johannesburg and the Bicycling Empowerment Network (BEN) and they are doing, a great job of bringing people back into the city and raising awareness about bicycles as a form of transport and recreation – creating freedom in their own way.

Like and Follow Freedom Ride on Facebook and Twitter to stay updated and support this awesome initiative! The ride on Sunday leaves at 8 am from the Nelson Mandela bridge (find more details here).

Qhubeka are, as always, also present creating freedom for others. Qhubeka help people move forward and progress by giving bicycles in return for work done to improve communities, the environment or academic results. Having a bicycle changes lives by increasing the distance people can travel, what they can carry, where they can go and how fast they can get there (a child’s commute time to school is reduced by 75%). They have given away 40 000 bikes since 2005 and their work is exceptional!

Do you know of any other other groups involved in creating freedom for others? Freedom of safe and efficient transport?