FNB and the Bicycle Empowerment Network (BEN) have put together a celebratory cycling event for the 9 August: the FNB Freedom Ride. We are all invited to join an expected 5 000 cyclists next Saturday on a 27 km route in honour of Mandela’s 27 years on Robben Island – one kilometre for each year.
The last freedom ride was on the 20 July in Jozi and it was a huge success. Cyclists rode through some of the city’s historical spots, including the Corridors of Freedom, Vilakazi Street, the Hector Pieterson memorial, and the Nelson Mandela Bridge.
The Cape Town ride starts in Rondebosch and goes through Athlone, Langa, Pinelands, and Woodstock before ending in the CBD. The route shows off Cape Town’s cultural heritage and scenery, shows cyclists everyday bike routes, and reveals how commuting by bicycle can bring together communities that were historically kept apart. It has even been named a World Design Capital project for its focus on making Cape Town a more productive African city, bridging historic divides and building social and economic inclusion in a meaningful and sustainable way that will leave a legacy. Tata would approve.
If you don’t think you can handle 27km on a bicycle, there are other ways to help. You can volunteer to help with the event, or you can donate to BEN, and help them address poverty and improve mobility using bicycles.
Words: Modupe Oloruntoba